With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching, there’s no better way to enjoy the mild weather than by visiting Tennessee’s state parks.
South Cumberland and Tims Ford State Parks are located in Franklin and Grundy counties and offer hiking, boating, picnicking, golfing and more.
South Cumberland State Park’s 30,845 acres offer some of the most exciting and rugged backcountry hiking and camping in the region with 12 trailheads to explore. For more information, visit the park’s website at tnstateparks.com/parks/south-cumberland or call the Visitor Center at 931-924-2980. The Visitor Center is located at 11745 US Highway 41 in Monteagle.
Tims Ford State Park, located at 570 Tims Ford Dr. in Winchester, spans 3,546 acres in the shadow of the Cumberland Plateau. The Lakeview Marina, located in the park, offers pontoon boat, canoe and kayak rentals as well as a boat launch and courtesy dock.
Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most scenic lakes in Tennessee and is considered one of the best bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast. The park includes The Bear Trace golf course and campsites as well as cabin rentals. For detailed park information, call the Visitor Center at 931-968-3536 or visit tnstateparks.com/parks/info/tims-ford.
The following guided activities are open to everyone. Guided adventures are a great way to meet new people who share your interest in the outdoors. All events will be guided by park staff who are intimately familiar with the natural, cultural and historical treasures of the parks. Participants are sure to learn something new. Register in advance as some events have limited capacity.
South Cumberland state park
Big lakes canoe float
State Park Ranger Daniel Wescoat will lead the Grundy Lakes Canoe Float Adventure at South Cumberland State Park Friday from 2-4:30 p.m. Meet at 587 Lakes Road in Tracy City to enjoy a Peaceful and relaxing canoe float in calm water, perfect for everyone. skill levels, including beginners. This provides an opportunity to get in the water if you’re curious about canoeing but don’t have one or are hesitant to do it on your own.
South Cumberland state park
Join Park Ranger Spencer Baxter at South Cumberland State Park on Fridays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. for a night hike to Stone Door. Meet 15 minutes before the start of the hike at 1183 Stone Door Road, Beersheba Springs. The hike is 2 miles round trip and will take hikers to several lookout points to experience the Savage Gulf night sky. Bring a headlamp, wear hiking boots and weather appropriate clothing. The cost is $10 each. For more information, call 931-924-2980. Register at reserve.tnstateparks.com/register/night-hiking-at-stone-door7.
Forged at the Ford Survival School
For lovers of the harsh outdoors, a three-day Survival School will be held July 15-17 at Tims Ford State Park by several Tennessee State Park Rangers who will teach the skills needed to survive an experiential planned or unplanned outdoor activities, including lessons. on building shelters from natural materials, wild edibles, friction fire, obtaining and preparing wild game, purifying water and more.
The event will take place on one of the many islands in Tims Ford Lake. Participants will be transported by boat to the island after meeting at Lakeview Marina inside the park on May 13 at 9 a.m. a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, bottle with screw cap, ax or hatchet, 50 feet of Para cord, flashlight or headlamp, extra clothes in a waterproof container, a small folding saw, a small first aid kit with all the necessary medicines, a bandana and meals. Only one wild game dinner will be offered. These items can be shared if there is more than one person in a group.
Join State Park Ranger Dalton Smith for a sunset boat tour on Tims Ford Lake Saturday and Sunday from 7:15-8:15 p.m. for both days. Meet at Lakeview Marina inside the park. Participants will enjoy incredible views while touring the islands and listening to talks about the area’s history and natural resources. Life jackets will be provided but you can bring your own. The cost is $11 for children under 16 and $15 for adults. Register at reserve.tnstateparks.com/register/sunset-boat-tour8. For more information, call 931-434-6032 or email [email protected]
South Cumberland State Park
Join State Park Ranger Daniel Wescoat for a Grundy Lakes hike at South Cumberland State Park on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Meet at 587 Lakes Road, Tracy City. This will be a peaceful 3 mile hike around two of the lakes present in Grundy Lakes. The cost is $10. Register at reserve.tnstateparks.com/register/grundy-lakes-hike. For more information, call 931-924-2980 or email [email protected]
South Cumberland State Park
Join State Park Ranger Mark Greenwood on Tuesday for a 5-mile (round-trip, approximate) guided hike of the Savage Gulf Day Loop to celebrate the 60and anniversary of the National Natural Sites Program. Bring desired water and food as they are not provided. This is a basic introductory hike on the east side of Savage Gulf. The challenge is mainly in the total distance. Areas around lookouts can be dangerous in terms of maintaining your balance. The potential for slipping and falling exists, and extreme caution is required. The cost is $5 for ages 12 and under and $10 for adults. For more information, call 931-924-2980 or email [email protected] Register at reserve.tnstateparks.com/register/day-loop-hike26.
Join State Park Ranger Mark Matzkiw on May 28-29 for an overnight canoe trip to Tims Ford State Park. Meet at Lakeview Marina at 10:30 a.m. May 28 and return May 29 at 2 p.m. Participants will paddle to Goose Island to camp overnight, then paddle the next day to Devil’s Step Boat Ramp where the trip ends. The paddling distance will be approximately 5 miles per day. Boats, life jackets, paddles and camping are included in the cost. Meals are not provided. No experience will be required. A list of recommended gear is available on the Tims Ford State Park website. The cost is $35 for children ages 13-18 and $50 for adults. To register, go to reserve.tnstateparks.com/register/overnight-canoe-trip. For more information, call 931-279-4893 or email [email protected]