Abundance by the Numbers
When Spanish Explorer, Hernando DeSoto set out on his expedition in modern day southeastern United States seeking riches and a passage to China, he may not have realized the abundance of natural beauty that he was seeing in the 9 Lakes region. What he did recognize was an abundance of food, fresh water, pearls, precious minerals, friendly native inhabitants, and other natural resources. Today, visitors still come seeking a rich experience replete with outdoor recreation, southern cuisine, friendly locals, but also for the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.
From the region’s center at Knoxville, a short car drive (90 minutes or less) will take you by the numbers to:
- 4 National Park: Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Manhattan Project National Historic Park, Great Smoky Mountain National Park)
- 1 Scenic and Wild River- Obed Wild and Scenic River– an International Dark Sky Park
- 1 National Forest- Cherokee National Forest, the only national forest in Tennessee
- 2 National Byways- Cherohala Skyway (Tail of the Dragon) and East Tennessee Crossing Byway (Daniel Boone and Wilderness Road)
- 2 National Footpaths- Appalachian Trail and Overmountain Historic Trail
- 4 Wine Trails
- 8 State Parks
- 9 Lakes!
We dare to say that exploring the “abundance” of Tennessee is best found in the 9 Lakes region where great places provide great adventures. Drive, paddle, ride, or hike with four seasons of adventure to experience. Create your own expedition. #GreatPlacesGreatAdventures