Autumn at Bays Mountain
Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is located in Kingsport, TN and is a local favorite, people come to hike and view wildlife exhibits. Bays Mountain does have a fee of $5 to get in or you can by a yearly pass. There are many great trails at Bays Mountain, the most popular being the Lakeside Trail, it goes along the edge of the lake for a 2.3 mile loop. Other popular trails include the Fire Tower Trail and the Pretty Ridge Trail, you can even hike into Lauren Run Park from Bays Mountain. The best time to go though, is Autumn. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is so beautiful in Autumn, the colors reflecting onto Bays Mountain Lake or along the trails are some of the best in the region. In our area, most people go to the Great Smoky Mountains to enjoy the color, but if you are wanting to avoid the big crowds or if you just want something closer to the Tri-Cities, Bays Mountain is your place.
My favorite place at Bays Mountain to take in the color is along the Lakeside Trail. You have a lot of great opportunities for photography here. The Lakeside Trail offers great places to get nice scenic trail shots, reflections along the lake and great spots along the forest. If you are up for a bit more challenging hike, head up to the fire tower to check out the 360 degree views of East Tennessee. Another popular attraction at Bays Mountain is the Barge ride along the lake. If you are really wanting to take in the Autumn color, this is a great way to enjoy it.
Bays Mountain is also widely known for its $1.3 million dollar state-of-the-art planetarium theater featuring a 40-foot dome, 6.1 surround sound and a Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is also home to two observatory structures that house a number of telescopic instruments. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is a great place to explore and a great place to bring the family, it is absolutely my favorite place in Kingsport, TN.
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