The last few months, I’ve been taking international students hiking through some of the state parks in the area. We braved the heat of summer for a couple of the hikes and though the views of the park were beautifully green, the pictures of all of us showed us all too sweaty and hot to take pictures. We actually took a couple of months off from our hiking adventures to wait for the cooler days of fall to come. But when they came, we returned the parks with great vigor. And for this month’s hike we went to Tims Ford State Park to enjoy what will probably be the last of the fall hikes before winter comes.
Tims Ford is an almost hand shaped piece of land surrounded by the lake. Beginning at the visitor center we turned down the path for the Lost Creek Trail. This trail winds around some of the ‘fingers’ of land so the lake is always within view through the trees. The trail takes you up and down the rolling hills as it hugs the shoreline.
One of my favorite things about the state parks here in Tennessee are the long beautiful suspension bridges that take you from one part of the trail to the next. And this trail especially is delightful because there are many suspension bridges and wooden bridges to cross. And with the last colors of fall, the bridge was all the more enjoyable.
All of the students loved the hike with the bridges. We were just barely onto the trail when it started to rain. Worried they would be miserable hiking in the rain, I offered for us to turn around and head back. But they all wanted to keep going with resounding enthusiasm. They pulled out their umbrellas and we continued down the trail.
This trail is about 2 miles of moderate hiking. The slopes are pretty gentle but when hiking in the fall you want to take it a little slower because the carpet of fallen leaves will hide the rocks and roots that may trip you. My family came hiking with us and Tessa tripped on a root and scraped her knee up pretty bad. But soon she was receiving all kinds of support and encouragement in Japanese and Chinese from the students which was really sweet.
The trail ends at the high point overlooking the lake. With the cloudy skies and the colorful leaves it was a really beautiful sight. From there we took the paved trail that cuts back down to the visitor center. We were just in time too because what was a light drizzle soon turned into a thunderous storm. I was so glad that we could enjoy the hike before the storm came.
I love taking these students to new parts of the state where they can see the natural beauty of Tennessee. I love to hear their exclamations of joy and to watch them take pictures and videos to send to their families back home. And I love that I get to share my family with them on these outings. It is a great mix of all of my favorite things.
Want to see some of the other Tennessee state parks in the fall? Then check out these:
Thanks for coming along on this last fall hike at Tims Ford State Park. May you enjoy long walks over bridges through the trees.