The main river in Schmalkalden-Meiningen is the Werra. The district consists mainly of mountainous terrain, the Rhön and the Thuringian Forest. The Rennsteig hiking path crosses the district. The area around Oberhof is a famous winter sports resort.
The coat of arms of Schalkalden-Meiningen shows symbols from the coats of arms of the three precursor districts, which also symbolise the historic states which formerly ruled in the territory of the district. The rooster in the top left derives from the coat of arms of the counts of Henneberg. It stands on three green mounds, a reminder of the hills and mountains of the area. The lion of Hesse appears in the top right canton, as Hesse controlled the area from 1360 to 1866. The banner in the bottom left comes from the coat of arms of the district of Meiningen, and derives from the coat of arms of the city of Würzburg. The prince-bishops of Würzburg owned Meiningen in the past. The coat of arms of Saxony in the bottom right recalls the duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, which existed from 1680 until 1918.