Monday, September 2, 2019

13th Annual Long Hunter Mega-Hike Set For Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 2019

It's that time of year again! The 13th Annual Long Hunter Mega-Hike is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2nd at Long Hunter State Park in Hermitage, TN. (Note: The event was previously scheduled for Oct. 26th, but due to rainy weather has been postponed until Nov. 2.)

As always, the plan is to hike all of the park's trails - about 26 miles - in a single day. 
This free event is sponsored and organized by the Friends of Long Hunter State Park.

Participants should meet at the Couchville Lake parking lot (in Area 2) at approximately 6:45 a.m. and be prepared to hit the trails at 7 a.m. sharp. The goal is to complete the hike before sunset, although there's a slight chance hikers could still be on the trails after dark - so participants should bring a light source just in case.

If you're unable to hike all 26 miles, or just aren't interested in hiking that many miles, no worries - you can stop whenever you please. Some participants hike only a mile or two with us. The main objective is to have fun while enjoying the fall colors and variety of habitats that Long Hunter has to offer - whether you hike just two miles or all 26 miles.

Those who complete the hike will receive a frameable certificate of merit. There's also the possibility of your photo appearing in a newspaper or online. At one of our recent mega-hikes, The Tennessean newspaper showed up for the event, and the following day the paper featured a story about the mega-hike, along with a photo gallery.

Remember to bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water -- and perhaps extra socks and clothes, depending on the weather.

No pets, please. Children are welcome.

Since Long Hunter's trails are spread out and many do not intersect, participants will return to their cars several times in order to drive to different areas of the park; in other words, no need to carry heavy backpacks -- you can leave food or extra clothes in your vehicle and get them later if you wish. You'll also have access to park restrooms at a few locations.

As for the weather, the hike will take place regardless of temperature. However, if it's raining or if the weather looks threatening, the event might be postponed since attempting to hike 26 miles in the rain might prove to be difficult -- and probably not much fun.

The plan is to hike the trails in the same order as previous years: Couchville Lake Arboretum Trail, Nature Loop, Inland Trail, Bluff Trail, Deer Trail, Group Camp Trail, Day Loop, Volunteer Trail, Couchville Glade Trail, Jones Mill Trail, Point Trail, Bryant-Grove Trail. The order is subject to change, but the hike will always start at Couchville Lake.

Since this hike is being organized, led and sponsored by the non-profit Friends of Long Hunter State Park, donations to the group are welcome. Many of the park's hikes and events are organized by Friends of Long Hunter volunteers, and many supplies for the park's educational programs are purchased by the Friends group. 

To donate to the Friends of Long Hunter State Park or become a member, visit

Directions to Couchville Lake parking lot: Enter Long Hunter State Park at the main park entrance (2910 Hobson Pike) and then take the first left (which is Area 2) and proceed to the parking lot beside Couchville Lake.

If you have further questions about the hike, call the Long Hunter State Park office at 615-885-2422. You can also keep up with all the latest news on the Friends of Long Hunter Facebook page:

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