Kingsport attractions get state, national attention

Matthew Lane • Jan 23, 2017 at 9:32 AM

KINGSPORT — Two Kingsport attractions have received recognition at the state and national level.

The Tennessean recently featured Bays Mountain Park on its list of hikes everyone should take in 2017.

Making the list was the Bays Mountain Tower Loop, an easy, family-friendly hike of 2.3 miles with lakeside scenery and the beauty of the Bays Mountain backdrop.

“Be sure to take your map. It will come in handy if you’re not sure where your trail is heading,” said park Director Rob Cole. “Take drinking water and a cell phone with you. If you happen to get lost, you can always call the nature center. And please remember, Bays Mountain is a nature preserve, so respect the environment and stay on the designated trail.”

Bays Mountain Park has been serving the residents of Kingsport and the greater Tri-Cities region for more than 45 years, offering people a 3,500-acre nature preserve, a 44-acre lake, hiking and biking trails and educational opportunities with exhibits, planetarium shows and animal habitats.

More than 225,000 visitors, including 15,000 students from 32 surrounding counties and four states, come through the gates at Bays Mountain Park each year. When the park first opened, Kingsport projected attendance of 69,000 people annually.

To view the rest of the recommended Tennessee hikes, visit www.tennessean.com.

On the national level, the Kingsport Aquatic Center was recently featured in a travel article on MSN, ranking No. 1 in the state for indoor pools.

The article featured one indoor pool in all 50 states to help ease the winter chill. With three indoor pools at the KAC, swimmers can enjoy water aerobics, water therapy classes or add laps toward their own centennial swim challenge of swimming 100 miles in 2017.

Swimmers can register for the challenge at the center. At the end of 2017, all 100-mile swimmers will get a free T-shirt and be invited to the 100-mile swim party.

The KAC is a 46,000-square-foot, climate-controlled complex with a 50-meter competition/lap pool and three springboards; a zero-entry, 25-yard warm water pool; and a leisure pool with a curvy slide and spray features. The outdoor water park includes two curvy water slides, a 900-foot lazy river, climbing structure, water playground and concession stand.

For more information, visit www.swimkingsport.com, the Kingsport Aquatic Center Facebook page or call (423) 343-9758.

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