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Historic Rugby opens season with hiking, Irish Road Bowling

Submitted by Wayne Bowman • Mar 15, 2019 at 10:40 AM

RUGBY - Historic Rugby kicks off its season each spring with a memorial hike honoring Eric Wilson, a long-time resident who discovered the Cumberland Plateau hiking.

Local trail leaders will lead the memorial hike exploring the Hidden Trails of Historic Rugby on Saturday, March 16. Registration for the free event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Community Center building (behind the Visitor’s Center) and hiking will begin at 10 a.m. Anyone interested in joining the group hike should be sure to wear comfortable shoes for hiking.

Wilson was a charter member of the TN Trail Association, an advocate for the Cumberland Trail, and active in developing and maintaining trails and encouraging hiking in and around Rugby. Historic Rugby sits adjacent to Big South Fork National Park and boasts 10 trails you can choose from.

Historic Rugby is one of the hidden treasures of hiking in East Tennessee. The trail system has trails beginning at an easy level that can accommodate almost every visitor. The trails will lead along scenic waterways, rock caves and outcroppings, wildflowers and much more picturesque scenery.

Historic Rugby is also home to five geocaches, some of which are hidden on the trails through the village.

In addition to the hike, Rugby’s Harrow Road Café will have reopened under new direction. Chef Mike Mahon of the renowed Simply Fresh Restaurant in Jamestown now also serves as Executive Chef and Manager of the Harrow Road Café. The Café has an all-new menu and Chef Alan Wunderlich is handling day-to-day operations.

Also during opening weekend, the village will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish Road Bowling, a game that dates back centuries in Ireland and involves tossing a cannonball (28 ounces; about the size of a tennis ball) around a set course in the village. Irish Road Bowling will take place at 5 p.m., and anyone interested can gather at the Harrow Road Café to join a team. There is no cost to participate.

According to one villager, “there are few things more satisfying than throwing a cannonball down a road.”

Rugby, founded in 1880 as a British-American utopian village, is located just off State Scenic Hwy. 52, 16 miles southeast of Jamestown and 35 miles from either Interstate 40 or I-75 in western East Tennessee.

The “Hidden Trails Hike Rugby” event is the first in a full slate of festivals, car shows, outdoor performances, charity fundraisers and other events that Historic Rugby will host from March through December. For a full schedule of activities, visit www.historicrugby.org.

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