Bays Mountain State Park Full of Activities
For $3 per car, a trip to Bays Mountain State Park in Kingsport, Tennessee is an inexpensive way to enjoy a day. First of all, wear good hiking shoes, bring some water, a camera and finally make sure you have enough time to hike and rest. Furthermore, this is entirely doable, even for those who have slight disabilities.
I’m nearly recovered after foot surgery from more than two years ago. And the ankles still get stiff , both they and the feet ache easily. In addition, if you take your time and rest when you need to, the hike to and from the fire tower is doable. However, don’t arrive too late in the day, or like us you end up the last ones to leave after 8:00 pm when the park closes.
Picturesque Scenery From Bays Mountain State Park
The Bay’s Mountain State Park scenery is some of the most beautiful. And it’s much cooler in the woods on a hot summer day. Furthermore, the greenery is lush and its peaceful hiking in the woods.
Strolling around the park is fun too. There are wolves, bobcats and birds to view in their habitats. In addition, kids love trying to get the animals to come up closer or to ‘talk’ with them. Make sure you have a pocket or something to carry your cell phone in, but don’t overdo carrying stuff around. Carrying extra stuff in the heat is tiring.
Hike to the Civilian conservation Corps 1927 Fire Tower
First of all, the round trip hike to the old 1937 fire tower and back is 3.28 miles, if I figured it correctly from the map. Additionally, the wooden tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps stands 60 feet high. The steps are almost entirely straight up and the first flight additionally sways. So, there are several flights of steps leading up to the platform observation point at the top of the tower.
The view from the top is impressive. We could even make out the Walgreen’s all the way over in the Allandale part of Kingsport, Tennessee. It might be hard to make the hike in the winter in snow, but it’s doable the rest of the year.
The fire tower actually lies outside of Bays Mountain Park, yet it’s accessible, starting with Fern Trail which meanders through the woods. The path is steep and rocky, so be careful. Take your time and don’t forget to rest as needed along the way.
Fern Trail and Lake Road Lead Through the Park
From Fern Trail you turn on Lake Road, which is a gravel road that also cuts through the woods. It’s a wider path, but it is still steep. Fire Tower trail is last and it actually is the steepest and rockiest part of the hike. On the way to the tower the trip is mostly uphill while on the way back its downhill.
You feel like you’re in the wilderness, out in the middle of nowhere. Yet you’re quite near civilization. One good thing about going in the latter part of the day after dusk is you get the chance to howl at the wolves… and they’ll actually howl back at you. Their howls are quite melodic. It was a treat to get to chat with them, even briefly.
You really feel the wilderness when the darkness descends upon Bays Mountain. Yet you’re minutes away by car from hotels and the rest of civilization. A day at Bays Mountain State Park is truly worth it. It’s definitely in the budget. Where else can you go for $3 for a whole carload of family and friends?