State parks saw record number of participants during recent “After Thanksgiving” hikes
by Bobby Lee McCulley | December 4, 2017 8:49 am
A record number of people from across Tennessee came out and joined park rangers to work off their Thanksgiving feasts at state parks on the day after Thanksgiving.
Approximately 1,500 hikers took part in the “After Thanksgiving” hikes. There were approximately 15 percent more hikers who attended the annual “After Thanksgiving” event at one of Tennessee’s 56 state parks than during the 2016 statewide event. Since these state park organized hikes have started, the number of participants has steadily increased each year.
“This hike is growing in popularity because it showcases our public lands and offers a fun activity that everyone can enjoy,” stated Brock Hill, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy commissioner.
The “After Thanksgiving” hike is one of five annual hiking events that the Tennessee State Park system hosts and has proven to be the most popular hike in 2017. In total, more than 6,800 hikers attended a statewide-organized hike, in 2017, which was approximately 15 percent more than in 2016.
The parks that saw the most hikers on Nov. 24 included Henry Horton State Park, in Chapel Hill, Tims Ford State Park, in Winchester, and Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville.
Burgess Falls State Park, at 4000 Burgess Falls Dr., in Sparta, will be hosting its “First Day Hike” on Jan. 1, 2018, with park rangers starting the hike at 9 a.m. Participants should meet at the kiosk in the lower parking lot at Burgess Falls State Natural Area. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothing and proper hiking boots.
For more information on events that are taking place at a local state park, visit the state website at www.tnstateparks.com.