This weekend state parks and wildland recreation areas across Tennessee will be hosting guided hikes, special activities and volunteer events in celebration of National Trails Day.
On the first Saturday of June for the past 26 years, the American Hiking Society has promoted a nationwide gathering of hikers of all ages, abilities and experience levels to discover or rediscover a sense of beauty and adventure along a local public-lands footpath.
Thousands of the trail-marching meet-ups are hosted throughout the country throughout the day.
The concept for National Trails Day is to connect people with a wide range of trail activities on a single day.
This year, National Trails Day is expected to “establish a trail service world record” by having “the most people improving trails in a single day,” according to AHS.
National Trails Day represents “an opportunity for people to feel connected to nature and to learn about a Tennessee State Park at the same time with the guidance of a park ranger,” said Anne Marshall of the Department of Environment and Conservation. “Whether you’re interested in a park’s history, seeing incredible views or taking a challenging trek, our parks give everyone that feeling that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Below is a partial list of hikes and events scheduled for Saturday at Tennessee Upper Cumberland regional state parks. For a full statewide listing of National Trails Day activities, go to https://tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/national-trails-day-hikes/
Edgar Evins State Park
Millennium Trail Hike. 8-11am. Roughly 2.5 mile hike over moderately strenuous terrain.
2nd Annual Storybook Trail Ribbon-Cutting Party. 10am-1:30pm. Hike on the half-mile trail to see the new book, “Anybody Home?” Event includes craft-making for kids and a wild animal show.
Cummins Falls State Park
National Trails Day Hike. Meet at 9am, Tiny House by parking lot for 2.5-mile round-trip. Stops along the way by old Cummins house, waterfalls overlook and base of falls. (See page 1 story.)
Cedars of Lebanon
2:30-4pm. Explore newly acquired Sadie Ford Historic Farm.
9am-noon. Volunteers gathering for trail-maintenance and park beautification activities. Meet at Nature Center.
Fall Creek Falls
Hike to the Base of Fall Creek Falls. Meet at 9am at the Main Overlook of Fall Creek Falls at 9:00am central time for a short but strenuous hike to the bottom of the falls.
Virgin Falls State Natural Area
Hike to Virgin Falls. 8am-4pm. Strenuous 9-mile in-and-out trip. Features spectacular waterfalls and other lovely Cumberland Plateau water features. Hike is free, but call for registration (limit 20 people).
Rock Island State Park
Collins River Trail Hike. 10am. Meet with ranger at trailhead on National Trails Day for free interpretive walk around moderately difficult two-and-a-half mile-loop.
Burgess Falls State Park
9-10:30am. Park Manager Bill Summers will lead free guided stroll.
South Cumberland State Park
Work on Collins Gulf Trail. 9am-3pm. Join staff for a day of building trail in beautiful Collins Gulf to celebrate NTD at South Cumberland SP.
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
Lecture: Tennessee’s Superb Suffragists: A Legacy of Leadership. 1pm. Tennessee women’s suffrage movement scholar Paula F. Casey will discuss ratification of 19th Amendment.