Local outdoor enthusiasts are invited to celebrate Signal Mountain's hiking trails on May 14.
The inaugural Trail Day: A Celebration of Signal Mountain's Parkland is presented by The Land Trust For Tennessee from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rainbow Lake trailhead. The free, family-friendly event focuses on education and exploring the many trails Signal Mountain has to offer.
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Throughout the day, experts will lead a series of guided hikes from the trailhead on topics such as songbirds, medicinal herbs and ecology. The day will also include historical talks, including "History of the Mountain & the Genesis of the Cumberland Trail" by Sam Powell and Bill Fronk.
"There are many unique things about Signal Mountain's parkland," said Joel Houser, The Land Trust for Tennessee's Southeast conservation director. "From their unique history to the many spectacular geological and ecological features, the parks have so much to offer."
Houser said the idea for Trail Day was based on conversations with mountain stewards and residents. He hopes guests will leave the event with a new appreciation for the area, but also a lasting interest in conservation.
"This event will be a great way for people to get outside and connect with the natural areas in their own backyard," Houser said. "It's these connections that cause people to feel the importance of protecting our natural resources and ecosystems."
The Land Trust for Tennessee was founded in 1999 and has offices in Nashville and Chattanooga. The organization has protected more than 100,000 acres, including family farms, forest habitats, recreational public land and other cultural resources.
Popular Signal Mountain hikes include the Signal and Edward's Point section of the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park. The trails include stops at Rainbow Lake, Mushroom Rock and other attractions.