Tennessee's Backroads
A Southern Middle Tennessee Journey

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Elk River
190 Smithland Rd
Kelso, 37348

The Elk River rises on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee and flows southwest through steep wooded hills and farm land to the Tennessee River near Wheeler Dam in North Alabama. It has good current, yet is a pastoral stream suitable for family recreation. It is also a scenic stream and is easy to float (Class 1). The Elk River offers excellent trout fishing in the upper stretch and smallmouth bass fishing is popular in the deep pools.


Chapel Hill

The Golf Course at Henry Horton State Park
4358 Nashville Hwy,
Chapel Hill, 37034

On-site amenities include a driving range, practice green, pull carts, on-site lodging, snack bar, and club rental.

Henry Horton State Park
4358 Nashville Hwy
Chapel Hill, 37034

This park is on the old estate of Henry H. Horton, the 36th governor of Tennessee. It is on the Duck River, the longest remaining stretch of free-flowing river in Tennessee, which supports the most diverse
mussel fauna in the world. Guided kayak float trips are provided weekly in summer. With over 10 miles of hiking, Henry Horton is a wonderful place to get outside. The Lodge at Henry Horton offers a variety of room types with free Wi-Fi, Direct TV, gym access, seasonal outdoor pool access and complimentary breakfast.

The Restaurant and Lounge at Henry Horton State Park offer fresh meals and a variety of local and Tennessee spirits, wines, and beers.

Rutledge falls photo


Rock Creek Park and Walking Trail
310 Old Farmington Rd
Lewisburg, 37091

Rock Creek Park and Walking Trail is located near Lewisburg’s downtown attractions. The park features a farmers’ market pavilion, an outdoor stage, a bricked area honoring local veterans and leaders, an iron bridge, and several miles of walking track along the historic Rock Creek. Benches are placed appropriately along the walking trail for scenic enjoyment. The park is the site of several annual music festivals and/or holiday celebrations.
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Grundy County

Franklin State Forest
11370 2nd St
Sherwood, 37376

This forest covers 8,836 acres. The land was acquired in 1936 from the Cross Creek Coal Company and was highly degraded. The Forest is on the Cumberland Plateau and located in south-central Tennessee, in Marion and Franklin Counties. The forest is 35-40 miles west of Chattanooga. About 99% of the land is forested and about 90% of the land is in hardwood forest types both young and mature. About 10% of the Forest is pine. The area has a history of timber abuse by diameter-limit cuts and uncontrolled wildfires. It is home to a diverse number of wildlife species. The forest has been traditionally used for hunting, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and camping.

South Cumberland State Park
11745 US Hwy 41
Monteagle, 37356

The South Cumberland is composed of over 30,845 acres in nine separate areas, five of which are natural areas. The Visitors Center on State Hwy 41 between Monteagle and Tracy City has interpretive exhibits and provides information on each component of the Savage Gulf complex. Stone Door and Savage Gulf contain spectacular vistas, waterfalls, and many miles of hiking and backpacking trails
and beautiful forests. The Fiery Gizzard Trail connects Grundy Forest and Foster Falls. Hikers may observe nature, swim in Fiery Gizzard Creek and enjoy one of the nation’s most outstanding trails. Carter State Natural Area is part of a unique 18,000-acre enclosed valley sinkhole aptly named Lost Cove. Sewanee Natural Bridge is a remarkable sandstone arch overlooking Lost Cove. Grundy Lakes, a day-use area near Tracy City, provides swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking and a view of 19th century “Coke Ovens.”

south cumberland photos