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Tennessee State Parks announce Middle Tennessee Events starting August 27th

Even though some schools are back in session – the weekends are still the perfect time to take the kids to a Tennessee State Park in your area, with plenty of outdoor adventures for the whole family! Summer is winding down but there are still a number of Tennessee State Parks opportunities in the remaining days of August!  Tune in next week for some great Labor Day weekend activities in a state park near you!!

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!

Tennessee State Parks offer a variety of activities and events throughout the summer. From great hikes to bluegrass – there’s something designed for the entire family!

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Cedars of Lebanon’s 7th Annual Triathlon is scheduled for Saturday, August 28th.  Proceeds from this popular sprint triathlon benefits the Friends of Cedars of Lebanon. Be sure to register early, as the event is limited to 448 racers!  Race distances include a 300-yard swim, 16.5-mile bike ride and a three-mile run. For more information, contact Faye Yates or at 615-415-3520.  Visit www.team-magic.com/events/cedarsoflebanon/index.html for online registration.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park and State Forest are located in the southwestern part of Wilson County within the central basin of Tennessee. Both were established during the 1930s as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s program to resettle people and replant the Cedar trees that had been heavily harvested. The area now contains one of the largest juniper forests in the country.  For more information about the park, visit www.tnstateparks.com/Cedars.

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, August 28th: Hickory Wind
  • Saturday, September 4th: Foxfire
  • Sunday, September 5th: Cumberland

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 in the remaining days of August, with a full calendar of events to be announced for September on the way!  For additional information about these opportunities, please call 615-885-2422.

  • Sellars Farm Tour – Stories of the Ancient Ones: Friday, August 27th, at 7.00pm – Take a walk back in time at Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area. Mississippian period Native American culture will be discussed, while visiting this historic site. We’ll also explore scenic Spring Creek while keeping an eye out for wildlife and late summer wildflowers.  Please meet at Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area near Lebanon. Contact the park office for directions at 615-885-2422.
  • Life of the Amazon: Saturday, August 28th, at 1.00pm – Come learn about life in the Amazon as Long Hunter’s Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Ponda Armstrong shares pictures, artifacts, and stories from her August trip to Peru. Please meet at park office.
  • Under the Microscope: Saturday, August 28th, at 4.00pm – Have you ever wondered how insects and other small objects look under a microscope? We will be taking a closer look at the life that surrounds us and discovering cool and fun facts about these unique creatures. Please meet at the park office.
  • 7th Annual Lost Loon Triathlon: Sunday, August 29th, at 9.00am – The Lost Loon Triathlon has become an annual tradition at Long Hunter State Park. The event, which takes place in and around Couchville Lake, features nine miles of biking, two miles of canoeing, and four miles of running/walking. For more info, please visit http://www.lostloons.com.
  • Dancing in the Park: Sunday, August 29th, at 6.00pm – Step back in time as you learn about the history of the park and how to swing dance like the stars – or at least how the locals did it in the 20s through 40s.  Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Ponda Armstrong, who just happens to be a great swing dancer, will provide dance instruction!  This program is best for ages 10 and up. Please meet at park office.

Captivating Canoes and Rowdy Raccoons are just a few of the upcoming topics The Nature Circle at Long Hunter State Park will be covering in the coming weeks.  The Nature Circle is an interactive group made up of nature-themed stories, puppets, songs and crafts for ages three to five.  The group meets at the park visitor center every Monday at 10.00am and is co-sponsored by the Friends of Long Hunter State Park. Children are encouraged to bring an item, such as a favorite book, stuffed animal or photograph that relates to each week’s theme. For a complete schedule of events, please visit www.friendsoflonghunter.com/kidsplace.html or call 615-885-2422. The Nature Circle would like to note there will be no meeting on Monday, September 6th, for Labor Day.

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 school and other interested groups.  For more information about Long Hunter State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/LongHunter or call 615-885-2422.

Tims Ford State Park

Enjoy an evening of bluegrass, country and gospel music at Tims Ford State Park’s Saturday Night Pickin’s party on Saturday, August 28th, from 5:30pm to 9.00pm.  The event will be held at the park’s recreation building and musicians are encouraged to bring their own instruments to join in the music making!  For more information about this event, please call 931-962-1183.

Tims Ford State Park, located on the Tims Ford Reservoir in the rolling hills of southern Middle Tennessee, is an outstanding recreational area and fishing paradise. Long before the construction of Tims Ford Dam on the headwaters of the Elk River, the area was used extensively by American Indians as a hunting and fishing territory. Archaeological excavations uncovered numerous artifacts and occupational sites, indicating that man had occupied the area as much as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.  For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/TimsFord.

South Cumberland State Park

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

  • Meet at the Stone Door Ranger Station for a Spiders program on Friday, September 3rd, at 2.00pm. Participants will learn to identify native spiders, including dangerous ones.  Craft supplies will be available for spider web art.
  • Also on September 3rd, Seasonal Ranger Aaron will hold a Nature Hike to Boulders Crossing beginning at 4.00pm. Meet at the Collins West parking lot for a strenuous three-mile hike over beautiful, rocky terrain to view the Collins River and Suter Falls.  Along the way, hikers will identify some native trees and wildflowers.  Bring water, a snack and sturdy shoes.
  • A Night Canoe Trip will be held on September 3rd, beginning at 7:30pm. Experience the peacefulness of Grundy Lakes at night and gaze at the stars reflected in the water.  Meet at the Grundy Lakes main parking lot.  All participants must reserve a space by calling the Visitor’s Center and must bring their own flashlights.  Children will receive their very own glow stick for participation, but they must bring their parents with them!
  • Meet Seasonal Ranger Aaron at Savage Gulf Ranger Station on Saturday, September 4th, at 9:00am, for a Mountain Oak Look Hike. This is a difficult 10-mile hike that has some beautiful overlooks of Savage Gulf and the Big Tree trail. Pack a lunch, water and wear sturdy shoes. This is an awesome trek for seasoned hikers only!
  • Hop in the creek at Grundy Forest to look for aquatic critters during the Aquatic Critter Detective program on Saturday, September 4th, at 2:00pm. The rocks are slippery, so wear something you don’t mind getting wet.
  • Meet Ranger Chase at the Stone Door Ranger Station on September 4th at 2:00pm for an Outdoor Preparedness Workshop. Participants will discuss a variety of supplies to bring with you on the trail, whether out for an hour or a week.  Other topics include different survival methods, just in case you become stranded in the wilderness.
  • Watch the sunset as you float gently in the lake during an Evening Canoe on Saturday, September 4th, beginning at 6:30pm. Meet at the Grundy Lakes main parking lot.  Space and equipment are limited, so call the Visitor’s Center to reserve a space.

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.

Tennessee’s 53 state parks and 81 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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