Posts tagged with "hiking trails"

Pumpkin Patch Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Fall Fun In Tennessee

As the leaves begin to change and the air grows brisk, that can only mean one thing; fall is upon us in Tennessee. So carve out a good time and add these joyous farms, festivals, events, and pumpkin-spiced treats to check off your Fall bucket list.

1. Pick the Perfect Pumpkin of the Patch

The River Maze – Ocoee

Located on the banks of the Ocoee River, The River Maze is celebrating its 20th year of Spookley the Square Pumpkin with a wide array of fall-tastic activities, including corn and soybean mazes, bonfires, hayrides, farm animals, pumpkin basketball, and ziplines.

Falcon Ridge Farms – Bolivar

Falcon Ridge Farms is an expansive family farm in West Tennessee where visitors can take a shot at a corn cannon and visit its pumpkin patch. This fall destination includes a corn maze, tractor-drawn wagon rides, pony rides, food at the market, tire swings, giant slides, tether pole, cornhole, and bounce houses.

Lucky Ladd Farms – Eagleville

A petting farm, pony rides, and more than 70 activities and educational adventures are the norm on the 60-acre Lucky Ladd Farms in Eagleville. Farm-themed playgrounds, mega slides, wagon rides, tire climbs, games, and tractor trains entertain for hours. Visitors can choose from more than ten varieties of picked pumpkins or visit the patch to handpick their own. The farm’s corn maze is named “Tennessee’s #1 Corn Maze” four years in a row.

2. Take a Fall Weekend Getaway

Embark into the woods to find some of the coziest fall getaways in Tennessee to lay your head. Spend the weekend surrounded by fall foliage, breathing in fresh air, and being steps away from some of the state’s best hiking trails. Whether at Pickwick Landing State Park or Chickasaw State Park in West Tennessee, Montgomery Bell State Park in Middle or Norris Dam CCC State Park in East Tennessee, these lodging options are perfect for a fall break or weekend escape. 

3. Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Sunset Valley Farms – Huron

Celebrate Tennessee’s 225th anniversary and Henderson Country’s 200th anniversary with Sunset Valley Farm’s a-MAZE-ing corn maze at its 2021 Fall Festival. Capture Instagram-worthy photos in the farm’s large sunflower fields, munch on freshly made apple cider donuts and pulled pork, take a ride on the grain train, climb abroad a tractor, and pick the perfect pumpkin. Stay until sundown to experience the stunning Tennessee sunset against the ample woods of the west. 

Myers Pumpkin Patch and Farm – Greeneville

Deemed East Tennessee’s largest corn maze, Myers Pumpkin Patch and Farm delivers 500-acres of fun for the whole family with tractor rides, s’more stations around fire pits, and its epic Fall Farm Market. At the market, guests can handpick the farm’s freshly grown fruits, vegetables and homemade baked goods, including pumpkins, squash, corn, pumpkin pie, and fudge.

Honeysuckle Hill Farm – Springfield

Venture out to Springfield for a fall-filled day at Honeysuckle Hill Farm’s fall festival, where its guests can get lost in this year’s Loretta Lynn-themed country music corn maze, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, hear chickens sing, and watch pig races. Snack on the scrumptious food they have on-site, including caramel apples, kettle corn, and chili cheese nachos.

4. Get the In-Cider Information on Tennessee’s Hottest Apple Orchards

Wooden’s Apple House – Pikeville

Wooden’s Apple House offers over 100 acres to pick a wide selection of apples for the perfect day spent in the orchard. Grab a few bottles of apple cider to take home and stop by the pie shop that has delicious apple dumplings and meat-and-three restaurant. Take it easy and chill among the rolling hills and enjoy the nature at their vineyard.

Morning Glory Orchard – Nolensville

Located right outside of Nashville, Morning Glory Orchard offers everything from apples, peaches, and honey, to vegetables, cider, and fresh baked goods. Make a day out of your visit and enjoy a picnic in the orchard while snacking on a charcuterie box and sampling their fresh produce.

Buffalo Trail Orchard – Greeneville

Since 1890, the Buffalo Trail Orchard has been providing crisp fruits and vegetables to those in East Tennessee. During the fall month, guests enjoy the orchard’s pumpkin patch and take hayrides while spending the day with friends and family picking apples.

Jones Orchard – Millington

Here at Jones Orchard you can not only go apple picking, but the family can also enjoy everything from a 10-acre corn maze, hayrides, and pumpkin patch, to a farm scene investigation, monster mysteries, and other haunted attractions at their Festival of Fear.

5. Get Spooked at these Historically Haunted Tennessee Destinations

Unique spooks are what makes your travel to Tennessee exhilarating and the scary tours are full of excitement. Immerse yourself in the sights and thrills of haunted hotels, theaters, and homes where wicked stories and chilling surprises are tied to the stories of the past. 

6. Taste the Flavors of Autumn

The Apple Barn Cider Mill – Sevierville

Guests can pick apples in the orchards, then peruse the delicious homemade items in the general store.

Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant – Cosby

While in Cosby, stop by Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse restaurant, where you can load up on freshly picked apples, fried pies, homemade candies, and apple butter.

Fairlane Hotel’s Falling for Fairlane – Nashville

Head to downtown Nashville and ascend to the top of the Fairlane Hotel for their latest fall-inspired pop-up bar, Falling for Fairlane. Get in the spirit with their delicious infused cocktails, such as The Drunken Pumpkin, Not Your Mother’s Mulled Wine, Maple Old Fashioned, and feast on their shared plates like the goat cheese and savory pear tart, apple pie, and pumpkin spiced donut holes.

Old Millington Vineyard – Millington

Only 14 miles outside of Memphis, the Old Millington Vineyard captures the flavors of autumn in their seasonal plum wine. Cap off Sunday afternoon by having a picnic and enjoying the sights and original wines.

7. Explore Outdoors and Experience Tennessee’s Fall Colors

Kick up the fallen leaves and cruise along the state’s scenic byways to catch a glimpse of the colorful ridges, charming destinations, and outdoor treasures. Add these relaxing hikes, scenic drives, and leaf-peeping places to your fall bucket list.

8. Attend a Fall-tastic Event

“Once Upon a Pumpkin” – Discovery Park of America in Union City

Get lost in the stories of fairy tales at Discovery Park of America’s Pumpkin Village with this year’s “Once Upon a Pumpkin.” Climb through 40,000 pounds of pumpkins constructed along with hay bales and flowers to create displays that showcase childhood tales such as “The Three Little Pigs” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Goblins and Giggles – Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville

Fall at the Gaylord Opryland Resort makes for the perfect child-friendly getaway with their highly anticipated Goblins and Giggles. From Sept. 10 until Oct. 31, visitors to the resort see Spooktacular décor, play hide and seek scavengers hunts with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, go on the trick or treat expedition trail or Jack-o’-Lantern Walk, and win the haunted Hidden Treasure Escape Room. Other enticing events include Ghouls Night Out Riverboat Ride, Wicker Brews Spookeasy, the Monster Mash Bash, Frightfully Fun Zone, Bedtime Stories with Morgana, Spooky Animal Encounters, and the Fall Fountain Show.

Autumn at Anakeesta – Gatlinburg

Escape into wonderland this season with Autumn at Anakeesta from Sept. 24 – Oct. 31. Breathe in the Great Smoky Mountains while enjoying the live music, food, drinks and decorations. Go leaf peeping in the sightseeing Chondola, zipline through breathtaking fall greenery, and engage in the delightful beauty of East Tennessee.

Harvest Festival – Pigeon Forge

Dollywood goes all out to celebrate this time of year with its annual Harvest Festival. Running from Sept. 24 until Oct. 31, travelers cherish the lovely decorations, feast on seasonal treats, and listen to first-class entertainment. Stay until the sun goes down to see Dollywood’s ornaments come glowing to life at the LumiNights.

Cheer on Your Favorite Tennessee Football Team

Football is a big deal in the South. With the onset of changing leaves and the flavors of pumpkin spice on store shelves, that means that football fans everywhere are rejoicing and cheering on their favorite teams. While visiting Tennessee during the fall, schedule sometime to watch what football season is all about. Whether it’s the University of Tennessee Volunteers or the Tennessee Titans or the University of Memphis, there’s many teams to entertain all autumn long.

Tree illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

California – New State Parks Program

California State Parks, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the Natural Resources Agency today announced the opportunity for fourth graders to apply for a free California State Parks Adventure Pass. Effective today, they can apply for the pass that will give them the opportunity to explore 19 select state parks free for a full year.

“The California State Park Adventure Pass is an incredible new program that will help promote a healthier, more equitable California for all—a California where every child has the opportunity to explore, learn and benefit from our state’s natural wonders,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

Championed by the First Partner, whose California for All Kids initiatives support children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, the California State Park Adventure Pass Program expands the opportunity for fourth graders and their families to enjoy the benefits of connecting with nature, with each other and with their communities.

Applying for the free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email address. For individuals who do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer, and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or by calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.

Assembly Bill 148, signed by Governor Newsom in July, established the California State Park Adventure Pass Program, a three-year pilot program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. Earlier this year, the governor also signed Senate Bill 129, legislation that includes $5.6 million to fund the new Pass program. 

When determining which park units would be selected to participate in the pilot program, State Parks reviewed several factors including a diverse list of park units that span the state geographically. By spreading the park units throughout the state, the department will be able to maximize participation by limiting the distance that would need to be traveled to the nearest participating park. State Parks was also mindful of including a diverse collection of park units in terms of park features. The final list includes beaches, museums, redwoods, off-highway vehicle recreation, hiking trails and important cultural history.

The State of California believes in the right of all Californians to have access to recreational opportunities and enjoy the cultural, historic and natural resources found across the state. Too many Californians cannot access the state’s parks, beaches and outdoor spaces, nor the state’s array of museums and cultural and historical sites. Given this, the California Natural Resources Agency and California State Parks are prioritizing efforts to expand all Californians’ access to park, open space, nature and cultural amenities. This priority requires reshaping funding and programs to expand opportunities to enjoy these places. Doing so advances Governor Gavin Newsom’s strong personal commitment to building a “California for All.”

O'Connell's Lake via Emily Delarm for use by 360 Magazine

June is National Camping Month

Written by Emily DeLarm

June is National Camping Month, and what better way to celebrate than getting out and camping! In the past year, camping has gained popularity with more people trying it now than ever before because it’s a great way to get outside while social distancing. So why not take the whole family camping this year!

Today’s campgrounds cater to every type of camper, with a range of accommodations to make even the most resolute non-camper comfortable. Combine that with an immersion in nature and a surprising array of amenities, and we think you’ll agree it’s time the whole family went camping. Here’s why:

1.) Being in nature is good for your health

Many have long felt a sense of well-being when out in nature, and research has shown that there is a positive physical response to doing so. Several recent studies have shown that having access to nature reduces stress and enhances a feeling of well-being.

Another study found that people who experience a feeling of awe for the natural beauty of their surroundings have lower levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory biomarker which can result in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and depression.

2.) Skipping the hotel makes it unique

Today’s camping experience doesn’t have to mean pitching a tent in the middle of nowhere or in a state park where the nearest bathroom is a half-mile hike away. There are campground accommodations to suit every type of camper – from those who enjoy “roughing it” in a tent, to those who bring their RV-home-on-wheels, to those who prefer cabins with electricity, full bathrooms, and all the comforts of home.

For those seeking a true “glamping” experience, try a stay in a tiny house vacation rental that is sure to please the whole family – all the comforts of home in a miniature package that is sure to delight every child (and the little kid in every adult). A few to try:

Leavenworth Tiny House Village is located about two hours south of Seattle in the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, WA. While you’ll feel a world away, you don’t need a passport to be transported to small-town Bavaria in your tiny house while you enjoy access to 300 acres of beautiful forests and meadows. The five tiny houses, each with their own unique Bavarian theme and decor, are “glamping” style vacation rentals, with all kinds of amenities to enjoy at the campground. Get to know Hanna, Belle, Otto, Adeline, and Rudolf starting at $129/night.

Tuxbury Tiny House Village is located about an hour north of Boston just outside the picturesque town of Amesbury, MA. The village offers vacationers a unique respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life while experiencing a one-of-a-kind vacation. The tiny houses in the village are full of character and personality and range from 180 to 275 square feet. Relax along the tranquil shores of Tuxbury Pond, lounge by the pool, or enjoy a variety of popular local attractions, including apple orchards, farms, and eclectic restaurants. Choose from Emerson, Henry, Clara, Riley, and Murphy, each starting at $135/night.

3.) It’s a great excuse to leave the devices behind

While more campgrounds are modernizing with the installation of amenities such as Wi-Fi, you can still find plenty of destinations where cell service is less reliable. Before you consider that a shortcoming, think about the number of times a cell phone has interrupted a conversation between members of your family, and how nice it would be to hit the pause button on such intrusions.

In fact, studies have shown that just having a cell phone out during a conversation has a negative impact on your sense of connection to the other person, feelings of closeness between you, and the quality of the conversation you experience.

Try vacationing out of reach of a cell tower, and you just might find a real connection and improved reception, with no phone at all.

4.) Be a kid again

In today’s world, adults are burdened and distracted with the responsibilities of being an adult. But even worse, kids seem to be busy trying to be adults. A camp vacation encourages the whole family to set “the real world” aside for a time and focus on having fun with each other. With an assortment of planned events and activities for the whole family, you can let go of the scheduling and planning that are the hallmark of a typical vacation and enjoy what’s happening right on site.

One fantastic destination is O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Amboy, Illinois. A dizzying array of activity opportunities include three heated swimming pools, spas, kiddie pools, a beach for swimming, double-flume waterslide, paddle boat rentals, mini-golf, four playgrounds, hiking trails, fishing, hayrides, and a fully stocked indoor activity center with daily planned activities.

5.) Enjoy an immersive destination (without costumed characters)

The best part about summer camp as a kid was all the fantastic fun things to do. Everywhere you turned there was an activity being led or a game being played. Campgrounds offer the same appeal. Many offer your standard fares such as lake access, swimming pool, basketball court, sand volleyball, and activities like the ever-favorite tie-dye. Some of our favorites take it a step farther and transport you to another realm:

Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara, CA offers guests the opportunity to camp on a historic working ranch, complete with horseback riding, lasso lessons, and over 300 acres of scenic mountainside hiking trails to explore. Get as authentic as you wish, with a stay in a cabin, covered wagon, or even a teepee. At Gettysburg Farm in Dover, PA, guests can camp on a working farm, enjoy hayrides, farm animal feedings, vegetable picking, and visits to the farm animals, including horses, llamas, pigs, cows, and adorable pygmy goats.

6.) It’s easy to plan

For an easy, convenient way to plan your trip, visit CampUSA.com or download the CampUSA app. There you can quickly search more than 1,200 of the top campgrounds nationwide, including Kampgrounds of America, Encore RV Resorts, Thousand Trails locations and so many more.

The site and app offer the ability to search by map, by state or search for campsites nearby. Then filter your search to find the perfect spot for you when you sort by camping type (cabins and other rentals, RV or tent) and the amenities you’re looking for, like pet-friendly, waterfront sites, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, and more (even mini-golf!) Once you have your prospects narrowed, the site provides detailed information about each campground and a super easy booking interface, including the option to enter your credit card information by scanning with your camera phone (on the app). It doesn’t get easier than that!

7.) Nature can grease the wheels of bonding

Some vacations can leave us more stressed and less rested than before we left. To truly rejuvenate the whole family, try immersing yourselves in nature. Several studies have reported the positive effects that viewing beautiful imagery of nature has on people’s emotions and behavior.

In one example, when participants in this study were asked to interact with nature every day for a month reported feeling healthier and happier after the study. In another study, after spending just a minute looking up into a scenic expanse of eucalyptus trees, participants reported feeling less entitled and self-important than those who spent the time looking up at a tall building.

Imagine how much easier it would be to bond and connect with your family when each of you is experiencing a boost in gratitude and a dip in self-importance. If simply watching nature can have such a positive impact on our feelings, think of the impact that experiencing nature can have on the whole family.

Need yet another reason? How’s this: Camping just might be one of the least expensive – and most rewarding – vacations you’ll ever take.

See you by the campfire!

Why Knoxville Rocks

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer explores Knoxville—the third largest city in Tennessee.

When people think of Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis get the prime spotlight, and they most often make the top of the to-do list for travelers. But Knoxville has an abundance of attractions that are alluringly unique.

Knoxville’s first iteration as a world-class travel destination happened with a bang when the town hosted the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. Today the two remaining iconic vestiges are the Sunsphere tower, and a stunningly beautiful riverside performance amphitheater.

Knoxville is graced with historic architecture, both in the urban core, and surrounding residential neighborhoods, but its the friendliness of the people is an essential ingredient that makes the town so attractive.

Most of the businesses are locally owned. There’s been a recent explosion of new upscale eateries (more than 80 in the urban core) and trendy brew pubs that keep the downtown core hopping in to the wee hours of the night. Festivals like the annual Rhythm and Blooms Blues Festival in May is just a sampler of the live events that take place downtown throughout the year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW KNOXVILLE VIDEO SLIDE SHOW

Outdoor hiking, biking and kayaking are viral endeavors for locals and visitors alike. Knoxville rightfully touts its super popular Urban Wilderness with more than 1,000 unspoiled acres right in the heart of the city.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR One/KCBX PODCAST INTERVIEW with Angie Wilson at Visit Knoxville to hear the backstory on just why this vibrant town bustles with new, locally-owned businesses.

Carol Evans shares insights about the city’s Urban Wilderness adventures for hikers, bikers. and kayakers. Sam Carlton at the four-star The TENNESSEAN Hotel talks about the Knoxville World’s Fair back in 1982, and how the momentum instilled by the fair continues today.

Tom Bugg, general manager at the city’s two historic theaters—the Tennessee and the Bijou Theatre—paints a vivid picture of Knoxville’s past and present, and how the renovation of the theaters served as an economic stimulus for other downtown revitalization projects.

David Butler, executive director at the Knoxville Museum of Art talks about community engagement through showcasing regional art, educational outreach and gratis admission.

The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair “Sunsphere”still graces the skyline in the heart of town