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Celebrating Our National, State, and Local Parks

National Parks Week – Celebrating Our Parks

National Parks Week is here! We love all of our National, State, and Local Parks and we frequent them. T and I love nature and can’t get enough. To celebrate National Parks Weeks I thought I would pull together some of the posts from our favorite parks and natural spaces that you can visit on a day trip from the Tri-Cities. These are not all National Parks but all are amazing! For the record, I have made a list and we will be visiting plenty of our National Parks once this Safer At Home thing ends. I can not wait…

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Birthday Hike On Roan Mountain from Carver's Gap

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

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Laurel Fork Falls in Hampton TN

Hike Laurel Falls in Hampton Tennessee Just Off The Appalachian Trail

Beautiful Falls and Great Hike in North East Tennessee

Imagine this… The weather is in the high fifties as you find yourself meandering down a wooded trail lined on one side by the crystal clear waters of Laurel Fork Creek and on the other, towering, almost magical forest. Laurels bend toward the dusty path your walking sporting bright pink buds just about to burst open with the promise of spring. Meanwhile, the birds are singing, the breeze is light, and the sky canopies bright blue above you. The smells of fresh earth and clean air, and rushing water, plus sunshine combine to create this particular blissful fragrance you have come to think of as the scent of Appalachia.  Read More…

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The Blue Ridge Parkway Linville Falls The Blowing Rock

The Blowing Rock and Linville Falls Adventure on The Blue Ridge Parkway

Hiking To Linville Falls and Also Enjoying The Views From The Blowing Rock

The Blue Ridge Parkway leads to some amazing destinations. These tree-lined roads with their charming twists and turns climb ever and ever higher until you feel like you are on top of the world. So last week, T and I decided we would love to be sitting at the top of the world and we made a plan to do just that. After a few hours of flipping through our North Carolina Vacation Guide, we decided to check out The Blowing Rock.  We hadn’t had the pleasure of that particular view before and the stories about the rock itself intrigued us. Also, we knew it was really close to Linville Falls which we have been aching to see since we first spotted the sign on our way to The Orchard at Alta Pass a few Falls back.  Read More…


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cades cove

Visit Cade’s Cove In The Smoky Mountains National Park

Take A Trip Around The Loop At Cade’s Cove

We love visiting Cade’s Cove in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We visit a few times every year but Fall is always my favorite time to go. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains a lovely little valley, and it is rich in history and abundant in wildlife and awe-inspiring views. Cade’s Cove is visited by over two million people a year. No matter how many other visitors are there, it somehow always feels as though you have found a quiet, peace, a solitude, just for you. The wide-open spaces tucked between the protective mountains create a space that most find unforgettable. And like me, they call us all back year after year and even season after season. If you have not visited, you should.  Read More…

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Backbone Rock Tunnel and Recreational Area

Backbone Rock Tunnel in Shady Valley

The History of “The Shortest Tunnel In The World”

We love visiting the little recreation area at Backbone Rock. The tunnel itself is a marvel and you can easily climb stone stairs to stand atop it and enjoy the views of Beaverdam Creek flowing below.  A short hike away stands a forty-five-foot tall waterfall, appropriately named Backbone Falls. There are fishing spots and a short hiking trail as well as a lovely little picnic area with grills. There is also plenty of parking. It’s a beautiful place to visit. And just ahead lies Damascus and the Creeper Trail and bike rentals and lots more fun!  Read More…

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Hiking with kids

Best Family Hiking Trip In East Tennessee – Carver’s Gap

Tips for Hiking With Kids

T and I do a lot of hiking. I have actually been taking him since he was a baby. In those early days, he had to be lugged up the mountains in a baby carrier. He would coo and reach out and come so alive in the midst of it all. Nature has always soothed and intrigued him. Just like it has me. As he has grown he has insisted on climbing those mountains. While some kids may want trips to the toy store or days at the movie theater, T has always wanted time deep in nature. That said, we have likely hiked more trails and climbed more mountains than most. When any of my friends ask me where the best family hiking trip is in East Tennessee, one where they can go hiking with kids, I always recommend the Roan Mountain hike. Though, this hike is technically just over the North Carolina border. Read More…

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Chimney Rock State Park Review

Visit Chimney Rock State Park For Beautiful Views

Amazing Views And Old-Time Charm Combine to Make Chimney Rock A Great Destination

Chimney Rock State Park is amazing! The views are spectacular, the trails are fun, the waterfall is gorgeous, and it is the perfect place for a family fun day!  Read More…

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Visit Anakeesta Mountain Theme Park

Anakeesta Mountain Park in Gatlinburg

Should You Visit Anakeesta Theme Park In The Smoky Mountains?

Did you know there is a new theme park in Gatlinburg? Anakeesta boasts beautiful mountain views, a long walk through the treetop canopies along rope bridges that have just the right amount of bounce, treehouses, and a Firefly Village full of fun shops and good food!. You can also visit the gardens and find countless butterflies enjoying all the vibrant blooms. It’s a beautiful park.  Read More…

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Hike Rock Creek Falls in Unaka Mountain Wilderness

A Beautiful Waterfall Experience

T and I had an amazing adventure on Unaka Mountain. His Summer Camp had taken him to Rock Creek Falls and he wanted me to see it too. After discovering it was less than an hour away we headed for Rattlesnake Ridge Trail in Unicoi. Here we easily found Rock Creek Recreation Area. The first thing I noticed was a stream fed swimming pool that looked like a lot of fun.  Read More…

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Bay's Mountain Park Hiking Trails

Bay’s Mountain State Park – Lakeside Trail Review

Hiking Trails at Bay’s Mountain Are Among The Best Around

When you think of Bay’s Mountain you probably think of how amazing the Planetarium is. Maybe you think about how cute the otters are or how massive the wolves are in real life. Perhaps you think about Chia the Vulture who is ridiculously smart and has a great story. Or maybe you think about the ropes course or the beauty found on the barge rides.  Read More…

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Visit Winged Deer Park (Our Favorite Local Park)

Winged Deer Park has so much to offer! Hiking trails, bike trails, a pier, a playground, an arboretum, historic sites and on and on. Today I am sharing my favorite things about visiting Winged Deer Park. But the park offers much more than will be covered here. We recommend you get out there and start exploring right away.  Read More…

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Sliding Rock natural water slide in Brevard

Visit Sliding Rock In Pisgah National Forest

Looking for a great family-friendly getaway? Look no further than Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls!

Sliding Rock is a 60-foot natural water slide that is so much fun. To make a whole day of this adventure drive just down the road and visit Looking Glass Falls and take a dip in that swimming hole. Pisgah National Forest is full of beauty and ready to help you create summer memories that will last. Read More…

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Watauga Lake in Tennessee

Reasons To Visit Watauga Lake and The Cherokee National Forest

The Best Part of Living in East Tennessee

Today we are talking all about Watauga Lake! When we first moved to Elizabethton we were so excited to be so close to Watauga Lake that we brought our supper up there almost every night for the first few weeks we lived here. We just couldn’t get enough of having that kind of beauty in our back yard. Almost ten years later, and we still frequent Watauga Lake!  Read More…

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These and many other state, national, and local parks are our favorite destinations. Nature is a healing place and very few of us get enough of it. Let’s all agree in honor of National Parks Week, that when this quarantine ends, we will visit a National Park with our loved ones. Not sure which ones are near you, visit this link to find out.

Take A Virtual Tour Now

For now, why not take a virtual tour of a park?

Take a Virtual Visit to a National Park

Got a bit of downtime? Take a trip to a national park from wherever you are! Many national park sites across the country offer digital tours and experiences that you can access anytime, anywhere. From digitally diving under the sea to watching the cherry blossom trees bloom,

Our List of National Parks To Visit This Summer:

  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Cumberland Gap
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park


Do you have a favorite National Park that you want to share with us? Tell us all about it in the comments section below. We love to hear from you.

Be well, stay safe, and love one another,


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Celebrating National Park Week

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