Raider wrestler Kaden White heads to state finals on Wednesday

MCHS’s Kaden White (right) and Eagleville’s Wyatt McLemore (left) share a friendly wrestling rivalry. They placed first and second at the recent regional tournament and could face each other again at state. (Photo Credit: Kris White)

SPORTS — According to Raider Wrestling Head Coach Kevin Pearson, wrestling is the only sport that humbles you. “Win or lose, you always learn something every match,” he says.

It’s a sentiment that Moore County High School senior Kaden White agrees with: “I would much rather lose against a good kid than wrestle someone I know I’m going to beat. You don’t really learn much from that.”

On Wednesday, February 24, Kaden White hopes to learn what it feels like to be the best 170 pound high school wrestler in the state of Tennessee as he heads to Chattanooga to represent the Raiders in the TSSAA State Wrestling Championship — a historic first for Moore County athletics.

Although it’s a first for MCHS, Kaden is no stranger to the state wrestling championship scene. Last winter as a junior, he placed sixth in the private school division wrestling for Knoxville Catholic High School. As a sophomore, he won the region but failed to place at state.

A local son with some deep athletic roots

Kaden is the son of MCHS Football Head Coach Kris White and Lynchburg Elementary teacher and former MCHS Raiderette Head Coach Holly White. He and his family moved from East Tennessee back to Moore County last fall so that Kris could take over the MCHS football program.

Kaden and his brother, Dawson, both played for the 11-2 Raiders this year. The squad lingered in the AP Top 10 all season, made it back into the Class A State Playoffs, and area coaches named Kaden a Mr. Football semi-finalist. Kaden says his equally athletic brother got him interested in wrestling and pushes him every day to do his best. Dawson, a freshman at MCHS, plays football and basketball for MCHS. Kaden, a senior, plays football, wrestles, and plays baseball.

“We’re very competitive with each other when it comes to sports,” Kaden jokes. “We can’t even play a pick up game of basketball in the driveway anymore because it gets too heated. But we definitely drive each other … but in a good way.”

Coach Pearson hopes Kaden’s success will inspire younger wrestlers

Head Coach Pearson attributes Kaden wrestling success to longevity, work ethic, and being open to feedback.

“He’s very coachable and he understands the sport,” he says. “He’s maybe learned a little from me but he’s learned a lot from a lot of very good wrestling coaches over the years.”

Coach Pearson says he hopes Kaden’s success will encourage even more local students to join the MCHS wrestling squad next year. This year’s high school team boasted 22 wrestlers — 19 boys and three girls. Coach Pearson also launched a elementary school program for LES students in grades 1-6. “I’ve got 20 little kids out there just loving it,” he says.

This means lots of younger eyes will be watching Kaden wrestle on Wednesday. It’s an honor he takes very seriously.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Kaden says. “I’ve been to a couple of practices at the elementary school and I can feel them watching me.”

Kaden’s dad, Kris, who serves as assistant coach for the MCHS wrestling team says that wrestling attracts kids who are athletic and interested in sports but not necessarily drawn to team sports.

“Everywhere that we’ve been whether it be Oakland or Knoxville Catholic, you have kids show up to wrestle with art backgrounds and band backgrounds who wouldn’t play football or basketball but had success in the wrestling ring,” says Kris. “That’s their way of getting out there and being an athlete.”

The TSSAA Wrestling State Tournament will take place February 24 in Chattanooga. Ticket to go watch Kaden wrestle have already sold out but the match will be broadcast live at TSSAAsports.com or you can watch through the NFHS Network. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

MCHS adds girls volleyball to fall sports

The Metro Board of Education voted unanimously to add a new fall sport option to MCHS in 2021, girls volleyball. (File Photo)

MOORE COUNTYServe strong. Dig fierce. Spike hard.

On Monday night, the Metro Board of Education unanimously approved a new, girls volleyball team for MCHS beginning in the fall on 2021. The new team will add a girls fall sports option for MCHS students in grades 8-12.

According to MCHS Athletic Director Josh Deal, who attended the meeting virtually, the school already owns all the equipment needed to launch the new program because students use nets and balls in PE classes. Deal also explained to the board that he’d secured both volunteer coach interest and enough players to field a team.

“LES Pre K teacher Karen Blankenship has volunteered to coach the team for the next five years and we have the numbers to make the team happen. The only potential fall conflict would be cheerleading,” Deal told the school board. “They will need to do a little fundraising for uniforms and travel costs if they plan to use Moore County School systems buses to get to games.”

Coach Blankenship says she’s been in contact with area coaches and is working on scheduling a basic skills camp for new players.

“This will be a learning experience for players and myself,” Coach Blankenship said. “This camp will be an expense but I feel like it is a must for the program to move forward with a good foundation.”

According to the (TSSAA), the new volleyball team will play other area Middle Region, Class A teams like Cascade and Eagleville. Girls volleyball teams play a maximum of 35 matches per year including tournaments. Director Deal stated in the meeting that if the high school team goes well the school hopes to add a middle school team in the future.

If you are a student or the parent of a student interested in signing up for the new girls volleyball team, contact MCHS Athletic Director Deal at 931-759-4231. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

South Cumberland State Park introduces ParkSmart trail mile markers

By Susan D. Campbell | Contributing Writer

Each mile marker in the South Cumberland State Park includes a unique location identification code, which visitors can report to park rangers in an emergency situation, to quickly let them know exactly where they are located. Trail Friends Coordinator Dave Matherly helps the Friends of South Cumberland Trail Team post the new system of trail markings. (Photos Provided)

GRUNDY COUNTY — Hiking is fun and good for the soul but can turn scary if you lose your bearings.

To help visitors have a better sense of what awaits them during a visit to the South Cumberland State Park (SCSP), the Friends of South Cumberland, SCSP’s support group, has been working with park managers on a multi-faceted campaign to improve visitor preparedness and locational awareness. The initiative consists of a new information program, known as ParkSmarts, which aims to better inform park visitors about the layout of the park, information about its various trails, and things to see and do from each of the park’s 12 trailheads.

According to SCSP Manager George Shinn, rangers at the park perform 1.6 visitor rescues per week. The 31,000-acre wilderness park, near Monteagle, has over 85 miles of backcountry trails, and park visitors, often unfamiliar with the ruggedness or length of the trail network, become disoriented, lost after dark, or injured (sometimes seriously).

“We have over 650,000 visitors per year,” Shinn said,” and our park is becoming increasingly popular, especially as many individuals and families have discovered us as a great getaway during COVID-19. However, some of our guests are not aware of the vastness and challenges of the park, which results in their needing a ranger-assisted rescue, often times at night or during bad weather.”

“This park is vast; our trailheads are scattered across an area larger than Metro Nashville,” said ParkSmarts team lead and Friends volunteer Rick Dreves. “There are amazing things to be seen and experienced at every one of them, but as a wilderness park, the trails can sometimes be challenging, and visitors need to do their homework and plan their visits before they arrive.  We hope the ParkSmarts information will be useful to visitors, and help them have a safe and enjoyable visit.”

Dreves said that much of SCSP consists of deeply forested river canyons surrounded by beautiful sandstone cliffs, with many waterfalls, great hiking, rock climbing and backcountry camping opportunities. “Many of these canyons are over 800 feet deep, and to access all the amazing things they offer, visitors need to be prepared to descend into or climb out of them on our trail network. A rugged 800-foot elevation change can be challenging to the first-time visitor.  That’s why we’ve put a great deal of information about each trail, including mileage and difficulty information, on our website at FriendsOfSouthCumberland.org/park-smarts.”

Volunteers work in the Fiery Gizzard, measuring the trail for precise placement of the new mile marker system on each mile of trail in the park. By the end of January, 2021, nearly 70% of the trails had been marked. Completion is scheduled for early Spring of 2021. (Photo Provided)

Trail mile markers installed

Another aspect of the ParkSmarts campaign is the installation of new trail mile markers, a series of medallions posted along SCSP trails at half-mile intervals, to help visitors gauge their progress, and be able to accurately report their location if they become lost, injured or need ranger assistance for any reason. The park’s Friends group has spent this winter carefully measuring and posting the nearly 85 miles of trail in the park, and hopes to complete the trail marking system by early spring. The Tennessee Trails Association provided a grant to help fund production of the nearly 400 mile markers needed to cover the park.

“Having a way for our visitors to accurately let us know where they are is invaluable in a search-and-rescue operation,” said SCSP Assistant Manager Bill Knapp. “Particularly after dark, if they can tell us which mile marker they are near, that can save us valuable time in locating them and helping get them out of harm’s way. It’s especially critical if someone is injured or suffering from hypothermia, which is not uncommon here for much of the year.”

Bruce Blohm, who heads up the Friends’ Trails Team, says the trail marking system began making a difference even before his team of volunteers has finished posting all of the mile markers.

“The first couple of weeks after we began posting the markers, our rangers were already getting calls for help, where the visitors were able to tell them exactly where they were, thanks to the mile marker system,” Blohm said, adding that each mile marker is attached to a tree or post along the trail, and high-intensity reflectors are mounted above and below each mile medallion.

“The reflectors can be seen from a great distance at night, even by the light from a smartphone, so they are easy for visitors to locate in an emergency situation.”

One limitation of the new system is that not all of the SCSP has a strong cell signal, according to Shinn.

“Coverage is gradually improving, but visitors should also know how to safely follow a trail to higher ground, in order to get a cell signal, if the area in which they find themselves doesn’t have good cell signal coverage.”

Shinn said that having a good trail map, either on paper or on the visitor’s phone, is still a most essential part of preparing for a visit to the park. “Not only having the map, but taking time to study it, understanding the distances involved, and the elevation change of the trail, could be critical if an emergency situation were to develop. Knowing today’s sunset time, and monitoring how long it would take you to hike back to the trailhead, are simple but critical actions.”

Plan your next visit

Shinn, Knapp, Dreves and Blohm offer the following suggestions for a safe trip to the park: dress appropriately for the weather, with layers in the winter, including eye and face protection, and rain gear as appropriate; wear sturdy hiking boots; have plenty of water, high-energy snacks, a first-aid kit, and know how use it; have several sources of light, such as headlamps; and charge your phone before you head out, but don’t try to use it as a flashlight. On a cellphone battery, that will only last a few minutes, and your phone is more important as your lifeline to call for help, should you need it.

“We’re not trying to scare anyone — we just want our visitors to think about how they should be prepared to experience our vast and beautiful wilderness safely,” Shinn said. “South Cumberland is a one-of-a-kind place that everyone should experience, but plan ahead, and do it safely. Our rangers would much rather be answering your questions about the amazing flora, fauna and geology of our park, than having to rescue you in an emergency situation.”

The South Cumberland State Park is over 31,000 miles in four counties: Franklin, Marion, Grundy and Sequatchie, making it one of the largest in the state. To learn more, visit www.friendsofsouthcumberland.org.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg Youth Baseball sign ups begin February 13

Lynchburg Youth Baseball will return in 2021 and signups will take place on three separate days in February with try outs happening on March 6. (File Photo)

LYNCHBURG — It’s America’s past time and a whole lot of fun for local kids. Youth baseball is coming back to Lynchburg this spring and sign ups begin soon.

Lynchburg Youth Baseball recently announced that signups for the 2021 season would begin on February 13. Signups are open to both Moore County players as well as those in the surrounding counties. Tryouts will be on March 6. To play, kids must be at least four years old before January 1, 2021.

“Community support and supporting communities will be what our baseball league will be about this year,” the group stated on their social media page. “There will be no player fees this year but we will be accepting donations.”

Signup will take place at Woodard’s Market in Lynchburg on two consecutive Saturdays as well as a Wednesday afternoon. Those dates are February 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., February 17 from 5-7 p.m., and February 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There are three divisions: 6 and Under, 8 and Under, and 12 and Under. Tryouts for all three divisions will happen on March 6 at the Lynchburg Park located off Main Street. Visit the Lynchburg Youth Baseball Facebook Page for more information. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

State proposed changes to duck hunting on public lands

TWRA is proposing changes to policies related to duck hunting on public lands and they’d like your comments. (File Photo)

Do you like to duck hunt at AEDC Woods Reservoir or other public lands in Tennessee? Then, some proposed changes from Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) may be of interest to you.

“For many years Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received public comments about how the current public land duck hunting system operates. The comments mostly fall into two categories: the need for increased duck hunting opportunities on public lands (i.e. more access) and concerns over the fairness of the handheld duck blind draw system,” TWRA officials stated.

A scientific survey of duck hunters done in partnership with the University of Tennessee validated these comments, as well as other issues with in-person handheld draws, and desire for opportunities to hunt for shorter time periods. In 2019, TWRA made changes to make the in-person drawings more fair and equitable, with limited success. In 2020, due to COVID, all handheld duck blind drawings were computerized and online, which made the process fair and equitable for hunters across Tennessee.  

For 2021, TWRA are taking another step, by increasing the number of duck hunters who get drawn to hunt our public WMAs each season. This will be a significant effort to increase public access for duck hunters. To increase access and retain tradition, TWRA says it will continue to issue some of the current season-long permits while changing other sites into quota hunt locations. Quota hunts will be for 3, 4, or 7-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. Based on hunter input, these changes will meet the Agency’s objective of providing increased access to public land duck hunters, increasing the fairness of the draw, and honoring the traditions of duck hunting in Tennessee.    

If you would like to make a comment on the record about this proposal, please email the TWRA at TWRA.HuntingComments@tn.gov or visit their website and click on the contact link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Help Tims Ford win favorite TN State Park

Love to canoe, camp, fish, and explore Tims Ford State Park in nearby Franklin County? Show them a little love in the My TN State Park competition that ends on January 31. (Photo Credit: Tims Ford State Park)

It’s no secret that the Tennessee State Park system has been crucial to Tennesseans in 2020 during the pandemic. When asked many stated that the opportunity to explore outdoors is one of the thing “that kept them going.” In fact three Southeast Tennessee state parks – Tims Ford, Falls Creek Falls, and Harrison Bay – were among the top four for visitation in the state this fall. Now locals who enjoy area state parks have an opportunity to give back.

Three weeks ago, the Tennessee State Park system launched their My TN State Park fundraiser hoping to raise some much needed revenue and have a little fun in the process. Since then nearly 2,000 people have donated over $43,000 and our local park, Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County, is responsible for $622 of those dollars and currently ranks 24th among all 56 state parks.

Currently, the top 10 state parks based on donations/votes are: Big Hill Pond ($3,051), Cumberland Mountain ($2,991), South Cumberland ($2101), Rock Island ($1,883), Montgomery Bell ($1,773), Frozen Head ($1,738), Road Mountain ($1,679), Panther Creek ($1,230), Pickett ($1,115), and Harrison Bay ($1,091). You can see a complete list of donation by clicking here.

With just seven days left in the campaign, local donations could lift Tims Ford into the top 10. Every dollar will go directly to support the state park you choose. Donations will be used to help parks repair, maintain, and prepare for the 2021 season.

“This friendly competition will give you the opportunity to show your love and appreciation for the places that kept you going in 2020,” state park officials said. “As you’ve donated to vote for your favorite park, you’ve touched the hearts of park staff, proclaimed the park’s importance, and contributed to its prolonged protection and improvement.”

Go to tnstateparks.com/vote. Find your favorite park and click donate. Every $1 donation equals one vote. The fundraiser will end on Sunday, January 31. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated community newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Governor grounds MC cheerleaders

Governor Bill Lee essentially grounded cheerleaders across the state by signing Executive Order 74 last week. An area change.org petition seeks to change that. (File Photo)

STATE NEWS — Last Tuesday definitely didn’t feel like a V-I-C-T-O-R-Y for Moore County cheerleaders.

In an abrupt and final decision with little explanation, Governor Bill Lee cancelled cheerleading for the rest of the 2021 school year and local cheerleaders, cheer moms, cheer sponsors, and other cheer adjacent Moore County folks are not happy.

Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 74 means that all Moore County schools cheerleading squads will not be allowed to cheer at basketball games for the remainder of the season due to COVID concerns.

The TSSAA says that it approached the governor about allowing cheerleading and dance teams to participate and were told that the “provision was a risk-based decision at this critical time based on the best medical and CDC information and guidance available regarding the spread of COVID-19 primarily through respiratory droplets, with cheerleading posing a particularly high degree of risk because it involves projected voices within a confined indoor space for an extended period of time.”

Cheerleading is a female dominant sport

Many locals were quick to point out the Governor’s decision seemed to wreak with discrimination. Executive Order 74 effectively cancelled cheerleading while permitting two other winter sports, wrestling and basketball, with little explanation.

MCHS cheerleading sponsor, teacher, and senior cheer mom Liza Buchanan stated on her social media page that the move showed that Governor Bill Lee did not care about a female dominant sport such as cheerleading.

“You cannot use COVID-19 as an excuse when there are 30 plus students sitting elbow to elbow in our classrooms, wrestlers are touching, breathing, and sweating all over each other, and basketball players are also touching and breathing on each other,” she stated on her social media page.

Cheerleaders are athletes

Other local cheer moms pointed out that cheerleading is a recognized sport with required strength training, practices, as well as regional, state, and national competitions.

When we reached out to Buchanan to quantify that idea with numbers, she was quick to respond. According to Buchanan her MCHS squad put is about 200 practice hours each year including six hours of stunt safety training, and an annual cheer camp.

“That doesn’t count the private tumbling and stunting lessons that most of our athletes attend weekly,” she said.

Cheerleaders also begin each practice with cardio followed by strength training as well as exercises to increase flexibility.

“We lift humans,” Buchanan stated. “Stunting requires extensive training and specialized skills in order to safely execute stunt sequences. It takes athleticism, grit, and a fearless attitude to succeed as a cheerleader.”

Buchanan also estimates that the total cost to cheer each year per cheerleader is $1877 before fundraisers and donations.

Petitioning the Governor and TSSAA

Following the governor’s announcement, Bonnie Peters of Washington County launched a change.org petition asking Governor Bill Lee and the TSSAA to reverse their decision.

“The governors new order possibly violates Title IX and frankly, sends a very negative message to females athletes,” she state in the petition. “Every sport under TSSAA is currently allowed to participate in the season except cheerleading. Cheers full season is July through basketball. They have already cut away game travel but now they are targeting one sport to suspend. Our cheerleaders had games already cut from 20 to 10. … After today it’s zero.”

Since Peters started the petition, it’s gained over 22,000 signatures. You can sign it by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated community newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Sign ups open for Race to the Cave Half Marathon at Cathedral Caverns State Park

Local runners who enjoy the Oak Barrel Half Marathon might also want to check out the Race to the Cave at picturesque Cathedral Caverns State Park happening on March 20. Registration is open now. (Photo Provided)

WOODVILLE, Alabama — Area runners are always on the look out for an event that mirrors the unique scenery and fun of the Oak Barrel Half Marathon here in Lynchburg. To that end, the folks at Cathedral Caverns State Park developed their own half marathon with a 1.2 mile finish through an area cave.

Located about an hour and half from Lynchburg, Cathedral Caverns is a karst cave with a large stalagmite forest covering approximately three acres. In particular, one column known as Goliath claims to be the largest in the world measuring 45 feet in height and 243 feet in circumference. Archaeologist believe the cave may once have been occupied by Native Americans as recently as 200 years ago.

Race to the Cave Half Marathon happens on Sunday, March 21 and registration is now open to local runners. Registration will close on March 16. To register, click this link.

It’s a road half marathon created with a spectacular cave finish that should be a bucket list event for area running enthusiasts. To see a complete course map, click here.

The half marathon begins in the valley leading up to Cathedral Caverns and ends with a 1.2 mile finish through this area National Natural Landmark. Runners should anticipate average temps to be around 40-63 degrees in March with forecasts leaning towards the higher side.

The cost to register is $85 dollars. All runners will receive a race shirt and a finisher medal. After the race, each runners will also receive a free pulled pork barbecue sandwich and chips. Race Packets can be picked up ahead of the race day at Fleet Feet Sports in Huntsville on the Saturday before the race from 12-5 p.m. or the day of the race.

For more information, visit the Race to the Cave Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

As spring approaches, skunk mating season arrives

Striped skunks exist as the most common skunks in Moore County. Keep your eye peeled on local roadways as the native mammals enter mating season and become more active. (File Photo)

Something’s in the air around Lynchburg and we guess you could call it love. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource agency, official skunk mating season doesn’t arrive until late February but as Moore County temperatures continue their above average trend, the little critters seem to be celebrating Valentine’s Day early.

You need only sniff the air or look along local roadways to know it’s true. The problem with this love fest is that if they decide to honeymoon under your crawl space or in your HVAC system, then you’ve got a problem that often require professional help.

Wildlife experts says there are a couple of things you can do to avoid attracting Pepe Le Pew and his stinky Juliette. One, remove bowls of dry pet food and bird feeders from outside your home and barns. If you temp skunks with a ready food source, they’ll happily set up camp. Two, make sure your HVAC units are sealed and not easy for a skunk to enter. It’s also important to make sure that all crawl space entries are securely closed.

Skunk couples breed once a year typically and mom gives birth to a single litter with four to six young. They tend to become more active during mating season, so you’re more likely to encounter one and he or she might be pre-occupied. When threatened, a skunk can spray its scent up to 15 feet and the pungent odor can spread up to a mile away. If you or a pet gets sprayed, the folks at the Lynchburg Vet Hospital say they’ve loaded up on Skunk Off Shampoo.

“The trick is to leave the shampoo on the pet for about five minutes before rinsing, then use the spray,” says Lynchburg Vet Hospital’s Wendy Morton. “Add a little bit of the shampoo to the washing machine when you wash the towels you use to dry the pet after the bath.”

Female skunks who aren’t interested in mating will spray the males to let them know to get away. Based of the smells of late, there’s a lot of skunk rejection happening in Lynchburg. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Area state parks offer first day hikes

Several area Tennessee State Parks will kick off New Year’s Day with Guided First Day Hikes. (File Photo)

Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day. Many state parks will host its own special hike. It’s a great way to safely spend time with friends and family to kick off the new year. Here are those happening closest to Lynchburg:

WINCHESTER | Tims Ford State Park — Local rangers will lead locals on a 2.5 mile loop hike out the Lost Creek Overlook Trail to the Lost Creek Overlook and return on the Overlook Trail. Online registration is required and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be limited to 50 hikers. This is a free hike, however donations are encouraged and will go toward firefighting supplies and equipment to keep the parks safe and beautiful. Hikers should meet at 10 a.m. at the Visitors Center. Click here for more information.

MANCHESTER | Old Stone Fort State Park — Meet Ranger Caleb Doster at the Old Fort State Park Museum Roof at 1 p.m. for a two hour strenuous hike along the 3.5 mile Backbone Trail. Hikers will walk along the Enclosure Trail and see the prehistoric Native American Mounds while discussing their cultural significance to the area. As you hike, you will see both the Big and Little Duck Rivers, as well as the three magnificent waterfalls. Temperature on Friday will hover around 70 degrees but there is an 80 percent chance of rain, so dress accordingly. Hikers are encouraged to bring their own water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Leashed dogs are welcome. For more information, click here.

BEERSHEBA SPRING | South Cumberland State Park — There is no more picturesque spot in south central Tennessee that Stone Door located inside South Cumberland State Park. Park Ranger Kristin Willis will lead hikers on a two mile hike to the best overlook in the park. Meet at 1183 Stone Door Road at 9 a.m. There’s a 90 percent chance of rain on Friday and temperatures should be in the mid-sixties. Dress appropriately. Click here for more information.

Tennessee State Parks’ First Hikes are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states. Most hikes are free but each state park accepts donations. To see all the First Day Hikes being offered in our state on January 1, 2021, click here.•

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}