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Ranger leads group on hike through park

The laundry list of first-ever accomplishments continues for Rocky Fork State Park.
Hikers from across the area had the opportunity to take part in the first ranger-led hike at the park, held as part of National Trail Days on Saturday, June 6.
“We had 13 adventurous hikers go on the first-ever Rocky Fork State Park ranger-led hike,” said Tim Pharis, park ranger with Rocky Fork. “We started at the main blue gate, hiked alongside the clear flowing Rocky Fork Creek for about 15 minutes before turning off of the main trail and heading up White House Ridge.”
Saturday’s hike nearly spanned four miles as on-goers had the opportunity to take in the outdoors led by Pharis and Rocky Fork park manager, Jesse Germeraad.
“At the top, we were awarded with the breaking 360-degree views of the Rocky Fork Watershed,” Pharis said. “The mountain laurel was in full bloom and the huckleberries were just days away from ripening.”
Along with Mother Nature, hikers were also treated with a bit of history lessons on the area.
“We ended the day with a visit to the battlegrounds at Flint Creek,” Pharis added. “Where John Sevier ambushed Cherokee families in their winter camp in the late 1700s.”
Work stays on the drawing board for Rocky Fork in the coming months. Signs are currently being placed on the main interstate to help direct traffic to Rocky Fork.
Construction of a roadway inside the park is currently in its early stages through the Tennessee Department of Transportation and is set to be completed in two to three years.
An eight-foot wide biking trail and walking trail are also on the drawing board from officials to go along with plans of having a parking lot at the entrance of the park.
More hikes throughout Rocky Fork are expected in the summer, according to Pharis. Announcements on future hikes will be available online by visiting the Rocky Fork State Park and Tennessee State Parks’ Facebook pages online.