Boasting a varied topography, that includes everything from soaring mountains and raging waterfalls, to verdant woodland and deep lying gullies, these wonderful public recreational areas offer terrific opportunities to spend some time within the bosom of nature.
If you love to swim, fish, hike, go boating, hunt or camp, the you will be spoilt for choice with the opportunities provided by Tennessee’s State Parks.
What is great about them is that they are open pretty much every day and they won’t cost you a cent to visit, as entry is free!
If you live near, or are a resident of McMinnville, your location places you close to several of these state parks.
So the next time you feel the urge to head out into the great out doors, why not give these 5 state parks near McMinnville a whirl.
Map of State Parks Near McMinnville TN
Below is a map of the state parks in Tennessee covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near McMinnville
All of these state parks near McMinnville are situated between a 20 minute and 2 hour 45 minute drive from the city. So they are pretty easy to visit on a day trip excursion.
That said, should you plan to stay for an extended period at any of them, you’ll find various campground accommodation options there too.
1. Rock Island State Park
Location: 82 Beach Rd, Rock Island, TN 38581
Just over a 20 minute drive north east of McMinnville resides Rock Island State Park.
Situated where the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers meet, right at the headwaters of Center Hill Lake, this is the place to come if you love water based fun.
Spread across 883-acres, this public recreational space offers plenty of opportunities for canoeing, SUP, boating and paddleboarding. While swimming and fishing are also very popular pastimes too.
Arguably the park’s main drawcard is the spectacular Great Falls Dam. Cascading for some 30 feet, this powerful horseshoe shaped waterfall is located in one of the most picturesque areas of the park.
There are two campgrounds here, for those wanting to stay for a few nights. They offer water and electrical hookups, as well as modern bathhouses that have warm showers.
2. Tims Ford State Park
Location: 570 Tims Ford Dr, Winchester, TN 37398
Another fabulous lake side destination is the Tims Ford State Park.
It will take you an hour to drive south west from the city, but once you get to the 3,546-acre state park you will be able to enjoy, full use of the scenic Tims Ford Reservoir.
Well known for being a profitable spot to fish for bass, the lake is also highly regarded as a place to go swimming, canoeing, SUP, row boating and kayaking.
If you love golf then you will love The Bear Trace. A championship standard 18 hole golf course that was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
There are also several hiking trails that take you to various scenic parts of the park. While there are also two pavilions and a marina within its confines too.
Overall there are 168 campsites located across three areas, which all feature water hookups and 30-amp electric service.
3. Henry Horton State Park
Location: 4209 Nashville Hwy, Chapel Hill, TN 37034
Located an hour and 20 minutes drive west of McMinnville, the Henry Horton State Park is one of the best places to go fishing in Tennessee. Full of largemouth, smallmouth, red-eye bass and catfish, it’s almost impossible not to catch anything here!
This state park is another one that has a championship standard golf course within its grounds. It features fairways that are lined by a spectacular row of hardwood trees, and have no less than 37 bunkers, and is a fantastic place to play a round.
Those who love nature will enjoy plenty of opportunities to hike around the lush wetlands and bosky woodlands of the park. While kids have plenty of fun at the various playgrounds, splash fountains, and soft, natural surfaces that are scattered within it.
The park has plenty of accommodation options for those who want to extend their stay here. This includes 56 RV campsites and 10 tent campsites. As well as 3 group campsites and 3 backcountry campsites. You can also choose to stay in one of eight cabins or a fabulous lodge, should you want too.
4. Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Location: 328 Cedar Forest Rd, Lebanon, TN 37090
Just an hour’s drive north of the city lies the Cedars of Lebanon State Park.
Well known for its impressive eastern red cedar trees which are prevalent throughout the area, this public recreational area has been popular with visitors since 1955.
Encompassing 1,139-acres, the park features eye-catching limestone glades, fabulous woodlands and gorgeous flora. Which all blend into a stunning landscape of intriguing caves, attractive creeks, deep sinkholes and beautiful butterfly gardens.
If you love photography and hiking this is a great place for you to visit. It’s also a pet-friendly park which accommodates 117 campsites that are set out across three distinct camping areas.
All of these areas are equipped with modern bathhouses that have toilets and hot showers, as well as a camp store and laundromat.
5. Mousetail Landing State Park
Location: 3 Campground Rd, Linden, TN 37096
At 2 hours 45 minutes in a westerly direction, the Mousetail Landing State Park is the further public recreational space on this list from McMinnville.
Located right on the banks of the Tennessee River, this 1,247-acre recreational space is another excellent fishing spot. Particularly for crappie, bream, catfish, stripe and bass.
If you love activities like canoeing, kayaking, SUP and paddling, you will love the plentiful opportunities to do that here. While the beautiful year round swimming beach is another big plus.
Should you fancy hiking or mountain biking, a series of trails will guide you to hilly areas in the park that offer spectacular views and steep upward and downward gradients.
Offering only 25 campsites, accommodation options at the main campground are a bit limited. Although 19 of these sites do come with water and electricity hookups.
For those who are happy being self-sufficient, there is also a more primitive campground onsite as well.