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Day Hikes At Scott’s Gulf Wilderness State Park Starts The New Year

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Day Hikes At Scott’s Gulf Wilderness State Park Starts The New Year

Hikers can get their new year started with a pair of guided day hikes through Scott’s Gulf Wilderness State Park.

Park Manager Stuart Carroll said he will lead a five-mile hike on New Year’s Eve, with a more strenuous hike on New Year’s Day. Ranger Allen Reynolds will lead the second hike nine miles up and down cliffs and through a cave system that finishes at Virgin Falls. Carroll encouraged people to begin their new year by getting active.

“I had a little bit too much to eat over the Christmas break and it’s great to get out and get some fresh air and work some of that great Christmas food off, and New Year’s Eve food off,” Carrol said. “It’s just good to get out and explore the state parks and take advantage of them.”

State Parks across the Upper Cumberland will host first-day hikes. Check the Tennessee State Parks website for more information. Carroll said the scenery and terrain these hikes feature are one of a kind in Tennessee. He said this is a great chance to start the new year on the right foot and get familiar with one of Tennessee’s newest state parks.

“We try to preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity, but also we preserve and share the nice history of areas like Scott’s Gulf,” Carroll said. “We want both the local folks to take part in them, and also, we do attract a lot of tourists from outside the area, and that helps the local economy.”

Carroll said Governor Bill Lee added Scott’s Gulf as part of his last budget, giving the area official state park status in July of 2023. He said the opportunities for people of different skill sets and varying levels of fitness make this the perfect time for people to come out and catch a glimpse of what the Upper Cumberland landscape bears.

“There’s a lot of hikes for a wide variety of interests and abilities often throughout the Tennessee state park system on New Year’s Day, so if they can’t do this hike, they should find one at another park and join in there,” Carroll said. “I’m sure they’ll have a good time.”

The shorter December 31 hike will begin at 10am in the Virgin Falls parking lot. The January 1 hike begins at 9am at the same parking lot. Those interested can sign up on the Tennessee State Parks website.


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