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.

TWRA Recognizes Biologists And Technicians Of The Year In East Tennessee

TWRA recognized several Region IV employees for being nominated as candidates for statewide biologist or technician of the year awards in wildlife and fisheries.    A longtime employee was also honored with an appreciation award. Joe Elkins, who serves as the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area Manager, has been nominated as the Region IV candidate for the ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: ChattaJack 31

Chattajack 2016 was the biggest yet with approximately 500 racers from all over the USA, Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean, all the way to New Zealand.  The race travels 31 miles through the scenic Tennessee River Gorge. This year, brutal headwinds challenged racers for most of the race. The fastest time was done on a surfski (4hours & 4 minutes) and the race cut off ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)