January 29, 2023

Enjoy ‘bug free’ hiking at our state park

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FACELIFT – Improvements to the NBF State Park office include new stonework and paint.
FLOWERS – White flowering spurge is a bloom to see on park trails.

Does the prospect of getting bites from ticks and chiggers keep you from enjoying a walk in the woods where you can enjoy the beauty and serenity of the forest? You may not be aware that there is a solution at NBF State Park to bug free hiking even in the middle of summer.

A few years ago the park purchased additional property that provides public access to the northern section of the park. Campground Rd. goes from Harmon’s Creek Rd. all the way to Kentucky Lake. Because you can walk down an old closed off road, you will not be threatened with ticks or chiggers because of the width of the road.

Find Campground Rd. by driving northeast from where Harmon’s Creek Rd. begins at the intersection of Beaver Dam Rd. and Eva-Flatwoods Rd. It will be about 1.5 miles from that intersection on the right. There is a gate and a parking area just 0.4 miles down Campground Rd. from Harmon’s Creek Rd.

At this time of year, hiking this path gives the walker a chance to enjoy late summer wildflowers that would not be seen on the more popular trails near the main part of the park. You might notice mountain mint, especially since it will likely be covered with butterflies and other pollinators. 

Early in this walk, before you enter the more heavily wooded section, you will notice the beautiful purple passionflower, our state wildflower. And don’t overlook the smaller but equally lovely white flowering spurge that is blooming now! It is a delight to see.

This property addition enabled the park to provide a new area for large group primitive camping. When you enter through this back entry, you will soon notice a large open field with picnic tables, fire rings, and bathroom facilities. This is an area for groups such as Boy Scouts to enjoy camping together. This area can be reserved through the park office.

Not long ago, the Happy Hollow RV campground received several upgrades. All the electrical hookups were upgraded to 50 amps. Also, there are now three pull-through sites for larger RVs. Happy Hollow is a popular area with many return campers. The other camping area, the so-called “primitive campground,” is equally popular because of its lakefront location.

Another recent improvement is the very attractive face lift to the park office. This included stonework and a new paint job. Check it out on your way to enjoy the new Storybook Trail that was recently completed behind the office.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sept. 25, 2 p.m.: As part of the speaker series, Tennessee State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath will tell what he knows about each of our state parks at the park museum. Get some ideas for places you’d like to see.

Oct. 8, 4 p.m.: Come out and enjoy some music at Pickin’ in the Park. Bring your guitar or other instrument and come join fellow musicians at Shelter #1 to play, sing, or just listen for fun and fellowship. 

Oct. 15, 10 a.m.: The challenging 10K Pilot Knob Race will begin with walkers at 10 a.m. and runners at 11 a.m. To register, visit www.tennesseerunningtour.com. Awards and food will follow the race.

Ranger Led Events: All year long the rangers at NBFSP lead fun activities such as hikes, kayak floats (kayaks provided), owl prowls, snake and bird demonstrations, etc. To find out when special events are happening, visit tnstateparks.com/parks/nathan-bedford-forrest.com and click on “upcoming events.”

Need more information or specific assistance? Call NBFSP at 731-593-6445.

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