Hike day

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester, Tenn., is offering an all-age hike March 19.

You know it is spring — or almost spring — when Tennessee State Parks announces details of its Spring Hike Day, with hikes being offered at all of its 56 parks.

The hikes, all led by state park rangers, celebrate spring and include history hikes as well as hikes that focus on wildflowers and waterfalls and architecture. And they range from easy to moderate to strenuous.

“Tennessee State Parks’ spring hikes are a wonderful way to explore the beauty and natural wonders of our state,” said Parks Deputy Commissioner Jim Bryson.

“As we enter a warmer and brighter season, we encourage all Tennesseans to enjoy a free guided hike led by our amazing rangers.”

Here is a sampling of Spring Hike Day hikes planned at Midstate parks for March 19. All of these are free but require registration because space is limited on some of the hikes.

• Dunbar Cave State Park in Clarksville. Join Ranger Adam Neblett for a moderate 2.75-mile loop hike to discover how the landscape has been altered by the various cultures that have utilized it throughout the centuries. Not for really young children. For more information see https://tnstateparks.com/events/details/#/?event=our-cultural-landscape--spring-hike-2022-3-19-DCSNA or call 931-648-5526.

• Johnsonville State Historic Park in New Johnsonville. Join Ranger Joan Williams at 10:30 a.m. at the lakefront for an all-age hike celebrating the arrival of spring. This hike will be easy to moderate in difficulty and will last an hour or hour and a half. For more information see https://tnstateparks.com/events/details/#/?event=walk-into-spring-hike or call 931-535-2789.

• Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville. This is a unique hiking opportunity to see the trail progress on Radnor’s Harris Ridge Trail Project. It is a moderate hike for ages 12 and up, from 10 a.m. to noon, and will focus on Radnor’s historical/cultural landscape research partnership with Henderson State University, thanks to funding from Friends of Radnor Lake.

The hike will be co-led by Dr. Doug Heffington from Henderson State University and Radnor Ranger Dameon Fontenot. For more information see https://tnstateparks.com/events/details/#/?event=2022-spring-hikeharris-ridge-trail-project or call 615-373-3467.

• Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill. Join Ranger Jesse Jewell for a 9 a.m. hike along the Spring Creek Trail. This all-age hike is easy to moderate and is just under 2 miles long. For more information see https://tnstateparks.com/events/details/#/?event=springcreek-hike- or call 931-494-6660.

• Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester. Join Ranger Eric Collins and explore the prehistoric Native American walls at Old Stone Fort. Along this all-age hike, you will learn about those who constructed the walls, why they are so important and the history of Old Stone Fort up to the present.

You will also pass three waterfalls along the way. This moderate to difficult hike starts at 3 p.m. It is approximately 1.25 miles long and will take about 1.5 hours to complete. For more information see https://tnstateparks.com/events/details/#/?event=spring-hike4 or call 931-247-4673.

The Spring Hike Day is March 19. To find more hike options, see https://tnstateparks.com/activities/hiking.

The next All Parks Hike Day is National Trails Day Hikes on June 4.

Tennessee State Park officials offer a few tips for hikers:

• Reserve your spot on a hike by contacting the park.

• Wear good sturdy shoes or hiking boots.

• Take water with you. And maybe snacks.

• Consider bringing a walking stick.

• Contact the park to confirm details of the hike.

• The hikes are free, but donations are welcome.

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5. Reach her at mscheap@mainstreetmediatn.com and follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/mscheap.

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