Every year on January 1, Tennessee State Park rangers host First Day Hikes. Yesterday, I kicked off 2021 at Edgar Evins State Park in Silver Point, Tennessee with Ranger Lee and a fellow hiker. The gloomy and rainy start to the day probably deterred other hikers, but we were rewarded with sunny and mild weather - perfect for our hike on the Millennium Trail. Despite the steep hills and ridges in this park, this 2.35 mile loop, while rocky in places, was not as strenuous as I expected.
Even in winter, this trail was beautiful. I most enjoyed how lush the forest was thanks to the moss covering the rocks and trees.
The view varied as the trail followed a narrow path above a creek at one point and later led us along the bottom of a high ridge.
Many families once lived on this land before they were forced out so the park and nearby dam could be built. We saw the remains of two of these homesteads. First, we saw the site of the former Haggard homestead whose front steps are still intact. We also saw the Lon Christian homestead site (below) complete with artifacts left by the former residents. Without Ranger Lee, I wouldn’t have noticed the Haggard homestead as it is off on a side trail, and I wouldn’t have known the history of either site. I also learned about how the flooding of February 2019 affected this trail. Many thanks to Ranger Lee!
Not only did I learn about the history of the park, I learned some local history as both Ranger Lee and my fellow hiker grew up in this area, and I learned about trails I need to check out - Virgin Falls in White County! Not a bad start to the year!