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What is your New Year's resolution?

Submitted by Kim Schofinski • Dec 26, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Want to get the New Year off to a healthy start? Then, Tennessee State Parks has a recommendation for you. The state's park system is encouraging residents to make a #resolutiontohike and connect with the outdoors - and they're going all out to help get the new year started off on the right foot.

State parks from Reelfoot Lake to Warriors’ Path will host 2018 First Day Hikes, family-friendly hikes designed for all ages and abilities. It's all part of the America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. The Virginia State Parks system is also participating.

Although one of the most popular First Day hikes - the "Light Up the Night" Lantern Hike at Warriors' Path - is already full, there are still plenty of local options from which to choose:


Happy Homestead Sunrise Hike

Park: David Crockett Birthplace State Park

Location: Limestone, Tennessee

Time: 6:30-8 a.m., Jan. 1

What to expect: Meet with Ranger McKay at the Visitor's Center to start the day with a cup of coffee and donut, and then walk the Bluff Loop Trail to watch the sunrise. Wear comfortable shoes, and dress warmly for the weather.

First Day Hike

Park: Roan Mountain State Park

Location: Roan Mountain, Tennessee

Time: 9-11 a.m., Jan. 1

What to expect: Join a park ranger for a winter morning hike along the frosty Doe River. Meet at Picnic Shelter 3 in the campground for an approximately 2-mile roundtrip hike along the Tom Gray Trail. Be prepared for cold, windy and perhaps even snowy conditions as the average January temperature in Roan Mountain is 24 degrees. Following the hike, warm up with hot chocolate at Picnic Shelter 3. Advance registration requested.

First Hike - Birchfield Camp Lake

Park: Rocky Fork State Park

Location: Flag Pond, Tennessee

Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

What to expect: Up for a strenuous 6-mile hike? Then Rocky Fork is the place for you. Meet at the trail head on Lower Higgins Creek Road at 11 a.m. for the annual pilgrimage to the hidden lake. Bring enough food and water for several hours of hiking. Expect several wet creek crossings and dress in layers as park weather can change quickly.

First Hike at Historic John & Landon Carter Mansion

Park: Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

Location: Elizabethton, Tennessee

Time: 9-10:30 a.m., Jan. 1

What to expect: Built circa 1775, the historic Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The architectural details of the home are quite elaborate compared to most homes on the frontier. Enjoy the beauty of this site and learn about the history of this fascinating early home built by John and Landon Carter. The tour will meet at the Carter Mansion and last approximately 1.5 hours.

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