Tennessee State Parks To Celebrate Earth Day With Hikes Across The State

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - by Shannon Ashford

Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes to celebrate Earth Day 2013 beginning Saturday, April 20, through Sunday, April 21. Each state park will host its own special hike, offering a variety of family-friendly activities including wildflowers or waterfalls talks, educational programming, guided historical hikes and re-enactments, and new trail openings. 

From Big Hill Pond to Fall Creek Falls to Norris Dam and every state park in between, the Earth Day hikes are designed for all ages and abilities. Some hikes will be approximately one mile in length and tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier and geared toward more experienced hikers. For a more in-depth look into planned Earth Day hikes in your area, please visit www.tnstateparks.com.  

“Earth Day 2013 is officially slated for Monday, April 22, so we are getting a jumpstart on this worldwide day of recognition by hosting some fun, weekend hikes right here in Tennessee,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Celebrating its 43rd year, Earth Day is a wonderful time to become reacquainted with everything Tennessee’s 54 state parks and 83 natural areas have to offer – while promoting better, healthier habits in our communities.” 

In addition to the variety of events planned throughout the weekend, an official Tennessee State Parks’ hiking stick medallion will be given away to the first 1,500 participants statewide.

The upcoming Earth Day hikes represent the second in a series of statewide hiking events of 2013 – joining Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes effort in early January.  Tennessee State Parks will hold additional hiking events during National Trails Day on June 1 and again in the fall during National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28. 

“Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, recreational opportunities and historic resources – together representing the heritage of our state’s unique landscape,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.  “These hiking events offer individuals and families an opportunity to connect with these special outdoor places and they can do so close to home.”   

Tennessee's 54 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  Celebrating its 75th anniversary this past year, the Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937. Today, there is a state park within an hour's drive of just about anywhere in the state, with features such as pristine natural areas and a variety of lodging and dining choices. For more information about Tennessee State Parks, please visit www.tnstateparks.com or connect via Facebook or Twitter. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call 888 867-2757.


The Trail Of Tears And The Road To Civil War Hike Offered On Sept. 12

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to attend a special hike at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m.    Participants should take the Manufacturer’s Road exit off Highway 27 and drive west, following the “Special Event” signs to the Brown’s Ferry Federal Road trailhead off Moccasin Bend Road. ... (click for more)

East Tennessee Dove Season Opens With A Bang

With shotguns in hand and hats shading heads, over 1,000 East Tennessee hunters harvested nearly 5,000 doves on fields leased or owned by TWRA during Tuesday’s opening of the mourning dove hunting season.  Dove hunting on opening day is a longstanding tradition in the state as hunters brave the dust and heat with hopes of filling their bags with a limit of 15 birds.  ... (click for more)

Local Religious Group Condemns Hammond Comments, Asks Apology

A local religious group, Mercy Junction and Peace Center, has condemned comments by Sheriff Jim Hammond on Muslims and asked for an apology. The group said, " People of all faiths, or of no faith, are invited to join Mercy Junction in front of the Islamic Society of Chattanooga for prayers on Friday afternoon. "Prayers In Solidarity" will take place outside the Islamic ... (click for more)

Sheriff's Office Releases Names Of 4 Deputies Involved In Shooting After Pursuit

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the four law enforcement personnel involved in the shooting incident of Brent Pickard on Aug. 26. They are Sgt. Gregg Carson, Sgt. Spencer Daniels, Deputy Adam Ty Williams and Deputy Eric Baxter. As per the sheriff's office policy, all four personnel were placed on mandatory administrative leave and have returned ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)