According to the National Recreation and Park Association, Tennessee has some of the best state parks in the nation.
Tennessee State Parks was one of four finalists for the award of top state park system in the nation. The other finalists were Florida State Parks, Maryland Park Service and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Florida State Parks won the award for best park system.
Tennessee includes 56 state parks -- home to more than 1,000 miles of trails, hundreds of cabins, three dozen campgrounds and more than 80 beautiful waterfalls.
According to David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment, parks are an integral part of local life.
“Tennessee State Parks are a part of the fabric of Tennessee communities and are key contributors to the high quality of life our citizens enjoy,” Salyers said. “I want to thank Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly for their continued support.”
So how do you win an award as a state park system? The association said they judged systems based on their ability to address people's needs through the collective help of citizens, staff and elected officials.
TDEC Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson said Tennessee park staff made the recognition possible.
"It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our park staff across the state who work every day to create lasting outdoor experiences for our guests," Bryson said.