A group gathers for a recent Spring Hike at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Submitted photo

By Tamas Mondovics

The arrival of warmer weather, Tennessee State Parks is urging residents to take advantage of spring hikes in all of the region’s 56 state parks.
The encouragement to head to the outdoors comes in the heels of last month’s guiding hikes that were led by park rangers, which has turned out to be a great success.
According to state park officials, there is no shortage of trails and locations that fit every level of participants.
In a recent release, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Communications Manager Mike Morrow emphasized that hikes within the variety of parks fit every level, from short easy-to-walk trails to longer treks through more adventurous terrain, each featuring the natural settings that are so diverse across the state.
Acting deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Anne Marshall agreed when she said, “The spring hikes are a great way to explore our parks, as well as get to know other people who share the outdoors in a group setting,”
Marshall added, “Our state parks staff has valuable expertise to share about our parks to enhance the experience. There are hikes for just about every taste.”
An added benefit of the hikes this time of the year includes giving hikers the chance to see early spring wildflowers, discuss wildlife specific to the park, take photos of magnificent scenery, and take in the features that make each state park unique.
Of course, when it comes to the outdoors, a word of caution is always in order, especially with the potential weather changes.
Hikers are urged to prepare for the weather, have sturdy footwear, and bring water and snacks, and for some, the assistance of hiking sticks can come in handy.
For more information about hiking state parks, participants can go online to find a hike that best fits their interest at www.tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/spring-hikes/.