Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport, Tennessee

Bays Mountain Park and Nature Preserve in Kingsport, Tennessee is a fun place for a family to spend an afternoon. We first journeyed there a few years ago when our kids were younger. One of our daughters was (ok, is) crazy about wolves. When she saw the wolf exhibit she fell in love with Bays Mountain.

After seeing the animal habitat exhibits, we gave the kids another experience. Did you know that  Bays Mountain Park and Nature Preserve also has a planetarium? The show was a real treat for all of us.

Leaning back in our seats to watch the show is a treasured memory. In the blink of an eye we were whisked to worlds unknown and brought back again. The planetarium show we saw was fun for elementary students but not young children. The thunder and lightning scene was a bit much for some of the youngsters to enjoy.

The other thing that we enjoyed is the ride on the barge. This barge is a lot like a pontoon boat. The seats were wide and about as comfortable as you expect them to be.

Park staff gave a nature lecture during the entire ride. It was pretty interesting. This barge ride was the first time that I had ever heard of a freshwater jellyfish. Yet, the 44 acre lake at Bays Mountain Park and Nature Preserve is one of a handful of locations where the freshwater jellyfish are found.

Tennessee Vacation dubbed Bays Mountain Park and Nature Preserve the ‘largest city owned park in Tennessee’. It is owned and maintained by the city of Kingsport. There are more than 12 miles of trails to be hiked plus the habitats and the planetarium mentioned above.

Admission is not charged. There are small fees for the planetarium and barge tour. Fees can and do change. Be sure to check their website for the most current information.

Contact information is:
Bays Mountain
853 Bays Mountain Park Rd
Kingsport, TN 37660
Phone: (423)229-9447

After our day of soaking up nature we went shopping. Fortunately for us, Hamrick's Clothing Store was having a sale! 

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