Ways to Welcome 2023 at Tennessee State Parks
December 20, 2022 | Permalink
Photo by @kellyspell on Instagram
Jump-start the new year by attending one of our incredible Tennessee State Parks events. Here’s your guide to several programs in January that you don’t want to miss! When you visit, tag your photos with #tnstateparks to help others see where you’ve been.
Attend a First Day Hike
STATEWIDE | January 1
If you're new to the outdoors or a seasoned veteran, there's no better way to start the new year than with a First Day Hike! From Reelfoot Lake State Park to Warriors’ Path State Parks and nearly every state park in between, there are a variety of hikes to choose from statewide. First Day Hikes is an initiative of America's State Parks, and hikes are offered in state parks across the country. The hikes have become a part of many family holiday traditions over the years. Visitors look forward to starting their new year off on the right foot in a fun and healthy way at our Tennessee State Parks. Bring your family and friends to a state park near you and connect with the outdoors!
Plan to Explore Natural Areas
STATEWIDE | All Year
Did you know there are 84 beautiful natural areas within Tennessee? Some are located within Tennessee State Parks while others are off on their own. This year, plan to visit some of these incredible natural places by joining a guided event. Events are already scheduled from April all the way to December of 2023. Register online today!
Chase Winter Waterfalls
CUMBERLAND TRAIL STATE SCENIC TRAIL | January 21 and 28
It's waterfall season! Winter's wet conditions make it the perfect time to break out that cold-weather gear and hit the trails in search of rushing waterfalls. This January, Cumberland Trail State Park is leading two waterfall hikes you won't want to miss! Can't make it to a hike this January? Check out additional winter waterfall hikes happening in February at the link below.
Prepare a traditional southern meal
CORDELL HULL BIRTHPLACE STATE PARK | January 1
Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn how to prepare hog jowl, black-eyed peas, and turnip greens. Make a traditional southern meal that has been enjoyed on New Year’s Day for over 150 years! Some even believe that the meal–particularly the black-eyed peas—will bring you luck and prosperity. Cost: $15 per person
Photo by Robbie Hall
Learn all about raptors and birds of prey
TIMS FORD STATE PARK | January 2, January 10, January 17, January 25 & January 31
Do you know the difference between a raptor and a bird? If not, here’s your chance to find out and discuss all about Tims Ford State Park's five resident birds of prey.
Flock to join women on a guided duck hunt
REELFOOT LAKE STATE PARK | January 4-6
Visit Reelfoot Lake State Park for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the sunrise from a duck blind, enjoy breakfast in between duck callings, and network with other women who love the outdoors. Cost: $300 per person
Photo © Tennessee Photographs
Venture out for a guided night hike
Explore various state parks at night. You’ll learn about seasonal nighttime insects and animals. Bring a headlamp or flashlight–not your phone's flashlight–and experience the natural environment at night!
- EDGAR EVINS STATE PARK | January 6
- FORT LOUDOUN STATE PARK | January 7
- SAVAGE GULF STATE PARK | January 20 & January 27
Photo of Sabine Hill at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park
Experience a guided tour of Sabine Hill
SYCAMORE SHOALS STATE HISTORIC PARK | January 13
Architectural historians consider Sabine Hill to be one of the finest examples of wood-framed Federal architecture in the State of Tennessee. Tour this beautiful home—a site on the National Register of Historic Places—and hear the rich history of the Taylor Family of Carter County. Cost: $9 per adult and $5 for ages 7-17
Locate hidden treasures
HIWASSEE/OCOEE SCENIC RIVER STATE PARK | January 15
Are you ready for the world’s largest treasure hunt? During this program, learn how to operate and use your smartphone/GPS device to locate geocaches (hidden treasures with grid coordinates). After this family-friendly activity ends, share the warmth of a campfire and enjoy some s'mores with Ranger Jeremy. Cost: $5 per person
Photo by Marty Silver
Discover the potential of plants for the table and for the medicine cabinet
WARRIORS PATH STATE PARK | January 21
Come to Warriors' Path State Park for an introduction to wildcrafting–the age-old practice of collecting plant materials in their natural habitat for food, medicine, and craft! With more than 25 years of experience teaching the cultural heritage of native plants, Ila Hatter will teach participants the traditional uses of the common plants of our yards, gardens, and nearby woodlands. She will combine her knowledge of flora with folklore! Hear interesting stories that go with the botany of wildcrafting. Cost: $5 per person.
Take a Polar Plunge
TIMS FORD STATE PARK | January 21
Take an icy dip in the lake to support Tims Ford State Park! Registration will include a Tims Ford beach towel, a certificate of completion, and hot chocolate.
Explore the history of Mousetail Landing's peanut crop
MOUSETAIL LANDING STATE PARK | January 21
Join us at Mousetail Landing's Park Pavilion to learn about peanuts–one of the most popular crops that came from Mousetail Landing. Come learn how to make different food products using peanuts and their health benefits! You'll be offered samples to take home at the end of the demonstrations. Cost: $5 per person.
Learn about current research in Tennessee Archaeology
MONTGOMERY BELL STATE PARK | January 28
This annual event provides a day-long showcase for professional archaeologists, students, and the interested public to learn about recent research into Tennessee's archaeological heritage.
Volunteer for Tennessee State Parks
STATEWIDE | Various Dates
Start the new year by giving back to our state parks and natural areas! We offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities statewide. Learn more and sign-up today!