Trail Notes: 6 relaxing hikes to walk off the Thanksgiving turkey

Trail Team 11

If you’re looking to hit the trails this holiday weekend, but don’t want to participate in a ranger-led hike, you’re not alone! After the crazy of Black Friday, who wouldn’t want some solitude with the birds and bears?

Here’s six of my favorite easy hikes for relaxation this holiday weekend. (These are in no particular order.)

  1. Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve, Russell County VA – If you can get over the swinging bridge, you’re home free. This easy jaunt along the Big Cedar Creek leads to a waterfall.
  2. Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, Greene County TN – The Crockett Shoals Overlook Trail provides what’s promised in a gorgeous woodland setting. Full disclosure: the trail is narrow in spots and there is one short spot that is steep.
  3. Hampton Creek Cove Natural Area, Roan Mountain TN – This is more of a walk than a hike. But with gorgeous views of the mountains and the relaxing sound of the creek, what’s not to enjoy?
  4. The Beauty Spot on the A.T., Unicoi County TN – This is the definition of easy hike. You can literally drive up to the Beauty Spot and then hike the A.T. in either direction for as long as you want. With it being the holiday, chances are you will see other hikers, though.
  5. Carvers Gap on the A.T., Roan Mountain TN – Let’s be honest, it’s probably going to be packed but you can’t beat this classic hike. I may end up here this weekend. Supposedly from Jane Bald after dark, you can see the Speedway in Lights. Bring the binoculars. (A park ranger told me about this, but seeing is believing.)
  6. Bays Mountain, Kingsport TN – The hike up to the fire tower can’t be beat. The fire tower was built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Enjoy the views of the surrounding area from atop Bays Mountain.

You can check out more hikes on the Trail Team 11 page.

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