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Tennessee State Parks announce Middle Tennessee Events starting July 23rd

Summer is in full swing at Tennessee State Parks, with plenty to do and see! With a Tennessee State Park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in the state, families seeking unique recreation opportunities, high-quality accommodations and an exceptional value can look a bit closer to home. Finding a state park in your own backyard is easy to do and you don’t have to spend a lot of gas money to get there! Listed below are just a few of these great “One Tank” Trips.

South Cumberland State Park

South Cumberland State Park will hold several fun and educational hikes in the coming weeks:

  • Sunset Hike to Savage Falls: Meet Seasonal Ranger Aaron at the Savage Gulf Ranger Station on Friday, July 23rd at 8:00pm (CDT) for a moderate four-mile hike to see beautiful Savage Falls. Hikers will experience the difference between “night and day” at the park. Bring water, a snack, bug repellent and wear sturdy shoes. Hikers are also asked to bring a headlamp or flashlight.
  • What is the Woolly Adelgid?: Meet Seasonal Ranger Aaron at the Grundy Forest parking lot on Saturday, July 24th, at 9:00am (CDT) for a moderate two-mile hike. Along the trail are numerous old-growth Eastern Hemlock trees that, left untreated, could be destroyed by the Woolly Adelgid. Discussions will include the insect’s potential impact on our forests, and what can be done to minimize its impact in our area. Bring water, a snack and wear sturdy shoes.
  • Nature Hike-Stone Door Trail: Join Ashlie at the Stone Door Ranger Station on Sunday, July 25th, at 9:00am (CDT) to learn about Tennessee native trees and wildflowers, while soaking up some incredible views. This two-mile hike is easy and family friendly – so bring the kids, water and a snack.
  • Geology Showcase: The Great Stone Door:  Join South Cumberland State Park on Monday, July 26th, for a geology lesson at Stone Door.  Hikers will go through the “door” and check out the overlooks. There will be an overview of geologic history and how the door was formed. Participants should meet at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 10:00am. (CDT).
  • Savage Falls Hike: Meet Seasonal Ranger Aaron at Savage Gulf Ranger Station on Friday, July 30th, at 1:30pm (CDT) for a moderate four-mile hike to see beautiful Savage Falls. Bring water, a snack, wear sturdy shoes and bring a bathing suit if you want to take a swim in the pool below the falls!  Don’t forget your camera!

Located near Monteagle, South Cumberland is one of the newer Tennessee State Parks. Almost the entire park lies atop the Cumberland Plateau and, unlike most state parks, South Cumberland is made up of ten different areas located in four different counties. The Visitor Center is located between Monteagle and Tracy City on Highway 41. For more information about the park, please call (931) 924-2980 or visit www.tnstateparks.com/SouthCumberland.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park’s Summer Concert Series offers live music every weekend through September 5th.  Featuring an array of artists, including country, bluegrass and folk, all concerts begin at 7:30pm (CDT) and will run approximately two hours.  Admission is $3.00 and children six and under are admitted free. The roster of upcoming featured artists includes:

  • Saturday, July 24th:  Fredonia Bluegrass
  • Saturday, July 31st:  Catoosa Canyon

Fall Creek Falls’ Summer Season also is in full swing – offering an array of activities!  Softball, nature hikes, canoe floats, campfires, horseback riding and bluegrass music are just some of the unique opportunities that mark Fall Creek Fall’s summer programming.  Interpretative and recreational events are scheduled seven days a week.  For a complete schedule of events, please call 423-881-5298.

Fall Creek Falls State Park is a 25,500-acre paradise on the western Cumberland Plateau. Located just 40 miles south of Cookeville and 65 miles north of Chattanooga, the park offers incredible scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Beautiful waterfalls, tremendous canyons and dense forests are protected within the park’s boundaries. Visitors will find a 250-site campground, a hotel and conference center and 30 cabins among the park’s many amenities. For more information about the park, visit www.tnstateparks.com/FallCreekFalls.

Long Hunter State Park

Long Hunter State Park will hold a number of events and activities this month.  For additional information about these upcoming opportunities, please call 615-885-2422.

  • Campfire Night: Friday, July 23rd at 8:00pm. – Learn about the basics of campfire building and enjoy delicious s’mores and summer relaxation.  Feel free to bring other great snacks to roast over the fire.
  • Butterflies and Blazing Stars: Saturday, July 24th at 1:00pm. – The Blazing Stars are in full bloom, and Long Hunter’s wide array of butterflies and moths are flocking in droves to the colorful blooms in the recently restored prairie.  Learn about the unusual, yet special life, of a caterpillar and get an up-close look at Tiger Swallowtails, Hummingbird Moths and others.  Bring binoculars if you have them!
  • Moonlight Canoe Float: Saturday, July 24th at 7:30pm. – Learn the dos and don’ts of canoeing, followed by a short trek on Couchville Lake.  Equipment will be provided.  Reservations are required and can be made at the park office. The float is for ages 6 and above.  Participants should meet at the canoe area in Area 2.
  • Full Moon Hike: Sunday, July 25th at 8:00pm. – Join the park for a hike around Couchville Lake with the glow of a full moon.  See what wildlife is active after sunset.  Participants will hopefully hear frogs, owls, katydids, whippoorwills and more.  Please meet at the Area 2 parking lot.
  • Junior Explorer: Monday, July 26th at 10:00am. – Hands-on outdoor adventures are a great way to help children explore their natural surroundings.  Junior explorers will go on a 100-inch hike, have a nature scavenger hunt and more.  Please wear clothing that can get dirty.
  • Double Feature Movie Night: Friday, July 30th at 7:00pm. – The park will be showing two excellent nature-related films that evening: the documentary “Alone in the Wilderness,” and the critically acclaimed “Oceans Deep” from the Planet Earth series.  Feel free to bring your own snacks and drink.
  • Volunteer Clean-Up Day: Saturday, July 31th at 9:00am.  – Make plans now to join Long Hunter State Park – helping to clean up the Volunteer Trail.  Bring water and a picnic lunch!  Meet at the Volunteer Trail trailhead.

Long Hunter State Park is situated along the shore of J. Percy Priest Lake. It consists of four units: Couchville, Baker’s Grove, Bryant Grove and Sellars Farm. Picnicking, swimming, hiking, backpacking, boating, fishing, nature photography and wildlife observation are among the activities available to park visitors. Planned activities include interpretive and recreation programs for the general public and environmental education programs for schools and other interested groups.  For more information about Long Hunter State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/LongHunter or call 615-885-2422.

Tennessee’s 53 state parks and 80 natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free 1-888-867-2757. For additional information, visit our Web site at www.tnstateparks.com.


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