Tennessee State Parks to start New Year with First Day Hikes

Published 10:13 am Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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Tennessee State Parks will ring in the New Year with the annual First Day Hikes on Jan. 1 in parks across Tennessee.
The hikes are for all ages and abilities and will be held at nearly all of the 57 state parks. Hikers are also encouraged to enjoy overnight stays at campsites, cabins or lodge rooms at parks throughout the state.
The hikes are an opportunity to start the year with those New Year’s resolutions for good health or simply to enjoy the beauty of nature in the state parks. Many parks have their own special features for the hikes, and details for the individual parks can be found on the park websites.
Roan Mountain State Park’s First Day Hike be along the newly created Peg Leg Mine Loop Trail located at the Visitor Center. Participants will meet at the Visitor Center porch where hot chocolate and other winter time refreshments will be served followed by a 1.2-mile hike through the forested foothills and Doe River banks of Roan Mountain. Guests will learn what the park’s New Year goals and resolutions are while sharing the successes of 2022. The hike is 1.2-miles with a moderate difficulty rating on a natural terrain trail (average of 7% slope).
Participation is free and limited to 20 individuals, so reserve your hiking spot today. This hike is great for the whole family and dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed. Be sure to dress in layers as weather can be unpredictable on the mountain.
Park management also requests donations to help the park fund some of our upcoming major projects which include:
• The design and construction of a back country hiking trail overlooking Roan Mountain and Yellow Mountain Gap with a minimum of two back country campsites
• The upgrade of our Visitor Center museum and educational facility.
• The upkeep and upgrade of our park owl aviary and reptile room.
• The addition and management of new pollinator fields and gardens across 12 acres at Roan Mountain State Park.
At Sycamore Shoals State Park, participants will hike back in history and enjoy a historical twist on the “First Day Hikes” with a visit to Tennessee’s oldest frame house, the Carter Mansion, located at 1031 Broad St. in Elizabethton.
Built circa 1775, the historic Carter Mansion boasts architectural details which are quite elaborate when compared to most homes on the frontier. Enjoy the beauty of this site and learn about 18th century New Year and 12th Night traditions and superstitions such as first footing, queen’s cake, and the kissing bough.
The walking tour is very easy however there are several stairs to manage during the house tour.
Hikers are urged to prepare for the weather, have sturdy footwear, and bring water and snacks. The First Day Hikes are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. They begin Tennessee State Parks’ annual Signature Hikes series held throughout the year.
While Tennesseans are encouraged to participate in First Day 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.

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