Tennessee – The spirit of the holidays is in full swing at Tennessee State Parks, with several great events planned in your area – so, come out and join us!
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 winter. From great hikes to bluegrass – there’s something designed for the entire family!
Here are just a few state park events in your area.
Bledsoe Creek State Park
The Cumberland Astronomical Society and the Friends of Bledsoe Creek State Park will host a Star Gazing Party at the park on Saturday, December 11th, beginning at sunset. Spend an evening star gazing and learning about the nighttime sky! The event is free and telescopes will be provided. For more information call, please call 615-452-3706.
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. Offering boating, fishing and hiking – the park also has an outstanding campground, which was recently renovated. For more information about Bledsoe Creek, visit the Web site at www.tnstateparks.com/bledsoecreek.
South Cumberland State Park
South Cumberland State Park will host a variety of unique hikes and programs this weekend, including:
- Paint the Pet Rock: Friday, December 10th at 2:00pm and Sunday, December 12th – Join us at the Stone Door Ranger Station to create your own pet rock. All materials will be provided, just bring your creativity!
- Make Your Own Terrarium/Aquarium: Saturday, December 11th at 2:00pm – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station. Please bring any empty two-liter bottles you have at home. We will be making and decorating land or water containers for participants to take home and fill with their own fish, insects or small critters.
- Animal Tracks: Friday, December 17th at 2:00pm – Meet the ranger at the Stone Door Ranger Station for a discussion on native animals. Participants will create their own field guides to take home for identification of tracks around the park or in your own backyard!
- Pinecone Birdfeeders: Saturday, December 18th at 2:00pm – Join park staff at the Stone Door Ranger Station to learn about our feathered friends and their role in the ecosystem, while making pinecone birdfeeders.
- Snakes: Sunday, December 19th at 2:00pm – Meet at the Stone Door Ranger Station to learn about snakes and how to identify the few venomous snakes in the area.
- Fall Farewell Hikes: Sunday, December 19th at 9:00am and 2:00pm – Bring in the winter weather with a smile and a hike. Meet Ranger Jason at Foster Falls at 9:00am for a moderate jaunt to the TVA Small Wilds area. Unable to make the morning hike? Then join Ranger Brent at 2:00pm for the Sycamore Falls Hike. Meet at the Grundy Forest parking lot for this moderate three-mile hike down to Sycamore Falls. Bring sturdy shoes, water and a light snack.
- Humbug Hike: Saturday, December 25th at 2:00pm – Didn’t get the present you wanted? That’s okay, you can always take a hike! Meet the ranger at the Carter State Natural Area parking lot for this four-mile moderate hike. Carter State Natural Area is in the southwest section of the South Cumberland complex.
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.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park will host Stories from the Fronts on Saturday, December 18th, from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Join park staff for light refreshments as they present amazing Christmas stories recorded by World War I and World War II soldiers. Stories from the Fronts also will include tales of American soldiers stationed in Iceland on Christmas Day in 1943. For more information, please call 931-864-3247.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park and Museum is a historic site near Byrdstown, north of Cookeville. The 45-acre site includes a representation of Hull’s log cabin birthplace, an activities center and a museum housing documents and artifacts, including Hull’s Nobel Peace Prize. The park also features the beautiful Bunkum Cave Trail, leading to an overlook and the entrance of historic Bunkum Cave. Additional information about the park can be found at www.tnstateparks.com/CordellHull.
Long Hunter State Park
The Feather Club is the featured topic for The Nature Circle’s December 13th program at Long Hunter State Park, with a discussion on our feathered friends. 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. Special cancellation and holiday schedule note: The Evergreen program, previously scheduled for December 20th, has been cancelled. In addition, the park would like to also take this time to inform visitors about the holiday schedule for The Nature Circle, which will be closed December 27th and January 3rd.
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.
Tennessee State Parks
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.