October the perfect time to explore our state parks

Published 8:15 am Monday, October 7, 2019

October has arrived, and hopefully, it brings with it some cooler temperatures. This week, temperatures could return to the low to mid-80s and even 70s. Despite the 90 degree temperatures of the past week, cool weather will eventually win out.
And with October’s arrival, it is a month of colorful events, beginning with the Sycamore Stitchers’s annual quilt show this weekend at Sycamore Shoals State Park. This year’s show represents a milestone for the local quilters — it is their 25th show. The show will continue today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
The show is an opportunity to see some of the creativity of people living in our community.
The month offers so much to see and do and showcases the talent of the people living in the mountains and hollows around us.
In addition to the quilt show this weekend, the fall chili cook-off is taking place today at Roan Mountain State Park from 8 a.m. to noon. It’s a rather tasty occasion.
Next weekend, the Autumn Harvest Festival is planned from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Miller Farmstead at Roan Mountain State Park. The farmstead will be packed with historical demonstrations, games, traditional music, food, crafts and much more.
Coming up the weekends of October 10 and 17 at the Historic Carter Mansion are the mysterious candlelight tours of the oldest house in Tennessee. Hear tales of ghosts, unexplained happenings, mysterious past events, strange superstitions, history and humor.
October offers so much to see and do locally — opportunities to get out of the house and visit some of the events that spotlight the history and culture of our area. It’s a chance to see some of the talent that dwells among us — quilters, musicians, craftsmen, storytellers, artists, and much more.
Our state parks — and Carter County is home to two — are rich with scenic views and history. All 56 of Tennessee’s state parks offer hiking and picnicking as activities, but many also have fishing, boating, biking and camping as well.
In addition to our state parks, Carter County is home to beautiful Watauga Lake and two rivers — the Watauga and Doe — which are prize spots to cast a fishing line and bring home a catch.
There are also great hiking, biking, and walking opportunities to view fall outdoors — the Appalachian Trail, which passes through Carter County as well as the Tweetsie Trail, which stretches from Stateline Road through Elizabethton and West Carter County to Johnson City. Roan Mountain State Park also has a ton of trails with beautiful scenery to explore.
If you are interested in local history, Sycamore Shoals State Park is the perfect place for an outing. The park includes two historic homes as well as a two-mile trail on the south bank of the Watauga River that includes interpretive signs dealing with historical events of the area. The centerpiece of the park is Fort Watauga, where many historic events that helped shape our nation took place at Sycamore Shoals along the Watauga River.
Our parks, rivers, and trails enhance this region’s quality of life, but all too often, it is our homefolks who take this place for granted or ever venture out to experience them.
October is a great time to get out of the house and spend some times exploring our state parks and trails and experience the great outdoors.

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