Northeast Tennessee’s Fall Splendor | By Patricia Vorbrich
Fall is the perfect time to visit the picturesque Northeast Tennessee area of the Sunny Side Trail. Begin in the Great Smoky Mountains and course through the Cherokee National Forest and continue into the Appalachian Mountains, to explore America’s First Frontier. Discovering Tennessee Trails and Byways is a statewide initiative, encompassing all 95 counties along 16 separate and distinct regional trails, and featuring Tennessee’s five National Scenic Byways.
First stop is Bristol Motor Speedway, the “world’s fastest half mile.” Holding Nascar races in March and August, it seats 160,000 fans. For a real fan thrill, take a ride around the track in a pace car to experience the excitement of a real race.
The Bristol Caverns are a sight to behold. Well lit pathways wind through vaulted chambers and narrow pathways for an experience like no other.
Bristol is also the birthplace of country music, designated as such in 1998 by the U.S. Congress, and boasts the new, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, opening August of 2014.
Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is a 3,550 acre nature preserve not to be missed during fall foliage season with maples, sourwoods, tulip trees and much more, as the park comes alive with color. It also boasts 38 miles of trails perfect for hiking and mountain biking. Don’t forget to take the barge ride on the 44 acre lake, and finish with a visit to the 40-foot domed planetarium theater.
Founded in 1779, Tennessee’s oldest town, Jonesborough, is the first Tennessee town to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jonesborough is also the Storytelling Capital of the World, and hosts an International Storytelling Center, where some of America’s best loved, internationally renowned storytellers tell their tales.
Want to get a real fall feel? Stop in at Myers Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze. This 24 acre corn maze is filled with winding trails and eight foot high cornstalks. Go for a ten minute hayride and visit the pumpkin patch.
Hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,175 mile long footpath stretching through 14 eastern states, between Maine’s Mount Katahdin and Georgia’s Springer Mountain. See spectacular scenery, nature and personal rejuvenation and be prepared to climb. End your trip in Northeast Tennessee with a visit to the Annual Mountain Makins Festival in Morristown, voted the Best Festival in East Tennessee. The weekend event celebrates folk life and the rich traditions of Appalachia. M
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July 31, 2017
July 26, 2017