Through September 14, 2020, we’re running the Hurray for Hiking Patch program! To earn the patch, Girl Scouts are asked to complete at least two hikes at two separate Tennessee State Parks before the deadline. On each of the hikes, girls are also required to complete two of the Hurray for Hiking activities. We’ve seen many girls complete some awesome hikes this summer, so we wanted to share some of our favorite spots to get outdoors and participate in this program! See the list below, and enjoy some time in nature with your troop or family. When you’ve completed the requirements for the patch, fill out this online survey.
Long Hunter State Park
Hermitage – Davidson County
Located on Percy Priest Lake, there is something for hikers of all levels. The Bryant Grove Trail is a one-way hiking path that is very flat and goes along the lake, the Couchville Lake Loop is a 2-mile paved loop with a bridge that goes over the water, and the Day Loop is 4.5 miles with a little more length and elevation – great for older girls!
Oak Hill – Davidson County
Radnor Lake has some of the highest hills in the Nashville Basin and plenty of wildlife to observe while hiking. There are some very accessible trails around the lake, as well as some harder trails, such as Ganier Ridge.
Bledsoe Creek State Park
Gallatin – Sumner County
With both easy and difficult trails, this is a great spot for both beginner and more seasoned hikers! There are hikes that go around the lake, lots of wildlife, and paved trails that are ADA compliant.
Cedars of Lebanon
Lebanon – Wilson County
Hiking trails at Cedars of Lebanon are open year-round and visitors often spot fox, deer, or turkey. There are several shorter trails that are for beginner hikers, as well as a longer loop, Hidden Springs Trail, that is a more moderate and longer hike.
Montgomery Bell State Park
Burns – Dickson County
If you’re looking for an overnight trail, this is a great spot for that! This park also features shorter loops, with the Creech Hollow Trail being an excellent option for a 1.7 mile hike.
David Crockett State Park
Lawrenceburg – Lawrence County
This park features many shorter hiking trails near a creek and is focused on history with some original parts of the Trail of Tears as hiking trails. The trailhead also has an aviary with owls and hawks.
Edgar Evins State Park
Center Hill Lake – Dekalb County
This park is a great choice for young readers, with a Storybook trail. There are also some shorter trails to choose from. With 6,000 acres, there’s plenty of recreational activities to enjoy here.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Spencer – Van Buren County
As the largest state park in Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls is a beautiful park to spend some time at. There are a few overnight trails, as well as several shorter trails. The Betty Dunn Nature Center has a lot of great information about the trails, and there’s even a swinging bridge!
Harpeth River State Park
Kingston Springs – Cheatham County
This park is made up of three parts: Narrows of the Harpeth, Gossett Tract, and Hidden Lake. There are both shorter and longer trail options.
Rock Island State Park
Center Hill Lake – Warren/White County
This park is near Center Hill Lake and has many waterfalls on the trail. It can be difficult and sometimes has restrictions on access due to water levels from the TVA, so check before visiting! This park has nine trails, rated from easy to strenuous.
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
Manchester – Coffee County
There are a lot of great options at this historical park! The Native Americans used the land, and the park tells you a lot about the history. There is a waterfall and most of the hiking is rated easy with some more challenging parts.
For the complete list of Tennessee State Parks, click here.
When hiking, please remember to follow all health and safety instructions from Tennessee State Parks, including:
- Do not visit if you’re sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet of separation between you and other visitors.
- Do not travel long distances to visit state parks. Look for parks that are a short drive from your house.
- If parks are full, consider coming back at a different time. Consider coming earlier in the day to allow for plenty of time if an area is full and you need to adjust your plans. Follow all park rules and regulations.