Henry Horton State Park – Kayaking the Duck River (AKA The Dirty Duck) – Chapel Hill, TN

We visited Henry Horton State Park, near Chapel Hill, TN. Our main goal was to kayak on the Duck River (which runs right through the state park). We soon learned the locals call it the Dirty Duck…even though it isn’t dirty at all?!? Weird?!?. We also explored the Tennessee humidity on bikes (as well as …

Burgess Falls State Park – Sparta Tennessee

On our family vacation, the entire extended family headed out for an afternoon at Burgess Falls State Park. We were the last few cars to make it into the parking lot before they filled up. Part of the adventure on a very busy Memorial Day weekend was finding a parking space. Once we accomplished that …

Cummins Falls State Park – Cookeville TN

During our Memorial Day family vacation with my family, Emily and I ventured out to Cummins Falls State Park. We hiked up the river to the bottom of the spectacular waterfall. We’d gone with the kids years ago but we didn’t wade up the river to the bottom on that trip (only saw it from …

Warriors’ Path State Park – Kingsport, TN

We are adding kayaking when we can to our trips from now on. We visited Warriors’ Path State Park for hiking, biking, and kayaking. There are also several other activities that we didn’t even get to do (mountain biking trails, horseback riding, golf, etc.) There is a very pretty lake with some great views at …

Hiking Roan Mountain – Round Bald, Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald

We saved the best for last! This was my favorite hike of our trip to East Tennessee (and one of my favorite hikes ever!). It is 360 degrees of absolute gorgeousness at around 6,184 feet elevation. We hiked from Carvers Gap up to Round Bald, over to Jane Bald, and then onto Grassy Ridge Bald. …

Rocky Fork State Park + Erwin Linear Trail

We spent the day at Rocky Fork State Park. We started in the morning hiking up the Whitehouse Cliffs Trail. This is a pretty short trail but also a pretty steep one. On our lunch break, Emily picked up some ‘road treasure’. Joey would call it trash (each to his own!?!). Then we headed back …

Hiking Roan Mountain – Carver’s Gap to Roan High Knob to Cloudland Mountain to Roan High Bluff

We started our week in east Tennesse by hiking Roan Mountain (the sixth highest peak in Tennessee). From Carver’s Gap we hiked on the Appalachian Trail to the Roan High Knob shelter. The summit of Roan High Knob (6285 ft.) was the highest point of our week. Then we headed to Cloudland Mountain (where an …

Overnight Backpacking Alone (My First Time)

I went solo backpacking on a 13-mile hike and camped overnight alone in the Wildcat Shelter at Montgomery Bell State Park. It was my first time overnight camping in the woods. It was also my first time doing it all alone. I survived by drinking from streams, eating with a toilet trowel, producing fire from …

Montgomery Bell Park State Park

We went to Montgomery Bell State Park to hike and bike. The boys joined us.  We biked on a few of the trails on the extensive mountain bike trail network.  We hiked to all three of the lakes on the 3700-acre property.  We also saw all the iron ore pits from when was mining was …