A Walk in the Park
By: Susan Woods
There are over 20 miles of hiking trails in NBF State Park. These miles are divided up into eight separately named trails, which connect with each other in various ways. The trails in our local state park are great exercise and a lot of fun!
Several of the shorter trails can be accessed from the main area of the park. There is also access to the more northern, longer trails from Campground Road which is located at the intersection of Harmon’s Creek Road and Flatwoods Road.
The Friends of NBFSP sponsor a hiking challenge to hike all the trails in NBFSP. For completing this challenge, the hiker not only acquires “bragging rights” but can receive various types of swag, such as a T-shirt, coffee mug, and bumper sticker that proclaim, “I Hiked ’Em All!”
A plan for successfully hiking all the trails in only seven hikes is available at the park office or the park museum. Ask for the “Hike ’Em All in NBFSP” brochure. The first hike described is only 2 miles. The hikes increase in length and difficulty as hikers progress. The seventh hike is a somewhat difficult hike of 8.6 miles.
If you plan to set off on Hike ’Em All adventure, be sure that you also have either a free paper park map, available at the park, or have downloaded the Avenza app geo-referenced map on your phone (discussed in last week’s column). Also, please practice safety by hiking with a partner or at least making sure someone knows when and where you are planning to hike.
Those interested in hiking in NBFSP, even if you don’t think you will be doing all the hikes, are encouraged to join the Hike ‘Em All in NBFSP Facebook group. Members of this group receive notifications when there are group hikes available to join. You are encouraged to post your completed hikes on the Facebook page, and you also can use this site to invite others to join you on a hike.
Information about hiking in other Tennessee parks is available through the Tennessee Trails Association (TTA). You may want to join one of the chapters, the Jackson Chapter being the nearest, but you do not have to be a member to join the TTA hikes. A schedule of TTA hikes is posted on their website at Tennesseetrails.org
This weekend, Oct. 29-30, promises several great activities for those interested in celebrating Halloween at NBFSP.
On Saturday evening, Oct. 29, the park will host its Fall Festival at the group lodge from 5-7 p.m. Bring the kids for games and activities as well as a chance to go trick or treating through the RV campground.
Also on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. is the Trunk or Treat event at Eva Beach hosted by the Eva Community. This event has been held for several years now, and always proves a lot of fun for all in attendance.
On Sunday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Ranger Aaron will lead a hike to the haunted campground. This hike will take you to an abandoned summer camp in the backcountry of the park that some say could be haunted. Whether you see any spooks or not, you’re sure to see a lot of beautiful fall foliage.
Also on Sunday, don’t miss Ranger Josh’s “Halloween style” presentation about exotic and invasive animals. Come to the Tennessee River Folklife Center at 3 p.m. to see some amazing animals from around the world. Animology.org, from Columbia, will bring these must-see animal visitors. It will be a good time to learn about some creepy (but still cool) critters!
To register for the Sunday ranger-led events, visit https://tnstateparks.com/parks/nathan-bedford-forrest and click on “upcoming events.”