Fall is here and nature is calling. Perfect temperatures and scenic surroundings make for a great time of year to get outdoors and enjoy what the Lakeway Area has to offer.
In efforts to help the community safely enjoy the outdoors, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System has partnered with Panther Creek State Park to establish the Redbud Patch Program. The first of its kind in Morristown, the program encourages community members to explore the variety of trails in the state park at their own pace and log their results. A limited edition Redbud Patch is available for those who hike a total 26.2 miles inside Panther Creek from now through Jan. 1, 2017.
Panther Creek State Park is located on the Cherokee Reservoir in the historic Holtson River Valley. The 1,435 acre park offers 17 different hiking trails covering more than 30 miles of terrain at all levels of difficulty. Hikers can enjoy views of Cherokee Lake and the Cumberland Mountains from Point Lookout Trail, reaching 1,460 feet above sea level.
The program will feature several group hikes led by Panther Creek State Park Rangers and U.S. track and field Olympian Missy Kane. Kane, the health promotions coordinator for Covenant Health, has been profiled in Runner’s World magazine and hosts her own weekday fitness show, “Missy Kane Fit and Fun,” on East Tennessee Public Television. She uses her talents to engage the community in exciting events that encourages a healthier lifestyle.
Upcoming group hikes at Panther Creek will be:
- Heritage Day Festival Hike – Oct. 14 at 8 a.m.
- After Thanksgiving Hike – Nov. 24 at 8 a.m.
- New Year’s Hike – Jan. 1 at 8 a.m.
Each group hike will be 3-4 miles in length and is beneficial for experienced and beginner hikers alike. To help navigate the parks trails, stylish hiking handkerchiefs are available for purchase at the Visitor’s Center for $10. All proceeds will benefit the Friends of Panther Creek and Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System Patient Assistance Fund.
For more information on the Redbud Patch Program, visit www.morristownhamblen.com/redbudpatch. The website includes printable sign-up forms, including a mileage log and a trail map of Panther Creek State Park.
As a community, a healthier lifestyle can be achieved one step at a time.