Tennessee State Parks host after Thanksgiving hikes Nov. 26

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Tennessee State Parks offer an alternative to Black Friday shopping or simply a chance to walk off some of that Thanksgiving meal with After Thanksgiving Hikes on Friday, Nov. 26, at parks across the state.
The hikes can be guided or self-directed. They vary from easy strolls to more rugged excursions and include options for young and old. The hikes offer the opportunity to enjoy nature as well as the educational aspects and history of the parks.
The hikes often take on characteristics of their own. Fort Loudon State Historic Park calls its hike Green Friday. Seven Islands State Birding Park calls it the Gobble Wobble. South Cumberland State Park calls its hike the Turkey Trot.
Locally, Roan Mountain State Park will have a Leave No Trace Thanksgiving Family Hike, beginning at 2 p.m. Nov. 26. The hike will be about one hour long and will include one mile along the Tom Gray Trail, stopping along the way to learn the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Those planning to hike are asked to meet at the Camper Check-in station. After the hike, campers can enjoy a cup of cocoa or coffee. Bring your own mug.
Sycamore Shoals State Park will have have a Walking In Frontier Footsteps Hike, which will be a guided walk through the grounds of the park and along portions of the walking trail, beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday. Hikers will learn about the historical events that took place at the park their significance to the formation of Tennessee and America. Portions of the walk will include grounds that may not be flat or solid for people with mobility challenges.
Those who plan to make the hike are asked to meet at the park visitors center. The hike will be about one hour in duration.
While everyone is encouraged to participate in the After Thanksgiving Hikes, visitors are reminded that the parks are open 365 days a year and are great places anytime to improve mental and physical well-being. Tennessee State Parks have more than 1,000 miles of trails.
The After Thanksgiving Hikes are the last of the parks’ Signature Hikes for the year. The Signature Hikes include the First Day Hike on New Year’s Day, the Spring Hike in March and the National Trails Day Hike in June.
Hikers may also want to support the state parks’ Trail Pack program with donations to support maintenance and development of trails in the parks. Each $25 Trail Pack donation provides direct funding to the Tennessee State Parks trails program.