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Zip line, barge rides now open at Bays Mountain Park

Matthew Lane • Apr 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM

KINGSPORT — Though it doesn’t feel too much like spring this week (temperatures climbed into the low 50s in the Model City on Monday), that doesn’t mean you can’t excited about being outdoors.

And if warmer weather is right around the corner, then Bays Mountain Park has some activities you might want to consider.

Beginning this week, the park is reopening its zip line and again offering barge rides, while canoe/kayak tours begin next week.

The Flying Squirrel is a 310-foot zip line that sends you racing through the tree line near the Homestead Museum. The cost is just $10 per person and $5 for park members.

You can also catch a barge ride and explore the 44-acre lake. Observe water lilies, deer, raccoons, ducks, geese, turtles, great blue herons, beaver lodges and sometimes beavers and black bears. While on the tour, you’ll hear from a naturalist on the history of the park as well as the sights and sounds encountered on your trip.

Barge rides lasts approximately 45 minutes, but may be canceled due to weather. Tickets are $5 per person and free for park members.

Finally, specialty programs such as the twilight barge ride and the canoe/kayak tour are back this year. Spend a relaxing evening on the lake enjoying the beautiful lakeside scenery from the comfort of the barge or your personal canoe or kayak.

Twilight barge rides are $5 per person and free for park members. The canoe/kayak tour is $3 per person and free for park members. The canoe/kayak tour is limited to 20 watercraft and participants must provide their own canoe/kayak and a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.

DAYS & TIMES

— Zip line: Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. (April & May)

— Barge rides: Monday through Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 1, 2 and 5 p.m.

— Canoe/kayak tours: April 18th and May 16th at 6 p.m.

— Twilight barge rides: April 25th and May 23rd at 7:30 p.m.

To book a zip line ride or to reserve a spot for the canoe/kayak tour or twilight barge rides, call the Nature Center at (423) 229-9447. To reserve your spot for a daily barge ride, visit the Nature Center before the scheduled ride. Bays Mountain only accepts barge ride reservations in advance for parties of 15 or more.

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