State park stays for less

Tennessee state parks are now offering special winter rates for 360 villas and cabins and all six inns.

Through Feb. 28, state park lodging will be discounted with the presentation of a winter discount coupon. To receive a coupon by mail, call the Tennessee State Parks information line at 615- 532-0001 or toll free at 888-867-2757.

Coupons may also be printed off the state parks website at

With the special discount, visitors can stay at one of Tennessee's six state park inns for $45.95 a night. There is also a 50 percent discount for cabins - good Sunday through Thursday - with a two-night minimum stay.

Participating state parks include Norris Dam, 800-543-9335; Fall Creek Falls, 888-867-2757; Cumberland Mountain, 800-250-8618; Roan Mountain, 800-250-8620; and Standing Stone, 800-713-5157.


Blogger Christian Zavisca writes about hitting the trails at Ijams Nature Center in the News Sentinel's new fitness blog, Fit Knoxville, found at

Check out his photos of the Tennessee River Boardwalk, and his advice for those heading onto Ijams' trails in wet weather: 'Footing is a concern. I've got decent trail running shoes, and I almost slipped a couple of times. I don't think I was in danger of a major crash-and-burn, but if you do head out to Ijams in these conditions, watch your step.'

Ijams' grounds are open from 8 a.m. to dusk daily, and more information about the park can be found at

n In addition to local news and views, Fit Knoxville also provides an overview of health and fitness news from all around, as well as contributions from fitness expert Becky Fox ( Give us a look!



n The Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 33rd annual free 'Festival of Christmas Past' celebration is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 13 at Sugarlands Visitor Center. The schedule includes harp singing, 9:30 a.m.; Lost Mill String Band, 11:15 a.m.; Cuz and Jan Headrick storytelling, noon; panel discussion with area residents/stories of the past 1 p.m.; Bill Proffitt and South of the River Boys 2 p.m. ; Boogertown Gap Band, 3 p.m. Demonstrations include blacksmithing, quilting, weaving, fabric dyeing, basket and broom making.


n The Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club will feature slides of members' 2008 outdoor adventures at its annual holiday program 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike.


n United States Olympic show jumping team veteran Peter Leone will conduct a jumping clinic at Sequoyah Farms, 222 Stooksbury Lane, Andersonville, Saturday, Dec. 6. Cost is $175 for the clinic or $50 to audit. Contact Kris McFarland, 865-494-8404 .

To submit announcements, e-mail

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