Roan Mountain State Park prepares for busy spring

Published 5:08 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

With warmer weather on the horizon, expect action to pick up at one popular Carter County attraction.

Staff at Roan Mountain State Park are gearing up for a busy spring and to unofficially kick off the 2018 season, a special cleanup event will be held on Saturday, March 24.

Beginning at 1 p.m. at park headquarters, the public can participate in a spring clean/hike that will focus on the Moonshiner’s Run Trail and a river cleanup project.

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“The flood back in October 2017 washed a lot of litter and debris,” said Keifer Helle, park ranger and event organizer. “We’ve had a lot of help from other parks and from the staff in cleaning up as much as we can. With recent cold weather, it has been difficult to do a river cleanup, especially since the Doe River was frozen several times.”

Helle added that participants need to dress in layers due to the weather at the park and wear work-ready clothing. Participants are also encouraged to bring drinking water and snacks.

Park staff adds that the suitable age for participants is 14 and older and that volunteer service hours can be obtained during the event. Helle anticipates the event to conclude around 4 p.m., pending inclement weather.

And the following weekend, residents can expect some festival attractions at the park.

Meg Guy, Roan Mountain State park manager, recently announced the park will hold the traditional Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 10 and under on Saturday, March 31. The event is expected to start around noon at the park amphitheater.

Different items will be available through the event, including egg hunting, candy, prizes and a special “hop-in” visit from the Easter Bunny.

March’s slew of activity will lead up to an event that has surpassed over a half-a-century of service within the region.

Larry McDaniel, director of the Roan Mountain Spring Naturalists Rally, said this year’s event will be geared to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rally. The event is scheduled to take place April 27-29 and is sponsored by the Friends of Roan Mountain.

Registration is underway now to participate in the multi-day affair, which features activities within the park for the public to participate in. A handful of local guest speakers will also be on hand to talk about the region.

To learn more about the event or to register, contact McDaniel via email at or visit the Friends of Roan Mountain website and Facebook pages. McDaniell can also be reached by phone at (423) 773-9234.