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Tennessee State Parks announce Middle Tennessee Events starting November 11th

Tennessee – Honoring our veterans, great hikes, living history opportunities – these are just some of the fun Tennessee State Park activities planned in your area! Visit a Tennessee State Park and enjoy the colors, sounds and beauty of fall!

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 fall. From great hikes to bluegrass – there’s something designed for the entire family!

Here are just a few state park events in your area.

Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park

Join Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park and the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation on Thursday, November 11th, for a Veteran’s Day Celebration.  This very special annual ceremony begins at 10:30am (CST) and pays tribute to all members of the armed forces, both past and present. Events include the presentation of colors, dignitary speeches and music. For more information about the event or the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation, please visit www.sgtyork.org or call 931-879-3657. For information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/SgtYork or call 931-879-6456.
Located in Pall Mall, Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park honors the backwoods marksman from the mountains of Tennessee who became one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I. York’s fame rose from his legendary exploits on October 8th, 1918, in the Argonne Forest in France. Leading a small patrol, York was sent to eliminate the flanking machine gun fire halting the advance of his regiment. York found himself alone opposing a German machine gun unit – with rifle and pistol he engaged the enemy. The fight ended with more than 20 Germans dead. Another 132 enemy soldiers, including four officers and 35 machine guns, became discouraged and surrendered to York and six of his comrades. For that, he was decorated with a dozen medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre.

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Join the Friends of Cedars of Lebanon on Friday, November 12th, for Veteran’s Day Out – an event that hosts and honors hospitalized veterans from Alvin C. York Medical Center for a day in the park. The event will be held in the Cedars Assembly. Lunch will be served by local organizations, churches and businesses that graciously sponsor these events. Music will be provided by local bluegrass musicians who also generously donate their time and talent. For more information call the Friends Group at 615-286-1390.

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

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

In commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Commission announces the state’s Inaugural Sesquicentennial Signature Event. Taking place Friday and Saturday, November 12th-13th, at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, the theme of this historic milestone is The Coming of the Civil War. Governor Phil Bredesen will kick off the event at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall beginning at 10:00am on November 12th. A living history event will take place at the mall each day from 10:00am to 4:00pm both Friday and Saturday.

To coincide with the Sesquicentennial event, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park will unveil its brand new exhibit on Friday, November 12th. Titled Tennessee – Struggle for the Heartland 1861-1865, the exhibit officially opens to the public on that Friday at the park’s Visitor Center with an opening reception from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The Double Tree Hotel will provide coffee, sodas and finger foods free to the public.

The Tennessee Sesquicentennial Signature Event will consist of historical discussions, stories and reenactments in addition to music by the internationally acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers and special appearance by country superstar Trace Adkins. In addition, the historical significance of local attractions such as the Tennessee State Capitol, Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center will be highlighted. State-sponsored activities will be held in downtown Nashville throughout the two-day event. Special recognition for Tennessee’s Civil War Trails communities and their efforts in sustaining the state’s history will also play an important role in the event. Registration for Tennessee’s Sesquicentennial Signature Event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.tnvacation.com/civil-war/events.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is located at the foot of the State Capitol. The park is bordered by James Robertson Parkway, Jefferson Street and Sixth and Seventh Avenues. For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/Bicentennial or call the park office at 615-741-5280.

South Cumberland State Park

South Cumberland State Park will host a variety of unique hikes and programs this weekend, including:

Friday, November 12th

  • Animal Tracks – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm for a discussion on native animals and creating your own field guides. Participants can take these field guides home to identify tracks left around the park and in your own backyard.

Saturday, November 13th

  • The Gizzard – This is the day hike of all day hikes! Meet Ranger Jason at 8:00am at Foster Falls for this 13-mile hike. Bring food and plenty of water.
  • Creepy Crawlies – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm to discuss a variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects and arachnids.

Sunday, November 14th

  • Water Filters – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm for a discussion on water quality and demonstration on how to make a water filter from common materials.

Friday, November 19th

  • Drawing Nature – This program is for all ages! Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm for a discussion on different native animals and plants, and demonstrations on how to draw them. Materials provided.

Saturday, November 20th

  • Creepy Crawlies – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm to discuss a variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects and arachnids.

Sunday, November 21st

  • Paint the Pet Rock – Join us at the Stone Door Ranger Station at 2:00pm to create your own pet rock. All materials will be provided, just bring your creativity!

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

Join Fall Creek Falls for its annual Fall Backpacking Trip, Saturday through Sunday, November 13th-14th. This 13-mile trek through some of the more remote portions of the park is designed for both novice and experienced backpackers and includes a two-day guided hike with an overnight camp. There is a $10.00 fee and pre-registration is required.  For more information please call the park at 423-881-5708.

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.

Bledsoe Creek State Park

Join the Friends of Bledsoe Creek State Park and the Cumberland Astronomical Society on Saturday, November 13th, for a Star Gazing Party. Participants will meet at sunset at the park’s ballfield.

Located off of Highway 25 in Sumner County, this 164-acre park is situated on the Bledsoe Creek embayment of the U.S. Corps of Engineers Old Hickory Reservoir near the old 1780s settlement of Cairo. For more information about the park and its activities, visit the Web site at www.tnstateparks.com/BledsoeCreek or call 615-452-3706.

Long Hunter State Park

Very Valuable Vultures, Terrific Turkeys, Animals Hibernating and Migration Moves Me are just a few of the upcoming topics The Nature Circle at Long Hunter State Park will be discussing 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 Friends of Long Hunter State Park will host two Alpine Tower Climbs – one on Saturday, November 13th, followed by a second opportunity on Saturday, November 20th.  Participants will get a chance to explore and expand their limits with the park’s popular alpine tower climb. Many different climbing challenges are available for all abilities. There is a fee per person, including both set-up and program charges. Reservations are required.  For more information, please call 615-889-1306.

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.

Standing Stone State Park

Runners are encouraged to join Standing Stone State Park on Saturday, November 20th, for the Big Foot Scramble 5m Run.  Sponsored by the Frostbite Running Club, this scenic five-mile run is part of the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour – a unique fall and winter series of foot races with distances varying from 5 to 13 miles and serves as the oldest state parks’ running series in the nation. The Big Foot Scramble is the seventh race out of 20 this year and is considered a “fast and scenic” course. For registration and more information, please visit www.imathlete.com or call Lynn Burnett at 931-823-6124.

Standing Stone State Park covers nearly 11,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau of north-central Tennessee. The quaint and rustic park is noted for its outstanding scenery, spring wildflowers, fossils and other natural diversity. The park is located in Overton County within a triangle formed by highways connecting Livingston, Gainesboro and Celina, TN. The park takes its name from the Standing Stone, an eight-foot tall rock standing upright on a sandstone ledge, which was supposedly used as a boundary line between two separate Indian nations. When the rock fell, the Indians placed a portion of it upon an improvised monument to preserve it. The stone is still preserved in Monterey, Tenn. For additional information about Standing Stone State Park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/StandingStone.

Veterans Day Discounts

Tennessee State Parks has announced a new addition to its veterans’ discount policy, including a free state park day for all Tennessee Veterans on Thursday, November 11th. Passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, the new policy calls for a yearly, special state parks day to honor Tennessee’s resident veterans. Tennessee State Parks chose each November 11th as that designated day, offering one free night of camping and complimentary greens fees for 18 holes of golf with appropriate identification. The new free day will go into effect this Veterans Day and will occur on November 11th each year.

The new free day on November 11th is in addition to Tennessee State Parks’ current veterans’ policy, which includes a camping discount within the state parks system and is available annually beginning November 1st through March 31st, offering a 15 to 25 percent reduction off the standard nightly base rates (depending on the type of site chosen). This camping discount is available to Tennessee residents showing proof of prior military duty.

A special state park discount also is in place for active duty military personnel and members of the Tennessee National Guard. This year-round discount is given to all U.S. military – regardless of their branch of service or where they are stationed. Disabled Veterans also are eligible for the Tennessee State Parks year-round ADA discount that provides a 25 to 50 percent discount for campsites. For more information about Tennessee State Parks’ Veterans and military discounts, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/FAQs.shtml#military.

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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