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Fall is here and that means guided hikes, twilight zip line rides, geocaching, map and compass classes, twilight barge rides and canoe/kayak tours at Bays Mountain Park! Starting this month, guests can enjoy a range of activities at the park.

Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors! Enjoy the cooler weather and the beautiful colors of fall with a guided hike to points of interest within the park. The guided day hikes will begin at 10 a.m. and will go to the fire tower and along the lake side. These hikes are limited to 15 participants. Tickets are $3/person and free for park members.

Visitors can also experience the thrill of a twilight zip line ride on The Flying Squirrel. With only a headlamp and the soft glow of lights strung along the platform, you can let your imagination run wild while you soar through the twilight on this unique, fall adventure. Soar through the forest canopy, listen to nocturnal critters and view the night sky while on the zip line. The cost is $25/person for non-members and $15/person for park members. Program times are 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Participants can zip the whole three hours. A waiver form is required to be filled out by all participants. Visit to download a waiver form.

Learn what geocaching is and how you do it with the two part geocaching class. In session 1, participants will learn what geocaching is, terminology used and other interesting aspects of the geocaching world. In session 2, participants will learn to use a GPS device in order to find hidden “caches.” During this session, the group will have the opportunity to use their mobile device to find a variety of “caches” in the park. The cost is $3/person per session. Both sessions will take place from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Discovery Theater.

A map is a crucial tool for accurate navigation, especially where trail signs, blazes and markers are absent. In the first session of the Map and Compass class, participants will learn how to find their way with just a compass, how to orient a map with a compass and how to back track. The second session will focus on two parts, how to navigate using specific coordinates and how to take specific coordinates and pair it with a map to find hidden flags in a specific area. The cost for each program is $3/person per session and free for park members. Space is limited to 20 guests. The program will take place in the Discovery Theater from 6 p.m.  – 8 p.m. for both sessions.

Specialty programs including the twilight barge ride and the canoe/kayak tour are back this fall. Spend a relaxing evening on the lake enjoying the beautiful lakeside scenery from the comfort of the barge or your personal canoe or kayak. The twilight barge rides are $5/person and free for park members. The canoe/kayak tour is $10/person and free for park members. The canoe/kayak tour is limited to 20 watercrafts, and participants must provide their own canoe/kayak and a coast guard approved personal flotation device. Twilight barge rides start at 7 p.m. and canoe/kayak tours start at 6 p.m.

The dates for these activities are as follows:

  • Guided Hikes – September 12 (Lakeside) and October 10 (Fire tower)
  • Twilight Zip Line – September 29 and October 27
  • Geocaching – Session 1: October 9 and Session 2:October 16
  • Map and Compass – Session 1: September 13 and Session 2: September 27
  • Twilight Barge Rides – September 26 and October 24
  • Canoe/Kayak Tour  –  September 19 & 25 and October 17 & 23

To reserve a spot for the twilight zip line ride, geocaching class, map and compass class, canoe/kayak tour or twilight barge rides, please call the Nature Center at 423-229-9447. To reserve your spot for a guided hike, please visit the Nature Center on the day of the scheduled hike to purchase a ticket.

For more information on Bays Mountain Park please call 423-229-9447 or visit