State parks in the region should be busy this weekend as Georgia celebrates Your State Parks Day and Tennessee observes National Public Lands Day. In Alabama, the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears will be commemorated at Lake Guntersville State Park.
Several activities are scheduled Saturday, Sept. 28, to mark the Trail of Tears anniversary. Morning programs will take place at the Trail of Tears site in the park; afternoon programs will be at the lodge.
On the schedule are: 9 a.m., Hike King's Chapel Trail to see marker tree; 10:30 a.m., Blessing of the Trail; 11 a.m., symbolic walk along the route; 12:30 p.m., lunch; 2 p.m. program on Cherokee plants; 3:30 p.m., "Paddling the Water Route"; 5 p.m., screening of the National Park Service's Trail of Tears DVD; 5:30 p.m., "It's My Trail, Too" by author Ronald Cooper.
Note that all times are Central and are subject to change. Lake Guntersville State Park is six miles northeast of Guntersville on Highway 227.
For more information on events, call 256-571-5445 or 256-571-5440. For park information, visit www.alapark.com.
Visitors to Georgia's state parks and historic sites will not pay for parking or admission on Saturday, Sept. 28, as part of the statewide Your State Parks Day. Parking is normally $5 at state parks, and admission ranges from $2.50 to $10 at state historic sites.
The statewide event includes numerous volunteer projects and family-friendly programs. Among them are: Music in the Park at Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Outdoor Adventure Day at James H. "Sloppy" Floyd State Park in Summerville, a trail project at New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun, an open house at the Chief Vann House in Chatsworth and work opportunities and family activities at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn.
A complete list of events and volunteer projects can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org/parks-day, or call 800-864-7275.
Each of the 54 Tennessee state parks will have scheduled hikes and volunteer opportunities in recognition of National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest one-day, volunteer stewardship event, on Saturday, Sept. 28.
These include a beautification day at Booker T. Washington State Park in Chattanooga, trail maintenance at Cumberland Mountain State Park and the Cumberland Trail in Crossville, a hemlock woolly adelgid attack at Fall Creek Falls in Pikeville, a ranger-led hike at Harrison Bay State Park in Chattanooga, an interpretive hike at Hiwassee/Ocoee Rivers State Park in Delano, trial maintenance at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester, trail maintenance followed by blowgun and flintlock demonstrations at Red Clay State Historic Area in Cleveland and trail maintenance at South Cumberland State Park in Monteagle.
For details, visit www.publiclandsday.org.
A commemorative hiking stick medallion will be given to the first 1,000 participants across the state.
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