Spring hikes scheduled for RMSP, Sycamore Shoals

Published 6:46 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

The public is invited to usher in spring by visiting one of Tennessee’s 56 state parks this weekend.
Tennessee State Parks is hosting the annual Spring Hikes at each of their destinations throughout the state, including Carter County’s two parks — Roan Mountain State Park and Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park — on Saturday, March 18.
“For 80 years our state park system has created outdoor adventures and recreational opportunities for all Tennesseans,” Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill said in a statement to the Elizabethton Star. “We are always excited to highlight our state’s beauty and special stories.”
RMSP will use the opportunity for a bit of “spring cleaning” of sorts by hosting a trail maintenance day to help get each of the trails in order for the spring and summer crowds on the premise.
Interested participants are invited to meet at the park’s headquarters at 1:30 p.m.
“We’re hoping the rain doesn’t hit too hard Saturday,” Park Ranger Keifer Helle said. “We want to use this day for some basic trail maintenance, nothing too strenuous, to revitalize the area from the winter season to get ready for spring.”
The public is encouraged to dress warm due to possible conditions. Other items needed include work gloves, drinking water, snacks and sturdy boots.
Helle added the cleanup is a chance for students to grab some service volunteers hours needed for college and scholarship opportunities.
For more information, contact RMSP by calling (423) 772-0190.
In Elizabethton, participants are encouraged to join retired forester Martin Miller for a guided tour of Sycamore Shoals’ arboretum beginning at 11 a.m.
The tour will begin at 11 a.m. and the group will depart from the park’s visitor center lobby. According to the Tennessee State Parks website, participants can “discover a variety of native trees and fun facts about their unique qualities, historical uses and contributions to local culture.”
The tour is by reservation only and will be cancelled if inclement weather hits the region. To register or receive more information, call (423) 543-5808.
Each of the other parks within the state are offering specialized hikes for participants, free of charge.
For a full list of each of the Saturday hikes, visit tnstateparks.com/about/special/special-events/spring-hike/#/?holiday=spring-hike online. The public is encouraged to share their photos with Tennessee State Parks on social media by using the hashtag #springhikeTN.

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