One Last Fall Hike- Tims Ford State Park {Tennessee}


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:

South Cumberland State Park

Old Stone Fort State Park

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park


Thanks for coming along on this last fall hike at Tims Ford State Park. May you enjoy long walks over bridges through the trees.

19 thoughts on “One Last Fall Hike- Tims Ford State Park {Tennessee}

  1. Stunningly beautiful! I love that you show the international students the beauty of Tennessee. Your photo of the suspension bridge should win an award – amazing! (By the way, I hope the passport debacle has worked out. I’ve been thinking about you and how frustrating that must be.)

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ The suspension bridges are so great! Sadly, the passport debacle is still not working out. We went to court the other day but were so far down the list of people there that they rescheduled us for Dec. 1, only 13 days before we’re suppose to leave. It’s looking very unlikely that we’ll get to Paris this year. I so appreciate your kindness!

  2. The park looks beautiful with the autumn tints and those wooden suspension bridges gorgeous. I’m certain your students enjoyed their hiking trip with you. On a different note I just read your comment above about your daughter’s passport. I sincerely hope that it gets sorted out in time for your Paris trip, it would be so sad if you can’t go after last year’s disappointment to Germany. M xx

    1. Thank you Marion ๐Ÿ™‚ the passport issue has been so difficult! they say bad thing happen in threes and it is feeling like maybe that is true for travel plans as well. But hopefully we will get it worked out soon. I really appreciate your kindness xx

  3. Hiking in the rain is admirable! I’m afraid we are both grumblers when it comes to tackling the great outdoors in the rain. You all did the right thing of course, as you managed to grab some really lovely autumnal scenes here. This was a much needed injection of idyllic fall into our grey, drab morning here in Tbilisi. We are based in an old Soviet style apartment block by the side of a highway on the edge of the city. This makes our work days a bit cheerless and cocooned, so this article is just the tonic as I sip my coffee and continue the slow process of waking up. It’s not such a bad job you have, eh? I can see from the group photos that your group had a great time.

    1. I think the students had a great time, rain and all and I was glad they were such good sports about it. This part of my job is the best and I love getting to know the students from all over the world. Cheerless and cocooned in an old soviet block building does not exactly seem seem like a great way to start your day. So I’m glad that some Tennessee fall pictures and a good cup of coffee could help ease into the day ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Beautiful colours and I love the glimpses of the lake through the trees. There’s something special about introducing visitors to a local place you love and finding that they enjoy it too ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think that is very true, there is a special bond when they love a place you love. It also comes with a little bit of anxiety at first that they won’t love it like you do. I was worried about that when the rain started and was so relieved when they were all good sports about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What an awesome field trip to take with your international students. Looks like your final fall hike was a good one, even if you got a bit of rain. Thank goodness you finished before the thunderstorm! Iโ€™m such a fan of suspension bridges and that overlook of the lake looks spectacular.

    1. Thank you! It was a great way to say goodbye to the colors of fall but if we would have been stuck in the storm then I think no one would have enjoyed it like they did. The overlook is really pretty…it just needs a couple of red chairs to make it better ๐Ÿ™‚

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