Tennessee State Parks are spring cleaning this month, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to help! You can pull weeds, pick up litter, and work on hiking trails.
While I usually don't include events that have sold out, I want to mention some this month. These events are so unique and interesting and highlight what a great resource our park system is to all Tennesseans.
- Reelfoot Lake State Park has no more spots in three canoeing excursions on its lake.
- Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park is hosting a sold-out class on carving wooden bowls.
- Montgomery Bell State Park is teaching visitors how to use a tandem kayak.
- Cove Lake State Park is offering a class on building your own bluebird house.
- Big Ridge State Park has a full roster of people who want to learn to build their own
- Bledsoe Creek State Park sold out two beginner blacksmithing workshops where
students will each make a copper and iron ladle.
- Rocky Fork State Park is hosting a sold-out nighttime hike under the full moon.
Sold-out events are bittersweet; while they mean I can't participate, it is so nice to see so many people supporting our parks.
You also have a unique opportunity this month to give your opinion on the future of the parks. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is working on its park plans for the next decade. It has drafted its goals for the parks and is asking the public to give their opinion on the draft. The deadline for Tennesseans to respond is March 15. You can read the press release on this project here, and you can provide your feedback here.
I've noticed that the parks add events to the calendar during the month so keep checking it!
This month, try:
3/3 - Bledsoe Creek State Park
- $5; scholarships are available
- A weekly meeting for middle and high school students who attend school virtually or
- This meeting will focus on pollinator gardens and creating a waystation for monarch
3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25 - Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park
- $10 for each of first three sessions; last session is free; bikes are available to borrow
- Classes introducing students to mountain biking and bike maintenance
- The last class is a free 12-mile bike ride.
3/5 - 6 - Port Royal State Historic Park
- "Immersive night program" on the Night Riders during the Tobacco Wars who
attacked Port Royal 113 years ago and engaged in a shootout a few miles away.
3/6 - Old Stone Fort State Park
- Flint knapping demonstration
3/6 - Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park
- Part of the Maintain the Line events this year
- Help mend the trench and learn about WWI fortifications
3/13 - Burgess Falls State Park
- Introduction to astronomy
3/18 - Warriors Path State Park
- Guided hike in the marsh to look for and listen to frogs
- Each participant gets a CD of local frog sounds
3/20 - Red Clay State Historic Park
- Renaissance Art Show
3/27 - Frozen Head State Park
- Annual Jr. Trout Tournament; ages 6-16
- Must register before March 27
3/27 - Roan Mountain State Park
- Introduction to fly-tying
Maybe I'll see you out there!