Fresh air and a new season await Tennesseans on Saturday, March 21 as Tennessee State Parks host the annual Spring Hikes at all 56 state parks. Hikes of all levels of difficulty will be available, each guided by a park ranger.
“This is a great time to get together with family and friends, make new friends and enjoy nature with our Spring Hikes,”Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said.
“We have a beautiful state, and a hike at a state park is a great way to take it in. It’s an opportunity to learn about our parks and learn about nature. These hikes continue to be very popular and we look forward to another exciting day at locations across our state.”
The Spring Hikes are part of a series of Signature Hikes at the parks. Tennessee State Parks saw 3,607 participants at its First Day Hikes on January 1. The Spring Hikes offer a chance to study aspects of individual parks, discuss wildlife and admire the scenery, especially the wildflowers, as the seasons change.
A wide variety of hikes are available. Hikers can enjoy the views of Chickamauga Lake at Harrison Bay State Park; travel the half-mile boardwalk over Dismal Swamp or climb the 70-foot observation tower at Big Hill Pond State Park; see three large waterfalls at Burgess Falls State Park; learn about the history of a thriving river port at Port Royal State Park; view the cedar glades at Cedars of Lebanon State Park; admire the flowers at Dog Cove at Fall Creek Falls State Park; see old home sites at Johnsonville State Historic Park; enjoy scenic points of interest including the Chucalissa Indian Village at T.O. Fuller State Park; see spring wildflowers at Norris Dam State Park; watch waterfowl at Reelfoot Lake State Park; enjoy birdwatching and other wildlife at Seven Islands State Birding Park; and much more.
Hikers are urged to have sturdy footwear and bring water and snacks. Some may want to bring hiking sticks. Participants can go online to find a hike that best fits their interest at https://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/spring-hikes/.
Tennessee State Parks host a series of Signature Hikes each year. They include First Day Hikes, Spring Hikes, National Trails Day Hikes in June, National Public Lands Day Hikes in September, and After-Thanksgiving Hikes the day after Thanksgiving.