Bays Mountain fall foliage enters peak viewing time in East Tennessee

(Courtesy: WJHL)

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – It’s the time of year when many people venture out to enjoy the leaves turning colors, and there are many places that you can do that across Tennessee.

One of those places is Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee, which is about 280 miles east of Nashville. There are 110 different species of trees at Bays Mountain, which produces many different colors for viewing.

“We have quite a few people that will come out to see early fall colors, see what’s going on, they’ll go ahead and head on out to other areas of the region, but they like to see what is going on here first,” Bays Mountain Senior Naturalist Megan Crager said.

The predicted peak time to view the fall colors is a little bit earlier this year and will be from Oct. 10 to 20. There are many hiking and biking trails around the park that people can use for the best viewing.

“If you are spry, if you take the Fire Tower Trail and you go up to the fire tower, you can get an aerial view of what this area looks like, a 360 degree view, and it’s really pretty in the fall time. You get to have a chance to see all those nice, vibrant colors that we were talking about just pop over the landscape,” said Crager.

In addition to the hiking and biking trails, people can also take a barge ride around the lake to see the colors and much more.

“It’s a great way to spend the afternoon, it takes roughly about 45 minutes,” Crager said, adding, “We normally talk about the different animals that we will see, the wide variety of turtles, sometimes we’ll see deer coming up to the edge, taking a drink of water or eating some of the lily pads. Some of us will talk about the beaver lodge and the dam that we have in the back part of our lake.”

Barge ride tickets are $5, kids three and under are free.

Monday through Friday barge rides begin at 3 p.m., weekend barge rides are 1 to 4 p.m.

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