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Your Backyard Is Beautiful!

Got your attention didn’t I? Well, the backyard I am talking about sure has mine. We’ve probably all referred to parts of our neighborhood, maybe our community and perhaps even our state as our “backyard”. The one I am sharing with you today is our State Park system.

Tonya and I recently started on a quest to see as many of the Tennessee State Parks as possible. It kind of started on a whim one day when we decided to take a little day trip to visit someplace new that we had not yet seen together. On one of our first stops we picked up a free park guide that shows the location of over 50 parks from one end of the state to the other. This locator map shows where they all are, directions on how to get there, and what types of activities are available at each. We have now visited over a dozen in the Middle TN area alone! I have to say, this is yet another reason to absolutely love the place we call home.

Mt Juliet is located only a few miles from the geographical center of Tennessee, making it just about as convenient as possible to visit them all. That cannot be said if you happen to live in Memphis or Mountain City up in the far NE corner of TN. In fact, if you lived in Mountain City, TN it would be closer for you to drive to Canada than to the other end of your own state (521 miles vs. 544 miles per MapQuest)! I hope everyone gets a chance to see some of the beauty and magnificence our state has to offer. We even went to one State Park (it’s only been a State Park for a couple of years now) that was not yet on our map which is located about 20 or so miles north of Cookeville. We were actually on our way to Burgess Falls and Tonya saw the sign for Cummings Falls State Park. We thought “what the heck, let’s check it out” and it is spectacular! Some might even call my ability to get from the passing lane driving 70 MPH to the exit ramp in under 5 seconds a bit spectacular; I hope everyone else on the road that day thought so too…JK.

Another trip took us on the Natchez Trace Parkway all the way down to Davy Crockett Park near Alabama where we enjoyed the afternoon attending Davy Crockett Days. From waterfalls and foot bridges, cliff views and scenic overlooks, to beautiful drives and wonderful picnics, we have truly come to appreciate our own back yard. So far our visits have been easy day trips nearby. We are looking forward to broadening our travels and hope to get to Reelfoot Lake near Tiptonville in the NW corner of TN across the Mississippi River from Missouri to Warriors Path State Park near Kingsport in Upper East TN. The next time someone asks you why you love Mt Juliet, maybe you too can add this to your already long list of reasons why we love our own backyard! I will see you right here next week!

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