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State parks to celebrate National Trails Day

(Tennessee State Parks)  Tennessee State Parks will celebrate National Trails Day with free, guided hikes at all 56 parks on Saturday, June 4.

The variety of ranger-led hikes will include historical tours, waterfall viewing, trail building and much more. With more than 1,000 miles of trails ranging from easy, paved paths to rugged backcountry trails to scenic waterways, there’s a hike for everyone.

Tennessee is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country and you won’t be disappointed at any one of our state parks,” said Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Conservation, Brock Hill. “From an experienced hiker to someone new to the outdoors, all are welcome to enjoy the day with us out on the trail.”

This event is hosted annually on the first Saturday in June in coordination with the American Hiking Society. The purpose is to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States.

Tennessee State Parks will also host a photo contest on National Trails Day. Hikers can submit their photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #findyourtrailTN. Submissions are required to incorporate the National Trails Day sticker, which will be available to hikers at all Tennessee State Parks for no charge on June 4 while supplies last.

Participants are encouraged to bring water and food, and wear long pants and appropriate footwear. To find a hike near you, visit http://tnstateparks.com/about/special-event-cards/national-trail-day.

The National Trails Day hikes represent the third in a series of statewide hiking events for 2016. 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.

Tennessee’s 56 State Parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or 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.

Saturday, June 4

Starts at: 12:01 am

It’s a tradition at Norris Dam State Park to be the first park to host hikes, so we will kick off the National Trails Day hikes by hitting the trail on Saturday, June 4 at one minute after the strike of midnight!

Bring a strong flashlight and wear proper boots. This trail is steep and will be about 4.5 miles round trip.  If carpooling, leave a car at the Marine Railway trailhead and the other at the west campground trailhead.  The trail will drop off towards the range road access and back up along highway 441 and by the front entrance of the park.  It will be a long walk back up the road from the entrance to the west campground. This hike will be rated strenuous and recommended for adults only.

Meet at the West Campground Trailhead

Saturday, June 4

Starts at: 9:00 am

Come and celebrate National Trails Day with a fun and scenic hike of the Northern Cumberland Mountains.  We will meet at the Cove Lake State Park Office and take a short commute to the trail head.  We will hike 3 miles to the top of the Devil’s Race Track where we can enjoy wonderful views of the valley below.  Along the hike we will see three waterfalls and unique examples of the geological features that make up the Devil’s Race Track.

This hike is suitable for both adults and children. Please wear appropriate hiking attire, including sturdy shoes as the trail is moderate to difficult in areas.  Also, bring a lunch and plenty of water.    

Meet at the Cove Lake State Park Office

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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