MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn. — Big Ridge State Park covers nearly 3,700 acres in Union County with its 50 campsites, over 15 miles of hiking trails and its proximity to Big Ridge Lake and Norris Lake drawing in outdoor adventurers during all seasons.
The park's hikes pack in a wide variety of terrain, plenty of history from some of the area's earliest days and even a ghost story or two.
One trail that combines views and history is the Lake Trail. At roughly 3 miles roundtrip, it is rated with an easy to moderate difficulty level.
Along the way, the trail crosses over the Big Ridge Dam spanning Big Ridge Lake, which the park said was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.
The trail is a popular spot for seeing wildlife like deer, frogs and waterfowl, according to the park's website.
The trails in the park are open year-round. More information about Big Ridge State Park is available on the Tennessee State Parks' website. In 2022, Big Ridge State Park received the highest level of achievement for environmental practices from the Tennessee State Park's "Go Green With Us" programs.
What to expect on the trail:
Some tips before you visit:
- Let someone know where you plan to hike, when you plan to be back, what clothes you are wearing and what your car looks like.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
- Wear layers depending on the weather.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
- Pick up after your pet.
- Be courteous to other hikers.
- Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
- Have a backup plan if the trail is closed or too busy.