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If you’re planning a trip to Tennessee, you can’t miss the National Parks. The hardest part will be deciding which ones you have time to visit. The best parts of the parks in this state offer scenic views or a rich southern history, so you’ll want to make your choices with that in mind.

If you have the chance, schedule your travels to catch the gorgeous fall colors here. The rich autumn leaves aren’t like anywhere else and are a large part of what Tennessee’s landscape has become famous for, though it’s certainly not the only thing.

Here, you’ll find insights into the south during the Civil War history and scenic views of mountains, forests, and world-famous hiking trails. These are the four best National Parks you’ll need to choose from on your next trip.

The Appalachian Trail
When it comes to Tennessee National Parks, you simply have to start here. This world-famous trail is 2,185 miles long. You can hike the trail in its entirety or visit parts of the trail to get a feel for what’s so great about it. While the trail extends from Georgia to Maine, some of its most beautiful parts are right in Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Wildflowers, year-round. Some of the most gorgeous parts of the Appalachian Trail can be found in East Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Lush forests, mist-covered mountains, and waterfalls await hikers here year-round.

Shiloh National Military Park
This park isn’t only a piece of nature, but also of human history. This park is just south of Savannah, Tennessee, and preserves the Civil War battlefield. The battle here took place for two days. The park has cannons and monuments to commemorate the event.

Big South Fork National River
Come to Oneida, TN, if you’re ready for some quiet time on the water. This is one of the most tranquil National Parks in Tennessee. This National Park is known for its 90 miles of river. Many come here to travel by kayak or canoe through the gorge. Others enjoy hiking, swimming, and fishing in this remote spot.