Tag Archives: Tennessee State Parks

Halloween Haunts

What’s this! Your cheeks sense chill air, crisply scented with leafy decay as a slow creeping sensation causes the hairs on the back of your neck to rise… it’s Halloween!! State parks are the best year-round, but are also the SP🎃🎃KIEST way to get a taste of nature as the days shorten. We thought we’d list prime, kooky ways to get your heart rate up!

Trains and Treats in California

There’s festive fun aplenty to get your autumn on track at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Park goers should prepare themselves for a freight–er.. fright! on the Spookomotive Ride, leaving the station hourly this Saturday and Sunday, the 29th and 30th, from noon to 4 p.m. The 45-minute, 6-mile (round-trip) train ride is $15 for adults, $8 for young people aged 2-17, and free for children two years old and younger. A mad scientist will be on board to startle and delight passengers, as well as to field questions regarding how to reanimate sewn-together people, or use lightning as a renewable energy source for your own secret laboratories!

The theme for the weekend is Witches & Wizards, but if you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to reveal your zombie train conductor costume with all its bells and whistles (overalls are back in a big way this fall, after all), the CSRM would probably be it. There’s trick-or-treating at the museum on Saturday, Oct. 29th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with plenty of sweets and knowledge to be had for magic folk and ghost engineers alike.

Chugging right along…

[Image: hiddensandiego.net]

Once called Día de los Muertos, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a pre-Columbian tradition which has its roots in central and southern Mexico. Today, the macabre-yet-bright skeletal imagery and the spirit of venerating deceased loved ones marks a holiday celebrated across cultures here in the United States. [Image: hiddensandiego.net]

If you can’t make the Halloween events at the CSRM and find yourself in southern California, you can check out the Día de los Muertos celebrations at Old Town San Diego SHP. On November 1st and 2nd, there will be historical and modern altars set up around the park to commemorate the inhabitants of Old Town. Visitors can take an altar tour to learn about this tradition, and themselves contribute to the “Tributes & Sentiments” chalk graveyard to remember their own loved ones.

Wicked Woods in New York

A halloween hallow?

Serene or sinister? The more you know, the more your answer will crystalize. [Image: www.pinterest.com]

In keeping with the haunted themes of the season, Green Lakes State Park in Central New York is welcoming one and all to their event, Wicked Woods. On October 29th, from 4 to 8 p.m., admission to the park is free. There will be beachside mini-golf and costumed trick-or-treating, a haunted trail, crafts, a photo booth, and a large bonfire to cap it all off. You can learn more about the event here. As an added bonus, you can work some feel good magic into your eerie festivities by bringing along a non-perishable food item to donate to the local food bank.

Owl-O-Ween in Tennessee

Owls have long been as much a part of Halloween imagery as pumpkins, ghosts or witches. It’s possible this is because of their domination of the nocturnal world, which they survey with their piercing eyes and well-informed demeanor. If you’ve ever taken a break from personifying these mighty nighttime hunters and wondered about the distant hollow hoots one occasionally hears on dusky hikes, Owl-O-Ween at Long Hunter State Park in Hermitage, Tennessee is just the ticket. For $3 per individual, or $5 per family, hikers can explore nature after sundown, while learning about the Barred Owl and its unique night-song from a knowledgeable ranger! October 29th, 7:30-8:30 p.m., guests are encouraged to make a reservation by calling 615-885-2422 or visiting the Long Hunter State Park website, here.


Uh oh...

This would look a whole lot more terrifying if you were a field mouse… [Image: www.birdwatchingdaily.com]

Whether you’re looking to take on Halloween fully costumed, or simply enjoy the smells of autumn, there is an inexpensive or free way to satisfy your Halloween cravings at a state park near you. There’s no time like the present to download a Pocket Ranger® mobile app and explore what’s going on!

Spring Whitewater Rafting

For many of us the arrival of spring brings with it blooming flowers, the year’s first warm rays of sunlight, and that ache to be outside. But for others the warmth in the air conjures images of mountain snowpack melt-off and engorged rivers coursing with fury and speed where at other times of the year they seem to merely trickle, tame and listless. Spring marks the start of whitewater rafting season across much of the U.S. Here are a few parks that offer adventures that range in difficulty but are all certain to delight thrill-seekers of all skill levels.

Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park, Tennessee

[Image: tnstateparks.com]

Kayakers and rafters should be watchful for each other while taking a trip on the river, though sometimes they can seem to be swallowed from view. [Image: tnstateparks.com/]

This park is a well-known site for whitewater rafting and for having been the site of the canoe and kayak slalom races during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The two rivers in the park’s name are scenic and rife with adventure, and there is access to whitewater that ranges from Class I to Class IV.

You can find out how to get on the water by contacting the park.

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Colorado

[Image: wikipedia.org]

The Arkansas River is giving these recreationists a run for their money. [Image: wikipedia.org/]

This area spans a swath of the Arkansas River, the upper portion of which is one of the most popular whitewater runs in the U.S. In the spring and summer, hundreds of rafters take on the challenges of the Arkansas, which range from Class II to Class V in difficulty.

If you’re interested in taking on the river, the recreation area has compiled a list of outfitters for you to peruse.

Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, Washington

[Image: www.raftingamerica.com]

Lush moss and seductive green hues can be a distraction from the dangers at hand. It’s probably best to make a week-long trip of it and take lots of hikes to get used to the mesmerizing scenery. [Image: www.raftingamerica.com/]

The whitewater at Green River Gorge is best usually during spring and fall and is for expert enthusiasts only, but the incredible sights and challenges are worthy of note and aspiration. If you’re equal to the risks in the gorge, you can embark or land your boat at the park by hand. If the gorge is a bit too risky for you, there are two miles of Green River shoreline to explore, and you can at least admire the daredevils in their rafts and kayaks while you take in a stunningly beautiful hike.

For more information you can contact the park here.

[Image: advgamer.blogspot.com]

Little did we know that this would become true, brought to you through the power of Google image search. [Image: advgamer.blogspot.com/]

Rivers have kept us connected since the advent of the boat, and for just as long it’s been true that there’s rarely a better bonding experience than a trip with your team in a watercraft and the nature that surrounds you. The important things to remember, as always with extreme sports, are to know your limits and to do your homework. And as always you’ll find plenty of rivers to tackle, take in, and appreciate with our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps, even if a barbecue spatula is more your speed than an oar!

Tennessee State Parks Celebrating New Year in Style

Day Hikes Initiative, which is taking place in all 50 states. It’s said to be an opportunity for visitors to reconnect with nature (www.Outpostusa.org)

Day Hikes Initiative, which is taking place in all 50 states. It’s said to be an opportunity for visitors to reconnect with nature (www.Outpostusa.org)

Tennessee State Parks are sponsoring hikes as a special New Year’s gift to park visitors.

The AP reports that the park system is sponsoring the hikes the first few days of the new year in order to commemorate its 75th anniversary.

It’s being reported that each park will have various hikes, some for new hikers and others for those who are more experienced. The hikes are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes Initiative, which is taking place in all 50 states. It’s said to be an opportunity for visitors to reconnect with nature.

Clarksville Online reports that New Year’s Eve dinner will be served at Tennessee State Parks inns and restaurants, including Cumberland Mountain, Montgomery Bell, Paris Landing and Pickwick Landing state parks.

The dinner will include various entrees, dessert, beer, wine and champagne, according to the article. Seating accommodations vary by park and reservations are encouraged.

Middle Tennessee

Montgomery Bell State Park

Montgomery Bell State Park is offering three great New Year’s Eve packages.  For those wishing to ring in the New Year in an intimate environment, Montgomery Bell is offering three special inn packages. For only $144.81 (including taxes and gratuity) Package #1 includes a lakeview room, a New Year’s Eve candlelight dinner for two, a special room gift and a 2:00pm checkout. For an additional $30.00 plus tax, Package #2 includes all of the above in addition to a midnight breakfast. For an additional $30.00 plus tax, Package #3 includes a New Year’s Day brunch for two.

Dinner will be served at Montgomery Bell December 31st from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and will include several menu choices – such as shrimp cocktail, delicious salads, rib eye, grilled salmon or pork tenderloin medallions, assorted sides and desserts. Prices are $39.95 per couple (plus tax and gratuity).

A late night breakfast is offered from 9:00pm to midnight featuring scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy for $35 per couple. Start 2013 off with Montgomery Bell’s tranquil New Year’s Day Brunch overlooking Acorn Lake from 10:00am to 2:00pm on January 1st. Prices are $12.50 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Please contact Montgomery Bell State Park for reservations or for additional information at 800.250.8613.

West Tennessee

Paris Landing State Park

Ring in the New Year at Paris Landing State Park with a New Year’s Eve 2013 Celebration! Spend December 31st enjoying the beauty of Paris Landing State Park and as the sun sets, tour the festive light displays sponsored by groups in the local community. Later that evening, guests can put on their dancing shoes and groove to the Syndicate of Soul band.  Event tickets are $25.00 per person or $200.00 a table, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of Paris Landing. Tickets can be purchased at the downtown and Lake-area branches of the Foundation Bank, Fish Tale Lodge and the Paris Winery.

To make the evening even more special, take advantage of Paris Landing’s New Year’s Eve Dinner and Room Package. The $129.00 package includes one double-occupancy inn room for two, two New Year’s Eve dinner buffets and two New Year’s Day breakfast buffets.

The New Year’s Eve dinner buffet will be served December 31st from 4:30pm to 8:30pm and will include chef-carved beef brisket, sliced stuffed pork loin, fried shrimp, Southern-fried catfish, assorted vegetables, salads and desserts. The New Year’s Day breakfast buffet on January 1st will be from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Both buffets are open to the public.

For the dinner buffet, the price is $15.95 per person plus drink and tax; for the breakfast buffet, the price is $7.95 per person plus drink and tax. Tickets for the New Year’s Eve dance can also be purchased separately. Please contact 800.250.8614 or 731.642.4311 for reservations or additional information.

Click here to read more from Clarksville Online. [APClarksville Online]