Programs and Special Events

Throughout the year park rangers and seasonal interpretive rangers schedule educational programs. They interpret snakes, owls, the night sky, TVA, CCC, and coal mining history, as well as geology, plant life, and other topics. Check with the office for schedule.

In addition to interpretive programs the park and friend’s group host several special events throughout the year.  Each is centered around the natural beauty as well as the history and cultural influences on the park and area.  Please join us as we celebrate our history and natural world.

Scheduled Hikes

The first Saturday of each month a ranger highlights a trail in the park and leads a hike. Join them for interpretation of the history, plant life, and wildlife of the area.
There are also five hikes and volunteer work days: First Hike of the Year on January 1st, Spring Hike in March, National Trails Day on the first Saturday in June, National Public Lands Day on the last Saturday in September, and Green Friday which is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Spring Wildflower Hikes

For those of you who are botanists, photographers, hikers, or simply have cabin fever come out and view nature’s pink, orange, yellow, and purple wildflowers! River Bluff Trail boasts approximately 30 different species of wildflowers! You may see Bloodroot, Dutchman’s Breeches, Wild Columbine, Trout Lily, Little Brown Jug, Yellow and Red Trillium, Jack-in-the Pulpit, and many more. Norris Dam State Park and TVA lead wildflower hikes on the last Saturday of March and the first Saturday of April. Hikes are at River Bluff Trail at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and Clear Creek Trail at 2:00 P.M.

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Pickin’ in the Park

This event is an evening full of bluegrass music, BBQ, local craft vendors, laughter and fun. Join us on the first Friday of October; the event begins at 5:30 and ends at 9:30 and is located at the historic amphitheater and tearoom on the east side of Norris Dam State Park. There is no entrance fee but donations to the Friends of Norris Dam are strongly encouraged!The Real McCoys

18th Century Haunted Gristmill

Join us at the 18th century Rice Gristmill as it transforms into a haunted mill!!  Dress up your little ones as a spooky ghost, princess, or the state insect, the ladybug! Events include trick-or-treating, story time, and tours of the gristmill.  Parking is limited; please park at the Lenoir Museum and walk down the side walk located behind the museum. The haunted gristmill is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th from 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Fall Color Boat Rides

Enjoy the fall colors on Norris Lake by taking a leisurely boat ride with your family, friends and local friendly park ranger. Bring a pair of binoculars to view fall’s colors and wildlife while learning about the area’s history. Boat rides last an hour. Fall color boat rides are scheduled the last two weeks of October and scheduled times are 11:00 a.m., 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. each day. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for children five and under. Reservations are required; we begin taking reservations in September. For more information and to make reservations please call the park office at 865-426-7461.

Holiday Homecoming

Join us for a walk through time discovering traditions from the 1930s. The rustic cabins are transformed to a winter village of living history. Cabins are decorated in historical, natural and cultural themes, as well as honoring the nation’s veterans. It’s an evening full of historical interpretation, olde time music entertainment, theatrical holiday skits, storytelling, holiday treats, and of course St. Nick to tell your Christmas wishes. The Tea Room will be lit with trees, lights and olde time caroling. A hot meal will be available for you to purchase. Festivities will take place on the historic East Side from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In lieu of an entrance fee donations will be greatly appreciated.
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