Tennessee State Parks to hold free hikes after Thanksgiving

Staff Reports • Updated Nov 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks will offer free, guided hikes at all 56 of its parks Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. 

This is the fourth year for the event and one in a series of five statewide ranger-led hikes throughout the year.

“There’s a national sentiment that getting outdoors to spend time with loved ones around the holidays is a wonderful way to reconnect and recharge,” said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. “Tennessee State Parks aims to offer all Tennesseans the opportunity to get outdoors to engage in healthy, fun activities.”

The Cedars of Lebanon after-Thanksgiving hike will be from 10 a.m. until noon. The group will meet at the Nature Center for a tour and then stroll through the butterfly garden and to Jackson Cave, followed by a half-mile loop on Dixon Merritt Trail. Dogs will be welcome but must be on a leash and walk in the back. 

Registration is required. To register, call park ranger Shauna Bridgers at 615-443-2769 or email her at [email protected].

The Long Hunter State Park after-Thanksgiving stroll will be from noon until 2 p.m. The group will meet at Area 2 at Couchville Lake and take a paved trail that is about two miles long and will take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Strollers will be welcome, but no pets are allowed. Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes and dress for cold weather. The hike will be free and open to all ages. 

For more information, call park ranger Jeremy Blackwell at 615-885-2422 or email him at [email protected].

All hikes will be guided by park rangers and will feature the best that Tennessee lands have to offer, ranging from hikes along historical and interpretive trails to stunning views of waterfalls, peaks and plateaus.

The hikes are designed for all ages and abilities. Some hikes will be about one mile in length, tailored for novice hikers, while others are lengthier, and geared toward more experienced hikers. For a more in-depth look at hikes in any area, visit tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/after-thanksgiving-hikes.

Visitors are encouraged to share photos of their hike on social media with the hashtag #thankful4hiking.

Other statewide hikes Tennessee State Parks offers include First Day Hikes in January, Spring Hikes in March, National Trails Day in June and National Public Lands Day in September.

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