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Bears

Jarrow, United...
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Bears

Hi, when my wife and I visit Memphis in June, one of the places we'd like to visit is some sort of national park, where we might see mighty pines, mountains and maybe bears.......from a distance of course! The plan would be a half day or full day trip, I've looked at Meeman Shelby, I'm not sure if that's the type of place we're after. Can anyone else help?

conn
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1. Re: Bears

Great Smokeys Mt. NP would be the place to go to see bears but its the other side of the state. really a overnight trip but well worth the trip.

Memphis, Tennessee
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2. Re: Bears

Meeman Shelby Forest is a wonderful state park, but you won't see any bears in west TN, except of the occasional one that wanders in from other areas and gets captured by wildlife officials. And you won't see any moutains in west TN as its very flat. You have to get closer to middle TN to see some rolling hills. Shelby Forest is all about deep woods and access to the river. You'd see deer, wild turkeys, etc.

I can't remember if you're also going to Nashville. If so, Smoky Mountain National Park is only about fours hours from there. You could do it in a couple of days. Fall Creek Falls State Park is only a couple of hours from Nashville and quite lovely. Its one our favorites. They offer cabins and an inn in addition to camping.

I believe Moviemaker is a fan of the Savannah, TN area, where you'll find Pickwick State Park and Shiloh National Military Park both nearby. Savannah is about 2 1/2 hours from Memphis. If you like lakes and flat land, check out Reelfoot State Park in northwest TN.

I also can't remember if you're going to New Orleans. Down there, you won't find any mountains, but there are parks as well as numerous companies that will take you out on the bayous. Its gators you have to watch out for there.

Speaking of bears, we once saw a mama bear and her cubs loping across a meadow in Cade's Cove in Smoky Mtn. NP. Just lovely!

Edited: 16 February 2012, 04:02
Lakeland, TN
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3. Re: Bears

The type scene you're envisioning, newcastleblok, with the "mighty pines" and tall mountains is really Rocky Mountains terrain 1,400 miles distant. Even though the Smokies are pretty they aren't the peaks and tall coniferous trees it sounds like you want. You would see some beautiful vistas, however in the Smokies, 400+ miles to the east. You might get your bear fix in the Memphis Zoo where they have Grizzlies, Polar Bears, Sun Bears, Brown Bears, Black Bears and even rare Panda Bears in simulated natural environments.

Edited: 16 February 2012, 13:16
Jarrow, United...
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4. Re: Bears

I kinda thought that might be the case, you don't realise how small England is unless you visit America. I wonder if there'll be something like that while I'm in Nashville?

Mississippi
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5. Re: Bears

Nashville is not much different than Memphis but you will be getting closer to mountains. You would enjoy SMNP. There are some beautiful mountains and rivers there. I second Deb's recommendation of Shiloa National Military Park and Pickwick Landing State Park. Be sure to get some good Memphis BBQ while you are there. Enjoy your visit.

tn.gov/environment/parks/PickwickLanding/

Manchester, United...
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6. Re: Bears

As a fellow Brit let me put it in this context. The Smokies are like Snowdonia national park in Wales. In fact, when we were in Pigeon Forge we thought how much it was like Wales. Mighty pines and tall mountains you ain't going to get in Eastern Tennessee.

We went to Caves Code and did not see any bears but we sure heard them growling in the woods!, my wife saw a cub climbing up a tree so we left pretty quickly because where baby is, momma ain't far behind!

It's funny how we want to see bears and when we think one is near, we hurry away!

Pickwick state park was a let down, just a glorified fishing area with lots of boats sailing past. Shiloh national park is nice and if you are interested in civil war history, it's worth a look. Shiloh is only about a 20 minute drive from Savannah,Tn

Really, if you want to go to the smokies from Nashville then you want to go for a couple of days, it's about a 4 hour drive and plenty of things to see that will keep you there for a day or two.

Memphis, Tennessee
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7. Re: Bears

I really think your best possible solution is going to be to go to Fall Creek Falls as a day trip from Nashville. Its only a couple of hours away from Nashville and while there may not be majestic mountains, it is beautiful.

tn.gov/environment/parks/FallCreekFalls/

My future sister in law, who is originally from near your hometown Newcastlebloke, said she went skiing in Galtinburg and thought she knew how to ski until she went to Colorado, where they boast of 55 peaks over 14,000 ft. She said the mountains in east TN are baby mountains compared to those out west and that she was embarrassed by her lack of skills once she got there. The highest peak in the Smokies is about 6000 feet.

Jarrow, United...
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8. Re: Bears

Thanks for all your advice, as I only have two full days in Nashville, we'll probably end up sticking with Meeman Shelby as we're in memphis for seven days.

Thanks again.

Memphis, Tennessee
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9. Re: Bears

You're so welcome.

scotland
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10. Re: Bears

There could be bears hiding in Memphis somewhere, I was out driving one time and right on the road I swear I seen bears footprints lol