Mind your manners in state parks

Jay FitzEast Knox, Our Town Outdoors

The forecast for this weekend is looking like cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Or something like that. So, if your plans involve something outdoors, it’s probably a good idea to check the event page and the radar before you head out.


If any of those plans involve going to any of our area state parks, Seven Islands State Birding Park in East Knox County put out a reminder about how to enjoy the park without damaging it or running afoul of law enforcement:

Park staff want to remind all visitors, especially photographers and dog walkers, of some important park rules. These rules are put in place to preserve and protect the natural resources and scenic areas, especially the plants and wildlife. The park is not a photo studio.

  • Stay on designated trails and picnic areas. The fields, flower beds and forests are critical habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including important pollinators. Going off trails puts wildlife at risk of harm. Leave No Trace.
  • Do not cut/destroy any plant, flower, shrub or tree. If everyone came to the park and picked a flower for a photo or to take home there would be no flowers left for anyone or anything.
  • Pets MUST be kept on a PHYSICAL leash (no electronic leashes) AND under your physical control AT ALL TIMES. Your dog may be well-behaved, but they can still threaten and harm other park visitors and wildlife, and negatively impact natural areas if they go off-trail. Also, clean up after your pet properly, including throwing the poop bags in a designated trash can (not left on the side of the trail).
  • Do not approach, touch, pick up, harass or harm the wildlife in any manner. Baby birds and animals are adorable, but they are protected wildlife inside the park.

All park rules for Tennessee State Parks can be found here. Violators of any park rules are subject to fines and penalties. Rangers will on the lookout for violators.

Always remember, leave no trace and leave the wildlife children alone.

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

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