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The outdoor trail that connects one end of Kingsport to the other has a new addition – the Buffalo Grasslands Boardwalk. Join us for a dedication on November 30 at 11:00 a.m. The boardwalk is located at the Greenbelt access point of Indian Trail Drive Trailhead, which is behind PetSmart.

The wooden boardwalk, built with uniquely treated Eastman A wood, is a quarter mile loop located in a wetlands marsh. The elevated walkway design allows the Reedy Creek floodwaters to pass under it while providing local wildlife, such as birds, frogs, and insects, a good home. Birdwatching is a popular hobby that can be done from just about anywhere on the boardwalk.

The project was partially funded through a Recreation Trails Program Grant of $120,000. These grants are administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Spoden and Wilson Consulting designed and engineered the boardwalk, while Building Character was the construction contractor. The boardwalk is ADA compliant.

For more information, please visit www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

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Hit the trails at night again this year with Reedy Creek Bicycles and Bays Mountain Park.

Join Reedy Creek at Bays Mountain Park on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month November through February for a nighttime ride that’s sure to bring some thrills to our dark winter evenings. Each ride will be led by people from Reedy Creek Bicycles through different trails of the park. Riders will meet in the mountain bike parking lot to begin the ride at 6 p.m. on each date.

Though there are no age or skill level restrictions, helmet and bike lights are required. If you’re new to night rides or mountain biking in general, stop by Reedy Creek Bicycles in downtown Kingsport where their knowledgeable staff will have you ready to ride in no time.

Dates for the night rides are November 27, December 11, January 8 and 22, and February 12 and 26. All dates are subject to weather and trail conditions. Call Reedy Creek Bicycles at (423)765-2770 or visit their Facebook page for more information. To learn more about Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

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Feeling sluggish after a full day of feasting on a delicious Thanksgiving meal? The Kingsport Aquatic Center has the perfect pick-me-up.

The KAC’s first annual Tread-Away Turkey Day is the ideal way to ease back into an active lifestyle post-holiday. This 30 minute class will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 23, in the toasty Palmer Center Foundation Warm Pool.

“This is the first time we’ve done this event, so we want people to understand what this is going to be,” said KAC Assistant Manager Chassy Smiley. “What it’ll be is a lot of fun.”

Attendees will enjoy half an hour of low-intensity treading water activities designed to get you moving and back on track for the rest of the holiday season. Upbeat music and enthusiastic instructor guarantee that Tread-Away Turkey Day will beat your regular early morning job any day.

Tickets are $2 and can be purchased at the KAC main desk on the day of the class, like any other regularly scheduled class. For more information, please call the KAC at (423)343-9758.

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Santa’s getting ready for the holiday season and he’s got a few fun things planned with the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department!

Letters to Santa
  • Let Santa know what you’re wishing for this holiday season and he’ll send you a letter back! Stop by V.O. Dobbins to drop your letter in a special letterbox next to the gym from now until December 10. Letters can also be mailed to 301 Louis Street, Kingsport, 37660. Don’t forget to include a return address. Please allow one week for a response.
Winter Break Camps
  • Looking to stay active after a fun-filled holiday? Enroll in the Holiday Hangout Camp or New Year’s Camp! Campers will enjoy different sports, games, crafts, movies and more! Each camp is $20 per child. The Holiday Hangout is December 26-28 and New Year’s Camp is January 2-4.

For more information, please visit www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

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Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium brings a new alternative feature to the dome-screen starting Saturday, November 3. “Planetary Visions” will run through December 31.

Revisit this beloved program the planetarium first showed a few years ago on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through the end of the year. “Planetary Visions” is a fantastic, interactive program that is best described as an adventurous tour of the Solar System. With its whimsical, flying robot main character, Toggle, and the interactivity of the operator with the show and the audience, this is a treat for all who attend.

This program was produced by Bays Mountain Productions and highlights the incredible talents of the exhibits and planetarium staff. The program includes a live tour of the current night sky from the planetarium operator, who can answer any questions guests might have about what they see in the stars. The show runs about 40 minutes. All planetarium show tickets are $5.

The ongoing main feature at the planetarium, “Sunstruck,” plays Tuesday through Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 4 p.m. In this show, discover how the sun came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it and how its energy will one day fade away. This show also includes a night sky tour, and runs 40 minutes.

Bays Mountain also offers evening observing sessions through the end of November, called StarWatch. This free outdoor program allows the public to enjoy the splendor of the night sky at the park’s observatories. Visit the park Saturday evenings in November at 6 p.m. to gaze the moon’s craters and witness the celestial cycle of star birth and death. If the weather is uncooperative, an alternative activity will be held in the planetarium.

For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.