All 56 Tennessee State Parks welcome you to celebrate the coming of spring on Saturday, March 19 by visiting one of the park locations across Tennessee for the annual Spring Hike. Although the weather has been rainy and cold the past few days, better weather conditions are expected, so get ready to enjoy the great outdoors.
Hiking is something we enjoy doing as a family. Now that my children are older, we are able to be more adventurous on the trails and take longer hikes. Starting a trail and returning hours later is a lot of fun for us and something we are looking forward to doing again through the fall season.
The scheduled guided spring hikes will start as early as 8 a.m. and be led by park rangers. The hikes will vary in mile length and be accommodating for the novice to the more experienced hiker with easy, moderate, difficult and strenuous trails to hike. You may join the ranger-guided group or venture out on your own. All of the parks have varying lengths of trails, so you may take a short hike or spend the day walking longer distances or multiple trails.
Picking the perfect trail to walk as a family is always a lot of fun. My children usually choose the longest trail. They enjoy investigating along the way and picking up almost everything they see (remember to not pick the flowers), so they can bring it back home.
Some things to consider before heading out into the wilderness are being prepared and safe. These are tips from the Tennessee State Park website:
“•Travel with family, a friend or buddy, and be sure to take food and water.
•Wear the proper footwear and clothing such as closed toe shoes or boots and have a rain jacket in your daypack.
•Be sure to stop at the park office to pick up or purchase a trail map. Talk to the park staff or rangers to ask about the trail conditions and any tips you need to be aware of on that trail.
•Be sure to let others know what your schedule is, where you will be at on the trail and when you should be back.
•If needed, log in at the trailhead or secure overnight permits if backpacking.”
Some additional safety tips can be found on page 18 of the Tennessee Trails Association’s Hiking Handbook.
Plan to get out this year and enjoy your state parks. Find a park near you.
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