Roan Mountain State Park is inviting the public to start the year off on the right foot – or the left; it’s your choice – with an exhilarating hike along the Appalachian Trail on New Year’s Day.
“Last year was the first year Tennessee State Parks started doing this,” said Ranger J.R. Tinch. “It went really well last year, so they continued it this year. Every park in the state is doing one.”
Tinch said Ranger Meg Guy, who guided the inaugural hike last year, has plans to lead hikers 1.2 miles from Carver’s Gap to Round Bald.
Calling it a brisk hike might be an understatement. The average January low temperature is 24 degrees, and the park suggests hikers prepare for cold winds and possibly snow.
“Depending on the weather, some parks get between 5 to 30 people or more,” he said. “This is really to promote getting back out on the trails during kind of one of our slower seasons. It gets people back into the park.”
The park asks participants to meet at the conference center at 9 a.m. to caravan to Carver’s Gap. Hot chocolate will be available upon return to the conference center.
For more information, call Roan Mountain State Park at 800-250-8620.