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Summer in the Park offers seasonal fun

June 14th, 2012 9:29 am by Susan Kendrick Lauhoff

Summer in the Park offers seasonal fun

Park naturalist Marty Silver releases the schedule online, two weeks at a time, and weekly flyers are available in the main entrance building, pool house, campground and marina.

What do you do with an egg found on a trail? Answer: Leave it.


Many questions are asked during the summer programs offered at Warriors' Path State Park and much is learned from the experiences.


Located just two miles southeast of Kingsport, Warriors' Path State Park offers over 950 acres of natural beauty sitting on the Holston River at the Patrick Henry Reservoir.


The Summer in the Park programs are held daily from June through mid-August. The programs are not restricted to campground visitors. They are free and open to the public.


Park naturalist Marty Silver releases the schedule, two weeks at a time, online at http://tn.gov/environment/parks/WarriorsPath/ and upcoming weekly flyers are available in the main entrance building, pool house, campground and marina.


"Programs include guided nature hikes, wildlife demonstrations, evening campfire talks, junior ranger programs and much more," Silver explains.


Silver has been a park naturalist for over 30 years, sharing nature discovery with tens of thousands of school children and park visitors annually.


"The kids love him. He does a great job with the school and summer programs," shares Cynthia Haynes in the main office. His enthusiasm for the outdoors is evident.


"I'd rather be guiding a hike than answering emails if I have a choice," he said.


Dragonfly Day is June 16, and teaches participants how to identify native species. Though free, pre-registration is required for it. The Folklife Festival is scheduled for July 28, celebrating many folk traditions of East Tennessee including traditional life skills, crafts, games, contests, and music with campfire tales of Mountain Empire life capping the festivities.


The park also has plenty more to offer.


For water enthusiasts, you may bring your own boat or rent paddle boats or canoes at $5 per hour. Fishing is allowed with a valid Tennessee fishing license. The swimming pool is $4 per person and free to children 2 and under. In addition, no reservations are required for the 134 campsites, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Five shelters are located on Duck Island and can be used free of charge unless they are reserved (for a nominal fee).


A beautiful 18-hole golf course meanders through part of the property where, more often than not, wildlife such as deer, hawks, raccoons, ground hogs and, currently, cicadas are seen.


Tennis, basketball and disc golf are also available on-site and all free of charge. Access for riding the trails on horseback is available through the park's stables. The park is also home to 8.5 miles of scenic biking and 12 miles of hiking trails. It has a fully accessible playground that features a Braille Trail with wheel-chair access and a tree house.


Open year-round, the park's hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily. Discounts are offered to active military personnel and senior citizens (62 or older). For more information regarding special events or the Summer in the Park programs, contact Marty Silver at Warriors' Path State Park, P.O. Box 5026, Kingsport, TN 37663, or email him at Marty.Silver@tn.gov. You can also call 423-239-6786 or visit http://tn.gov/environment/parks/WarriorsPath/. For all other activities, call the main office at 423-239-8531.

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