|Celebrating Tennessee State Parks 75th Anniversary and Stepping Into 2012|
|Tuesday, January 17, 2012|
Tennessee State Parks are celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year and will be hosting a number of events at each Park from Roane Mountain in East Tennessee to Meeman Shelby in West Tennessee throughout the year.
To kick off the celebrations and the New Year, each state park hosted a "Steppin' Into 2012" Hike on either Jan. 1 or Jan. 2, 2012. Although there were cold winds blowing and a dramatic drop in temperature on Jan. 2, a total of 28 hikers braved the chill for the first organized hike of the year to be held at Long Hunter State Park.
Ranger Tyler Blystone led the hike and gave several mini-programs along the 3.5 mile Jones Mill Mountain Bike Trail located at the Bryant's Grove area of Long Hunter.
An award of a 75th Anniversary T-shirt was presented to the oldest and the youngest hiker to make the entire trek. Jacob Newman, 9, won the award for the youngest. Jacob attended the hike with his mother, Jamie Newman, both of Smyrna. Bill Davis of Mt. Juliet received the award for being the oldest hiker at the event. No one else would admit to being over 65. Davis is a regular hiker at Long Hunter and a long time friend and supporter of the Park.
The T-shirts and a 75th Anniversary Patch will be available for purchase at any Tennessee State Park throughout 2012. Everyone completing the hike not only made new friends and had a great time but also earned a Certificate for their efforts, a spokesperson said.