Celebrate spring with a choice of guided hikes

Carol EvansOur Town Outdoors

Celebrate the first day of spring on Saturday, March 20, with a FREE guided hike through one of our many area state parks. Get out and play!

9 a.m. Frozen Head State Park Free. Join Ranger Kayley for a 3-mile hike along Judge Branch to see early spring ephemerals and the beginnings of other spring wildflowers. Bring a camera and field guide. For more info or to register go  here or call 423-346-3318.

9 a.m. Panther Creek State Park Free. Enjoy a 1.5-mile loop hike on the Ore Mine Trail which is rated moderately difficult. For more info or to register go  here or call 423-587-7046.

9 a.m. Seven Islands State Birding Park Free. Enjoy a 2–3-mile hike to look for wildflowers, nesting birds, and frogs singing in the ponds. Bring binoculars. For more info or to register go  here or call 715-630-6848.

10 a.m. Big Ridge State Park Free. Join a park ranger for a beautiful spring guided hike through historic Big Ridge State Park. Free. For more info or to register go  here. or call 865-992-5523

10 a.m. Cumberland Trail Trailhead at 1684 Bruce Gap Rd, Caryville. Free. Join Ranger Mark to hike the 1.4-mile Volunteer Loop trail. For more info or to register go  here or call 423-566-9701.

1 p.m. Seven Islands State Birding Park Free. Join us for a 2–3-mile hike to look for wildflowers, nesting birds, and frogs singing in the ponds. Bring binoculars. For more info or to register go  here or call 715-630-6848.

1 p.m. Norris Dam State Park Free. Join Ranger Mike for a 3.2-mile hike on the River Bluff SWA Trailhead along the beautiful Clinch River. This trail is laden with spring wildflowers, a natural rock bridge and shore birds along the river. Rated moderate in difficulty with rocky, uneven surfaces. For more info or to register go here or call 865-426-7461.

1:00 p.m. Fort Loudoun State Historic Park Free. On this easy 1-mile walk, learn about the snail darter, a small fish, part of the perch family, that was listed as an endangered species. The snail darter was one attempt to stop the construction of Tellico Dam and went so far as to land in the Supreme Court. Learn about the Tellico Project and the attempts to stop it, the lasting effects, and what became of the snail darter. For more info or to register go here or call 423-420-2331.

Go to OutdoorKnoxville.com to find other outdoor activities in the area. Submit your event to the calendar here.

Carol Evans is executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.

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