Tennessee Celebrates National Trails Day
Mark your calendars! The 21st annual National Trails Day takes place June 1 and Tennessee will be celebrating in a big way. Throughout our beautiful state, guided hikes and special events will take place on public lands ranging from municipal parks and greenways to state parks, state natural areas and national forests and recreation areas.
Nashvillians can join a ranger-led, three-mile round trip hike that starts at 8 a.m. at Radnor Lake State Park or a guided hike departing from the Visitor Center at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park at 10 a.m. Warner Parks off Highway 100 in West Nashville has trails for power walking, running, hiking and biking. The Nature Center is open for maps, brochures and advice from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
From a 5K Trail Run at Roan Mountain State Park and five-mile paddling trips at Hiwassee and Ocoee River State Park in East Tennessee to pontoon boat cruises at Reelfoot Lake and trail Bingo for ages 6-12 at Meeman Shelby Forest State Park, every Tennessee State Park has scheduled guided hikes and special events.
Lend a Helping Hand to TN State Parks
Through the years I’ve bushwhacked a quarter-mile, narrow trail through our oak and hickory woods to a lovely little creek lined with wildflowers that flows along the northern edge of our property. It’s a short walk but it takes a surprising amount of work to keep it clear. Seems like each spring there are downed trees across the path to cut up and bumper crops of poison oak and greenbriers to contend with.
The time and effort required to maintain the thousands of miles of hiking, bike and horseback trails on public lands in Tennessee is mind boggling. If you’re interesting in lending a hand to help celebrate National Trails Day here are a couple of events to check out.
David Crockett State Park will host a hike at 8 a.m. on a portion of the National Park Service certified Trail of Tears Hiking Trail. Work on additional sections of the trail will follow with the help of volunteers and the park’s Friends Group.
Rock Island State Park is looking for helping hands to plant a new butterfly garden at the Old Mill Parking Lot and at Area 2.
For more information about all the National Trails Day activities in Tennessee State Parks head over to their website.
But there’s more!
During a 4-hour hike at Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area overhanging vegetation will be cut back and small trees cut. A day hike to Virgin Falls includes a litter pick-up at the falls. RSVP by May 30 for these June 1 events at http://www.tn.gov/environment/na/natareas.
Volunteers at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be working near the Bandy Creek Visitor Center on trail maintenance projects and the treatment program for Eastern hemlocks under attack by woolly adelgids on National Trails Day. Come to the Bandy Creek Visitor Center or call Effie Houston at 423-569-2404 ext 228 for details.
During June 2-8, registered volunteers will take a vacation that strengthens body and spirit as they build boardwalks, repair tread and build waterbars on a heavily used trail leading to the Twin Arches at BSFNRRA. For information about getting out and giving back on this volunteer vacation or other U.S. locations from Alaska to the Virgin Islands visit http://www.americanhiking.org.
How are you celebrating National Trails Day?