Spring is about to... spring in East Tennessee!
Okay, so that doesn't quite have the same ring as "Spring has sprung," but nonetheless, on March 20 we will welcome the first official day of spring during the Spring Equinox.
To celebrate the return of consistently warmer weather (hopefully), Tennessee's 56 state parks will host free guided hikes on Saturday, March 24 to help people "shed the winter blahs" and get them out to enjoy the beauty of the state.
Sure, we all know and love the majesty of the Smokies -- but there are tons of hidden gems and equally awesome landmarks to be found within our state parks, too. East Tennessee is blessed to be home to many of the best, too!
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said rangers will lead hikes through the day on March 24, ranging from short family-friendly trips to all-day treks through remote sections of the parks.
If you're unsure on which parks you'd like to check out, here is a list of the state parks with events on the 24th in East Tennessee all the way to Chattanooga. Be sure to click the links for times and what kind of hikes/guided events are being offered. Note: The Buckeye Falls 10-mile hike at Rocky Fork State Park appears to be out of space as of March 13.
- Cumberland Trail State Park in Caryville
- Cove Lake State Park in Caryville
- Indian Mountain State Park in Jellico
- Norris Dam State Park in Rocky Top
- Seven Islands State Birding Park in Kodak
- Panther Creek State Park in Morristown
- Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park in Delano
- Frozen Head State Park in Morgan County
- Fort Loudoun State Historic Park in Vonore
- Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Greene County
- Booker T. Washington State Park in Chattanooga
- Big Ridge State Park in Maynardville
- Harrison Bay State Park in Harrison
- Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton
- Red Clay State Historic Park in Cleveland, Tenn.
- Roan Mountain State Park
- Rocky Fork State Park
- Warriors' Path State Park in Kingsport
You can find a full list of all the spring hikes on the Tennessee State Parks website here.