Road trip: Roan Mountain, Tennessee (drive time 1.5 hours)
The Roan Mountain community invites all Appalachian Trail enthusiasts to the free Roan Mountain Trail Festival on Saturday, May 6 at Roan Mountain Community Park, 118 Carter Street, Roan Mountain, Tennessee.
Roan Mountain Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador Jim Chambers believes the event will showcase many positive aspects of the community.
“This is a celebration of several community events in Roan Mountain,” Chambers said. “It’s to celebrate Roan Mountain being designated as the 41st Appalachian Trail Community, but also the opening of the Roan Mountain Farmers Market, and the dedication of the new stage at the Roan Mountain Community Park.”
The goal of the Roan Mountain Trail Festival is to help create a partnership between the Roan Mountain community, the Appalachian Trail, the local trail maintaining organization —Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club.
“My motivation for being involved in the festival is to help highlight the ongoing necessity to preserve the Appalachian Trail,” Chambers said. “The grand take-away will hopefully be that the Roan Mountain Community will truly embrace the national treasure that is the Appalachian Trail.”
While the event mainly focuses on how to engage the community in stewardship and education, the trail festival is also designed to attract hikers and other travelers interested in the Appalachian Trail.
The Roan Mountain Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Board is planning to have live entertainment, a cornhole tournament, disc golf tournament and an AT hiker question-and-answer panel. Other activities include a scavenger hunt, video booth, gaming tent and a children’s activity.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to walk to a local restaurant for food during the event. Overnight accommodations are available at several Roan Mountain hostels, cabins and bed and breakfasts. The Roan Mountain Community Park will also allow overnight camping on the grounds for $10 per night. Free T-shirts will be available for as long as supply lasts. Admission is free.
For more, find Roan Mountain AT Community on Facebook. For more information about the A.T. Community program, visit appalachiantrail.org/atcommunity. More information about the town of Roan Mountain can be found online at roanmountain.com.