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.

Claire Henley: Adventures West (The Prevalence Of Providence)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). I needed this walk up Sonora Pass. Big Spoon and I had traveled over one thousand miles, and the last stretch through the rigorous, white cliff climbs of Yosemite Wilderness ... (click for more)

Hunting Opportunities For The Wheelchair Bound

Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area provides hunting opportunity for wheelchair bound hunters.  A wheelchair bound hunting zone on Cordell Hull WMA provides 6 blinds on a first come, first served basis. This zone is open only to hunters who are totally and permanently confined to a wheelchair as certified by a physician. On wheelchair-bound deer hunts, each wheelchair-bound ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)