A Winter Hike is Good for the Soul
As the last of the fall leaves drop from the trees and the colder temperatures descend on the Tennessee valley, most people tend to hibernate in the warmth of the indoors. However, there are many benefits both mental and physical to getting outside in the fresh air, albeit cold air, and exercising. One of the best ways to do this is by hiking, and lucky for you, there are plenty of winter hikes in state parks near you where the beauty of winter unfolds.
Frozen Head State Park
Frozen Head State Park is named for a 3,324-foot peak in the Cumberland Mountains, which is usually covered in ice and snow during the winter months. There are over fifty miles of backpacking and day-hiking trails as well as primitive camping sites. One of the best ways to take in the splendor of the wilderness is by hiking a scenic seven-mile trail which leads to the summit of Frozen Head where there is an observation deck that rises just above the treeline and allows for a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding mountainous area.
Foster Falls is home to a stunning 60-foot waterfall and surrounded by some of nature’s finest woodland offerings in mountain laurel, azaleas, and hemlocks which grow above the falls. The best way to really get a good feel of the park which encompasses the south end of the Cumberland Plateau is with an easy hike that will take you to the top of the falls and connects to a trail that will take you down into the gorge and then over the creek on a suspension bridge where a stunning view of the falls awaits you. There is an open air pavilion on the grounds to picnic and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park
For those interested in exercise and a lesson in history, Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park is worth exploring. This state park covers more than 1,200 acres and contains trails and viewing areas of at least 15 Native American mounds. There is an exhibit space, archaeological library, and theater for further historical educational enlightenment.
As Alfred Wainwright once wrote “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. So grab your winter gear, pack essentials for hydration and set off during daylight hours to fully enjoy a spectacular sight seeing adventure on the trails of Tennessee!