Tennessee has so many natural wonders that locals and tourists can make a scavenger hunt out of all the state's awesome finds. With the majority of Tennessee parks reopening this week, this a great time to discover so many great spots. There are even a few hidden gems that only locals know about that are worth the adventure. 

The Laurel-Snow State Natural Area is located in Rhea County, Tennessee. The 2,259-acre area is named after its two major waterfalls.

This land has been home to many waterfalls, nature walks and hiking trails, including to Buzzard Point and Raven Point, two major overlooks to get views of the Cumberland Plateau and beyond. 

The main trail in the area leads to a fork in the road: one leading to the 80-foot Laurel Falls and the other leading to the 35-foot Snow Falls. 

Both of these trails will give views of many creeks (specifically Richland Creek), beautiful gorges and amazing rock formations.

Of course, while engulfed in nature, adventurers will see many plants and flowers that are native to Tennessee. 

The history of this land has been lost over the years, however it only adds to the luster of its tale. The Natural Area was actually used for mining during the late 1800s and early 1900s, with many remnants of this time being left behind. 

Near the Richland Creek, those who are up for a hunt will find a tunnel that was used for mining. It's still possible to enter the tunnel, but only about 50 feet inward. If you keep going, you'll be met with flooded mine floors.

While it's legal to enter the tunnel, there are no lights or rails to keep thriller seekers safe, so it's best to use caution when possible.

This is a perfect way to really get out and enjoy the great outdoors. 

Laurel-Snow State Natural Area

Price: Free

Address: Directions

Why You Need To Go: This natural area leads to trails with hidden gems, including a mining tunnel that's been out of commission since the early 1900s. 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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