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Tennessee State Park's 75th Anniversary traveling exhibit is crossing the state this year. Make plans to experience our unique history as it rolls through your community. Check the schedule. View inside the traveling exhibit.
You may also join in the celebration by ordering your very own Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary merchandise, such as clothing, souvenirs, toys and more. Be sure to check out our gift shop selections.
Gov. Haslam has proclaimed July as Tennessee State Parks Month. Read the Governor’s Proclamation.
We hosted a variety of special events throughout 2012 to mark the 75th Anniversary of Gov. Gordon Browning signing the legislation that created the Tennessee State Park system on May 21, 1937. The laws from the enabling legislation of 1937 – with modifications and additions over the years – remain the framework for park operations today.
Impact of Tennessee State Parks
Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee. A 2009 University of Tennessee study highlights the positive economic impacts that state parks provide local communities, particularly in rural areas of the state. The study found when direct and indirect expenditures were combined, the impact of Tennessee State Parks to the state’s economy was $1.5 billion in total industry output, supporting more than 18,600 jobs. Learn more.
Value of Tennessee State Parks
Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, preserved ecologies, outdoor recreational opportunities and protected historic scenes and resources – together representing the heritage of Tennessee in the landscape. Today, our vision statement continues to highlight the inherent value of our natural environment, along with the value of the many physical reminders of Tennessee’s past. Our state parks have played an important role in our history, and they play a critical role in our health and quality of life that will benefit Tennesseans well into the future. Learn more.
First Hikes mark anniversary kickoff in 2012Almost every state park hosted a First Hike on either Sunday, January 1, or Monday, January 2, 2012, to kick off the New Year and the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks. Hikers had a variety of trail types, distances and interpretive programs to choose from. Over the two days, more than 900 participants came out to cover more than 115 miles total during these First Hikes across Tennessee. Right: Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Limestone featured ginger snaps and hot wassail around the camp fire on Jan. 1, before Park Manager Mark Halback and Ranger Dawn Coleman led out on an interpretive hike.
75th Anniversary Commemorative PostersAs in most states, Tennessee began in cooperation with federal programs that instigated individual parks.
Later, Depression era recovery programs gave a boost to the idea and the possibility of creating parks.
The Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration worked on land conservation, but also delved further into the actual planning and construction of what would become the first of 53 Tennessee State Parks.
75th Anniversary in the NewsOutstanding installment by Morgan Simmons on the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks in the Knoxville News Sentinel on Feb. 19.
75 years and growing: Tennessee state parks celebrate milestone
State's 53 parks reflect Tennessee's diverse landscapes
For 75 years, state parks evolving from urge for conservation
Historian says open landscapes were filling up
After 75 years, Tennessee's 53 parks are free, diverse and popular
Happy anniversary, state parks