Being at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest offers many recreation opportunities.  The scenic views within and surrounding McMinn County are second to none.  There are over 50 waterfalls within 30-60 minutes of McMinn County ranging in height from 5 feet to 130 feet.


Golfing is a favorite past-time in McMinn County and the region with championship courses within a short driving distance.

McMinn County Golf
Springbrook Golf and Country Club
123 Country Club Rd.
Niota, TN 37826
(423) 568-2161

Rock Springs Golf Course
118 Congress Parkway N
Athens, TN 37303
(423) 453-5455

Ridgewood Golf Course
387 Chestuee Rd.
Athens, TN 37303
(423) 263-5672

White Oaks Golf Course
705 County Road 105
Athens, TN 37303
(423) 745-3349

Regional Golf Courses

Within less than an hour drive, you can be playing 18 holes at any of the following courses.

Hiking, Biking, and Horseback

McMinn Rails-to-Trails is a new project focused on building an active trail along the abandoned railroad beginning at Highway 307 in Athens and ending at Highway 39 in Englewood.  This is a multi-purpose trail to encourage hiking, biking, and horseback riding.


The Hiwassee River serves as a natural border at the southern end of McMinn County.  The Hiwassee offer many recreational opportunities, including rafting, boating, fishing and more.  We are blessed with four rivers, including the Hiwassee, and numerous lakes within a 30 mile drive of McMinn County. 

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

If you enjoy a scenic ride or learning about aviation and rail history, there are a variety of options available for you in McMinn County.   Motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy the twists and turns of the mountain roads, and all motorists will enjoy the regional scenic byways. 

Athens Air operates the McMinn County General Aviation Airport where you can lean to fly, charter a plane, or just sit and watch planes take off and land at one of their occasional fly-ins.  Enjoy the Athens Air Movie at

Hiwassee River Rail Adventure

Passengers step back in time when they ride restored vintage trains alongside the Hiwassee River, into the Hiwassee River Gorge, and over the famous Hiwassee Rail Loop.  Trains run from April-November on a half-day round-trip excursion from Etowah to the Hiwassee Rail Loop or a day-long excursion from Etowah to Copper Hill, with a mid-day layover for lunch and shopping.  Tickets are available at the Historic Etowah Depot.  Please make sure to visit the train museum while there.