Whether exploring Panther Creek State Park, sport fishing on Cherokee Lake, playing disc golf like the pros or simply sampling some of the city’s favorite menus and museums, there’s always more in Morristown.
As is only befitting for the place Davy Crockett grew up, Morristown is an adventurer’s paradise. Situated along Cherokee Lake at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in northeast Tennessee, the area’s natural beauty and outdoor offerings draw visitors from around the U.S. and across the globe.
Featuring more than 1,400 acres of land, Panther Creek State Park is located just minutes from downtown Morristown. More than 30 miles of hiking trails are tailored to all levels of difficulty, from a casual nature walk to the steep ascent of Point Lookout, which offers spectacular views of the lake and Cumberland Mountains from its perch 1,460 feet above sea level. The park also includes multiple mountain biking and horse trails. Several overlooks along the way are ideal for birdwatching – more than 125 species have been spotted.
A popular destination for picnicking, fishing, camping and swimming, Panther Creek is also home to a championship 18-hole disc golf course. A full slate of events adds to the year-round fun, including owl prowls, moonlight hikes, scavenger hunts and the “spooktacular” Zombie Walk each October. The park is also known for its popular “make and take” activities where guests craft everything from cornhusk dolls and candles to hiking sticks and tie-dye T-shirts.
For those who prefer a little more edge to their events, Dirty Bird has you covered. Known for hosting endurance challenges, the company sets several of their toughest contests at Panther Creek each year. From the Wildcat Mountain Bike Race and MOTUS Panther Creek Triathlon to the Dirt Circuit 12- and 24-hour trail runs, limits will be tested.
One of the best bass-fishing lakes in the Southeast, more than 2,000 anglers make their way to Cherokee Lake annually to participate in a host of tournaments. Fishing for fun attracts thousands more to the clear blue water of the majestic TVA lake that is also home to crappie, sunfish, walleye and catfish.
In Morristown, boat docks, marinas, camping, water sports and water rentals are all available for the full lake life experience. Cherokee Park offers an array of amenities for both day visitors and campers. In addition to the Hamblen Marina, the popular park features a boat ramp, walking trails, playground areas, horseshoe pits and a par-62 disc golf course.
And speaking of disc golf, Morristown is Tennessee’s Disc Golf Capital™ with four championship-caliber courses. The city is also host to the annual Tennessee State Disc Golf Championships the first weekend of June, which is a qualifying tournament for the U.S. Professional Disc Golf Association National Championships.
In addition to the courses at Panther Creek and Cherokee Park, there are the 18-hole Kiwanis Disc Golf Course at Wayne Hansard Park and the Rotary Disc Golf Course at Frank Lorino Park, which offers a dual basket setup and alternate course lengths for two 18-hole options. While the courses attract experienced disc golfers from across the country, you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy the sport. The Morristown Disc Golf Association and area courses are great resources to learn more about the rules and connect players.
While Morristown is all about fun in the sun, there’s plenty of inside activities to keep guests entertained, as well. Rose Center Council for the Arts is the centerpiece for Morristown’s creative community. Located in the historic Rose School, programming includes art exhibits, events and live performances throughout the year.
The Crockett Tavern Museum is built on the site of Davy Crockett’s boyhood home and is a reconstruction the 1790s tavern owned by his parents with artifacts that tell the family’s story. The downtown area, listed on the National Register Historic Places, showcases the city’s past and present. Featuring the nation’s only overhead sidewalk system known as the Skymart, the historic setting is filled with all the modern amenities, from quaint shops and boutiques to dining and entertainment options. Check out Crossroads Downtown Partnership for the latest info on events and offerings.
All that activity is sure to work up an appetite. Good news – Morristown has a menu to suit any taste. A local institution for more than eight decades, the Little Dutch Restaurant has attracted its fair share of stars over the years from golfing greats Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson to actors Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, whose parents live in the area. While the Timeless Elegance Tea Room evokes the genteel ambiance of Southern charm, the name is a bit misleading when it comes to the full range of the menu, which includes stick-to-the ribs offerings like chicken and dumplings alongside traditional tearoom fare.
There are plenty of casual options, as well. Popular sandwich staples include Jersey Girl Diner with “to-die-for” burgers and the Redbud Deli with its incredible panini selection. A stop at Hillbilly’s Cabin is a must for a big breakfast. And two of the area’s most popular coffeehouses, Java Garden and 60 Beans Coffee, brew up great hot drinks alongside a menu that’s perfect for a light meal or afternoon pick-me-up.