Most Tennessee state parks to reopen Friday

Most of Tennessee’s shuttered state parks will reopen on Friday. All of the state’s 56 parks and natural areas were shuttered amid Gov. Bill Lee’s statewide stay-at-home order. The Republican governor on Monday  announced plans to let that order expire on April 30.

The parks will be open for daytime use only and social distancing guidelines will remain in effect. Visitors are urged to go to parks closest to their homes.

Here’s the release from the Department of Environment and Conservation.

NASHVILLE –Tennessee State Parks will reopen most of its 56 state parks on Friday, April 24, for day-use only. Specific details on which parks will reopen will be available on this week.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

When considering a visit, Tennessee State Parks encourages the following:

  • Stay at home if you are sick or do not feel well.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other visitors.
  • Visit parks that are only a short distance from your home.
  • Consider visiting earlier in the day so you can adjust plans if a park is full. Tennessee State Parks may limit access to certain parks or areas if capacity is reached.
  • Plan ahead. Many Tennessee State Parks buildings will be closed. Plan to bring your own snacks, water and hand sanitizer.
  • Prepare for limited or no bathroom access. Some restrooms remain open, but many will not.
  • Consider bringing a mask and wearing it when around other people.
  • Carry your trash with you or dispose of it in the appropriate containers to help keep our cleaning staff safe and our parks litter-free.

Overcrowding may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again.

Facilities and gathering areas, including pavilions and playgrounds, will remain closed. Cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds, and group camps remain closed. For up-to-date information on park closure please visit

4 Responses to Most Tennessee state parks to reopen Friday

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    James White says:

    They should not have closed them in the first place.

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      LeeAnn C. says:

      Amen! Outdoors and sunshine is good for you and hard on viruses! Poor judgment at its finest to close off these resources!

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    Dan Gilley says:

    Looking back, maybe closing them completely was a bit too drastic, but we live and learn. Having dealt with response to disaster situations during most of my career I can say it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you plan for the worse case scenario and it doesn’t occur, so much the better! Bring on summer ASAP !

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    Christina Norris says:

    I read they were closed primarily for the safety of the employees.

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