Tennessee State Parks will celebrate National Trails Day this upcoming Saturday with free guided hikes at all 56 state parks, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced in a press release.
Today marks the 85th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks!
— TN State Parks (@TennStateParks) May 21, 2022
The ranger-led hikes include day hikes, night hikes, history hikes, nature hikes and trail cleanup hikes. Some parks will host special post-hike celebrations, according to TCED. Participants in the hikes are invited to take photos and distribute them through social media with tags #TSP85 and #NationalTrailsDay.
One of the parks, Radnor Lake State Park, located in Davidson County, will hold a kickoff night hike on Friday, June 3th, the press release notes.
“We’re looking forward to the hikes at each of our parks especially this year because of the anniversaries of our parks and National Trails Day,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said in a statement. “Each hike has its own identity, and we invite everyone to participate.”
The announcement of the guided hikes come as National Trails Day celebrates its 30th anniversary and Tennessee State Parks celebrate their 85th anniversary. The National Trails Day Hikes are the third of the state’s annual Signature Hikes, following the First Day Hikes and Spring Hikes, with the last being After-Thanksgiving Hikes on Nov. 25th, according to TCED.
A full schedule of the events this upcoming weekend can be found here.
As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, Tennessee State Parks had an economic impact of $2.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, as the parks posted 38.5 million visits, according to a report released in March. In comparison, the economic impact of Tennessee State Parks in Fiscal Year 2020 was $1.84 billion with 34.7 million park visits.
Tennessee State Parks is one of only seven state parks systems in the country that do not charge admission fees and was named among the top four parks systems in the nation by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Cummins Falls State Park” by GPA Photo Archive. CC BY 2.0.