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.


Marion County Now Buffer Regulated For Thousand Cankers Disease

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture on Friday announced the discovery of Walnut Twig Beetles, which transmit Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), a walnut tree killing disease in Marion County. The county is now buffer regulated. Citizens in buffer counties can move walnut tree products and hardwood firewood within buffer counties, but not outside. Products can also be moved into ... (click for more)

Tennessee's 2014-15 Gun Season For Deer Starts Nov. 22

Tennessee’s gun season for deer an annual opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving which this year falls on Nov. 22, for 2014-15. For the fourth year, sportsmen will find one continuous season that will continue through Jan. 4, 2015. The continuous season replaced the previously two segmented hunting seasons that were in place prior to 2011. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Police Say One Gang Member Shot Another Over Card Game In Bivens Killing

Police said a dispute over a card game led Ladaquis Dewartae Southers to shoot Terrence Bivens multiple times. Southers has been returned to Hamilton County to face a charge of criminal homicide. Police said Bivens was a validated Athens Park Blood gang member and Southers is in the Bounty Hunter Blood gang. In the incident on Oct. 27 just before 4 a.m., police responded ... (click for more)

Kiser Post-Conviction Hearing To Resume April 6

A post-conviction hearing in which Marlon Duane Kiser is seeking a new trial in the 2001 slaying of Deputy Donald Bond will resume April 6. Attorneys for Kiser, who is on Death Row, said they have additional witnesses to call. Kiser on Tuesday took the witness stand for the first time, blaming the killing on the man he was living with at the time - Mike Chattin. Chattin, who ... (click for more)

Why Ferguson Matters In Chattanooga

The recent verdict in Ferguson has thrown race relations in the spotlight again. It is far too easy to get caught up in the debate as to who was right. But the plain fact is that the community lost, the police force lost and the nation lost. So why does Ferguson matter in Chattanooga? Because a police force mainly composed of whites got into a conflict with a community mainly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)