Tim’s Ford State Park Pool will not open this summer

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Tennessee State Park officials announced this week that all public pools located inside state parks will not open this summer due to COVID-19 concerns. Tim’s Ford State Park Pool was already scheduled to be closed this summer for maintenance.

State park official stated they made the decision because there is no way to safely social distance at a pool. They also cited the unique challenge of keeping lifeguards safe.

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges for managing pools. Pools are confined spaces not conducive to social distancing,” park officials said. “The very nature of lifeguarding requires close contact with pool users and creates potential for unnecessary risk in life saving situations.”

The state parks system re-opened on May 1 and offers many other water-based summer activities like swimming along shorelines, fishing, boating, and paddling.

For more information about the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 response and guidelines, click here. For more information about Tims Ford State Park, 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.}

State parks will re-open on Friday

Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors but continue to do you part and stay apart. That’s the message from the state’s public parks system after Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday that he’ll allow his Stay at Home order to expire on April 30.

As such, the Tennessee State Park system will re-open this Friday, April 24 with several caveats. One, parks will open for day use only from 7 a.m. to sunset. Overnight accommodations will remain closed until after May 1. Two, visitors will be encouraged to still maintain the CDC recommended six feet of social distance between groups. Gathering areas such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, and three, prepare for very limited or no bathroom access.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Jim Bryson said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

The parks system also recommends that you limit visits to those parks closest to home. For Moore County residents, that would be Tims Ford in Winchester, Old Stone Fort in Manchester, and South Cumberland in Grundy County.

State officials say they won’t hesitate to re-close the park should visitors choose not to practice appropriate social distancing. If the park you plan to visit is crowded when you arrive, state officials recommend leaving and coming back another time.

“We urge the public to help us keep our state parks open by doing their part to stay apart, by maintaining proper social distancing and personal hygiene,” the state parks system said in a press release.

For information on which parks will re-open and which will remain closed visit the Tennessee State Parks COVID-19 Closures webpage. •

{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.}

9 Lynchburg things to do while social distancing

shelter dog, fishing, barbecue
Walk a shelter dog, go fishing at Tims Ford, or barbecue … social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck inside. {File Photo}

Distillery tours are shut down, Moore County schools are closed … now what? On March 15, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance for stopping the spread of COVID-19 related illness. According to the CDC website, they “recommend that for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.”

It’s called “social distancing” and it refers to a specific set of recommended actions taken by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious virus like COVID-19. It includes avoiding things like meeting in large groups as well as closing buildings, and cancelling events. But it doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck inside your home. There are lots of things you can do in the Lynchburg area.

1 | Explore Tims Ford State Park – It’s made up of 1,321 glorious, picturesque acres and there’s plenty of room for locals to explore without being on top of each other. It includes four hiking trails, three mountain bike trails, as well as three paved multi-use paths. It also happens to offer some of the best bass fishing in the South plus the Bear Trace Golf Course.

2 | Order take out from a local restaurant – Sure, we’re supposed to be avoiding dining in restaurants but that doesn’t mean you can’t order out. You can’t survive on snack food forever. Place a to go order at a local Lynchburg restaurant. We bet they’ll even offer curbside delivery if you ask.

3| Drop off a care package – We’re all in this together and now is the time to step up and take care of the less fortunate or vulnerable in our community. That includes that new mom, the elderly couple down the street, or the neighbor living with asthma. Pick some wildflowers, bake some homemade cookies, heck, be extravagant and give them a roll of toilet paper.

4| Shop local – Easter is right around the corner … so is Mother’s Day. The charming shops located in Lynchburg offer so many homemade, handmade, creative, original gift ideas. The Distillery tours are shut down for two weeks, so we’ve got the place all to our selves. If every person reading this just spent an extra $20 each week during the coronavirus response, it would make a huge difference.

5| Go fishing – Lynchburg’s blessed with several, amazing local waterbodies. Tims Ford Lake offers first class bass fishing. The Elk River is world-renown for its trout fishing. Fishing legend and Lynchburg native Bill Dance learned to hook em’ in the Mulberry Creek. Grab a pole and head out to a nice, secluded watering hole. And don’t forget your Tennessee fishing license.

6| Clean out your closets (and donate your stuff to Moore County Operation Spay/Neuter – You’ve got some time on your hands and spring is only a few days away. Why not get a head start on that spring cleaning? And before you throw anything away or sent it to Goodwill consider donating any “gently used” items to Moore County Operation Spay/Neuter and let them sell it on their online auction site. All proceeds fund spaying and neutering the community animals of Lynchburg. Click here to learn more.

7| Throw something on the grill – Woodard’s Market here in Lynchburg boasts one of the best fresh meat departments in the state. They offer a wide selection and if you don’t see what you want, just ask and they’ll cut it for you. Since we’re cooped up inside, why not barbecue … and maybe even share with a neighbor.

8| Check out the local e-library – The lobby of our local public library is closed to walk in traffic but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still check out materials. The Moore County Public Library offers tons of digital check out options including the Libby app that you can download to your smart device. Click here for all those options.

9 | Walk or foster a Moore County Friends of Animals pet – There’s nothing that soothes a bit of cabin fever like a wet nose or a furry tail. You’re going to be stuck at home a lot, so why spend that time with a local shelter dog … even if it temporary. Contact the Moore County Friends of Animals at 931-434-7508 to inquire about walking or fostering a shelter dog.

{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 rid Tims Ford of invasive species during Weed Wrangle

Chinese Privet {Photo Credit: USDA}

LOCAL NEWS — Tims Ford State Park needs your help and students can earn Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Achieves volunteer hours for lending a hand.

On Saturday, March 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tims Ford State Park will work to remove invasive species like Bradford Pear and Chinese Privet during the annual Weed Wrangle. Invasive species exists as plants or animals that are not native to Tennessee. If left to spread, these species can disrupt habitats, damage the environment, and even cause economic loses and health issues.

Volunteers should wear close toed shoes and long pants and bring their own sunscreen, bug spray, water, lunch, and snacks. Volunteers will meet at the park office located at 570 Tims Ford Drive. For more information or for question, contact Park Ranger Dalton Smith at 931.434.6032 or dalton.smith@tn.gov. Click here for additional details. •

{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.}

Tim Ford welcomes spring with guided hike

FRANKLIN COUNTY — If you’ve got spring fever, our local state park would like to invite to a First Day of Spring Hike on Saturday, March 21. The two mile round trip hike will explore the Lost Creek Overlook Trail inside Tims Ford State Park.

It meanders along Tims Ford Lake and features two suspension bridges. The hike is moderately strenuous and leashed dogs are welcome. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and bring their own water. Meet at the Park Office Parking Lot at 570 Tims Ford Drive at 9 a.m. Click here for more details.

For more information, contact Park Ranger Destiny Adcox at 931.309.3695 or destiny.adcox@tn.gov. The event is free but pre-registration is recommended. •

{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.}

Everything you’ll want to do in Middle Tennessee in March

1| Becky Buller Band at SJCC – It’s exciting when a two-time Grammy Award-winning musician plays one of our quaint, smaller venues. It’s even more exciting when one of Lynchburg’s own plays in the band. The Becky Buller Band, featuring Lynchburg’s Daniel Hardin on bass and vocals will perform at the South Jackson Civic Center in Tullahoma on March 7. To learn more visit our full article by clicking here.

2 | Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast – Dr. Seuss’s birthday happens on March 2, so it only seems fitting to celebrate the American children’s author with an event that raise money for a local literacy initiative. The annual Green Eggs and Ham Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, March 7 at Damron’s Restaurant in Tullahoma from 8-10 a.m. The cost is just $8 per ticket and all proceeds benefit the Imagination Library of Coffee County. To learn more, click here.

3 | Conquer the Fiery Gizzard – The 13-mile Fiery Gizzard hike isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s strenuous and long but rewards with massive rock formations, waterfalls, and panoramic overlooks. There no better way to conquer it than on a guided hike. On March 8 South Cumberland State Park Ranger Harris will guide you through one of Tennessee’s Top 25 Hiking Trails. Click here for more info.

4| Daffodil Day – It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the first official day of spring on March 21 and the unique charms of one of our sister small towns. Bell Buckle’s Daffodil Day will feature a beekeeping seminar, local author signings, and the Arbor Day Foundation will be onsite giving away free tree seedlings. To learn more visit our full article by clicking here.

5 | First Day Hikes – Tennessee State Parks encourages you to get out there and get moving with free First Day of Spring Hikes every March 21. Hikes vary from a short nature trail hike to strenuous all-day endeavors. In Middle Tennessee, hikes will be offered at Tims Ford State Park (Winchester), Henry Horton State Park (Chapel Hill) Old Stone Fort (Manchester), and South Cumberland State Park (Monteagle). To learn more, click here.

6 | Elk River Volunteer Clean Up Day – The Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers will launch Spring 2020 with a good deed and you can help. Gather at Woodard’s Market in Lynchburg on March 21 around 7 a.m. to eat breakfast before heading to Tims Ford Dam for a volunteer clean up day. Volunteers needs to bring their own gloves and dress for cooler weather. When the clean up finishes, there will be time for fishing. Click here for more details.

{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.}

Tims Ford seeks vendors for Lawn and Garden Show

LOCAL NEWS — Do you grow plants or flowers? Do you make birdhouses, hummingbird feeders, or other lawn decorations? Do you sell gardening accessories? Maybe you’re a garden-related artist. If so, Tims Ford State Park is looking for you.

Tims Ford State Park plans a Lawn and Garden Show for Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Recreation Area. The all day event will feature live plants, flowers, and well as lawn decorations, gardening accessories, and art. They also plan to host educational workshops and outdoor-themed speakers throughout the day.

They’re currently seeking local vendors to participate in the show. Anyone interested should contact Charlotte Jones at charlotte.a.jones@tn.gov or stop by the Tims Ford State Park office to pick up a vendor application. The office is located at 570 Tims Ford Drive in Winchester. You can also get up-to-event update on the event’s Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated community 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.}

Tims Ford plans outdoor survival school

LOCAL NEWS | Outdoors — Think you could survive for three days and nights on an island in Tims Ford Lake with just a handful of gear? Then you should definitely register for Forged at the Ford Outdoor Survival School, which will take place March 13-15. Registration ends on March 6, and there are limited spots available.

Park Ranger Mark Matzkiw will teach campers a variety of survival basics using minimal equipment and resources. Participants will learn friction fire, shelter building, knots, and more. During the three days, campers will live off the land by learning wild edible plants, trapping, fishing, and outdoor cooking. Rangers designed the program for all skill levels but campers must be at least 14 years old to attend and campers 14-17 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

The list of required gear includes a fixed blade knife, ferrocerium rod, screw top water bottle, hatchet or axe, 8×10 tarp, 50 feet of paracord, a flashlight or headlamp, a small metal pot, a sleeping bag, fishing line with assorted hooks, and a extra set of clothes in a waterproof container. Optional gear will include a hand saw, insect repellent, and a small first aid kit. All campers will be inventoried upon arrival.

Forged at the Ford is a rain or shine event. The price is $200 per camper. For more information, contact Ranger Mark at 931-968-3536 or 931-229-4893 or visit their website. To register for the event, 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.}

Watch birds of prey eat at Tims Ford event

REGIONAL NEWS | Franklin County — Many consider Tims Ford State Park one of the most picturesque state parks in Tennessee. It’s located along the 10,700-acre Tims Ford Lake, one of the area’s top bass fishing spots.

Nestled inside the park lies an aviary stocked with rescued birds of prey. It’s filled with hawks, owls, and other birds who’ve suffered injuries that make their return to the wild impossible. Rangers take painstaking care of the birds as they serve as animal ambassadors to the community.

On Friday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. Ranger Destiny will be on hand to speak to interested folks and feed the majestic bird of prey. For those who can’t make the Jan. 17 event, another opportunity will take place on January 24 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. For more information visit the state park’s website or the event’s Facebook page. •

{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.}

Save the Date: A Tims Ford Christmas

EVENTS | Winchester — Anonymously penned in 1823, Twas the Night Before Christmas, is responsible for most of our modern notions of Santa Claus … especially the tradition of gift giving. On Saturday, December 14 a reading of the classic poem will be part of a holiday celebration hosted by Tims Ford State Park.

A Tims Ford Christmas will also feature a gingerbread house competition, Santa letter writing station, and photo ops with both Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event will be held in conjunction with a Friends of Tims Ford State Park Holiday Market featuring homemade, handmade, and gift items from several local vendors.

Both event happen at the Tims Ford State Park Recreation Hall located at 570 Tims Ford State Park Drive in Winchester. The Holiday Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and A Tims Ford Christmas happens from 5-8 p.m. To participate in the gingerbread house competition, bring your complete gingerbread house between 5-7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the general public. Registration is not required but is appreciated so organizers can get an idea of how many folks to expect. To pre-register for the event, click here. For more information, contact Ranger Destiny at 931-968-3536 or destiny.adcox@tn.gov. •

{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.}