In conjunction with National Trails Day, Tennessee State Parks will host free, guided hikes on Saturday, June 7, encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to participate in several planned activities across the state. Each state park will host its own hike, offering a variety of family-friendly activities including historical hikes, educational programming, re-enactments and wildlife watching.
“We encourage everyone to join us for the variety of interesting hikes that will be held across the state,” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “National Trails Day gives individuals and families an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and what nature has to offer.”
From Montgomery Bell to Roan Mountain to Reelfoot Lake and every state park in between, the National Trails 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 National Trails Day events in an area, visit http://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/national-trail-day.
In addition to park hikes, the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas will host three hikes, including hikes at Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area, House Mountain State Natural Area and a Tennessee Coneflower tour. For more information on these hikes, visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/natural-areas/docs/2014-na-national-trail-day-events.pdf.
All events are scheduled for Saturday, June 7, and all times are local. Participants should bring water and food, and wear long pants and appropriate footwear. Some activities require reservations, so call to ensure an opportunity to participate.
The upcoming National Trails Day hikes represent the third in a series of statewide hiking events for 2014. Additional statewide hiking events include First Hikes in early January, Spring Hikes in March, National Public Lands Day Hikes in September and an After-Thanksgiving Day Hike in November.
The Tennessee celebration coincides with the American Hiking Society’s annual National Trails Day, which began in 1993 and is the largest single-day trails and outdoor celebration in the country. Thousands of people are expected to get outside and participate in events at local, state and national parks, forests and other public lands from coast to coast.
Tennessee 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. There is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, offering a variety of recreational, lodging and dining choices. For more information about Tennessee State Parks, visit http://tnstateparks.com/, https://www.facebook.com/tennesseestateparks or https://twitter.com/TennStateParks.