Fall color boat cruises

The air has taken on that crisp cool feel, with the scent of drying leaves floating on the breeze. All around, the ground and streets are becoming littered with fallen leaves and the trees are beginning their annual color changes. There is no better place to enjoy or view these changes than aboard Eleanor, Norris Dam State Park’s pontoon boat. Not only will visitors be taken on Norris Lake by the park rangers for an education of the fall colors, but guests can count on learning some of the park and dam history during their trip.

The boat trips begin this Saturday, October 15th, with four boat trips taking place daily. The times for each trip are as follows: 11am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, and 3:30pm. Due to the popularity of the boat trips, park staff have had to implement a reservation only system. To check availability and make a reservation for a boat trip, guests may call the park office at 865-426-7461.

Visitors of any age are welcome on the boat trips, as any age group will enjoy the tour. Life jackets are provided by the rangers, but children weighing less than fifty pounds must have their own (state law requires any person under 13 to wear a life jacket at all times while on the lake). Guests are asked to meet the park rangers at the Norris Dam Marina on highway 441 fifteen minutes before their trip. All guests are required to sign a release of liability form and must pay 6 dollars per adult and 4 or 5 dollars per child. The proceeds from the boat trip go to pay for the gas used during the trips and maintenance on the boat itself.

The fall color boat trips at Norris are sure to impress, but be aware that weather on the lake can be cooler and windier than other areas, so dress appropriately. In the event of bad weather, the park rangers will not take the boat out for safety of their guests. For more information regarding Norris Dam State Park in general, should hiking a trail peak you interest more so than a boat trip, check out their website at http://tn.gov/environment/parks/NorrisDam/index.shtml. And never forget to take your camera on whatever fall excursion you choose, for amazing fall color photo opportunities will be plentiful.

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