After Thanksgiving Hikes

Tennessee State Parks are offering an alternative to Black Friday shopping or simply a chance to walk off some of that Thanksgiving meal with After Thanksgiving Hikes on Friday, Nov. 26 at parks across the state.

The hikes can be guided or self-directed. They vary from easy strolls to more rugged excursions and include options for young and old. The hikes offer the opportunity to enjoy nature as well as the educational aspects and history of the parks.

Information about After Thanksgiving Hikes at individual parks can be found at tnstateparks.com/about/special-events/after-thanksgiving-hikes.

Locally, Old Stone Fort at 732 Stone Fort Drive in Manchester will host an after Thanksgiving hike from 1 to 3 p.m. Residents who want to participate are asked to meet at the top of the museum. It is free for attendees but they can make a donation.

The hikes often take on characteristics of their own. Fort Loudon State Historic Park calls its hike Green Friday. Seven Islands State Birding Park calls it the Gobble Wobble. South Cumberland State Park calls its hike the Turkey Trot.

While everyone is encouraged to participate in the After Thanksgiving Hikes, visitors are reminded that the parks are open 365 days a year and are great places anytime to improve mental and physical well-being. Tennessee State Parks have more than 1,000 miles of trails.

The After Thanksgiving Hikes are the last of the parks’ Signature Hikes for the year. The Signature Hikes include the First Day Hike on New Year’s Day, the Spring Hike in March and the National Trails Day Hike in June.

Hikers may also want to support the state parks’ Trail Pack program with donations to support maintenance and development of trails in the parks. Each $25 Trail Pack donation provides direct funding to the Tennessee State Parks trails program. For more information, visit tnstateparks.com/donate/trail-pack.

For general information about Tennessee State Parks, please visit tnstateparks.com.