Window Cliffs State Natural Area Opens to the Public.

Adapted from the full press release (4.11.2017)

Video via Tennessee State Parks

On Friday, April 7, The Land Trust for Tennessee joined Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to celebrate the unveiling of a new State Natural Area to the public.

“This area is part of the pristine upper Cumberland highlands and, like most trails in a Tennessee State Park, offers spectacular scenery with a big payoff at the end,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill.

As you can view from the stunning footage above, the 275-acre area includes natural bridges or “windows”, where the area’s name is derived from, as well as a strenuous 5.4 mile roundtrip hiking trail with several stream crossings.

“This Natural Area joins several other regional Tennessee State Parks – including Cummins Falls, Rock Island, Fall Creek Falls and Standing Stone – as an encouragement for tourism, healthy lifestyles and environmental appreciation,” said Brock Hill.

The Land Trust for Tennessee supported the protection of Window Cliffs State Natural Area by completing the initial purchase of two tracts of the land in 2013 and 2014 from private landowners. The Land Trust then purchased a third tract, an area where the trailhead and parking area now reside, from another landowner in 2015, and has since transferred all three parcels to the State.

“We’re honored to work with our friends at Tennessee State Parks and the Division of Natural Areas to enhance the experience at Burgess Falls State Park, one of Tennessee’s most magnificent places for public recreation,” said Liz McLaurin, President and CEO of The Land Trust for Tennessee. “In all, we’ve partnered with the State of Tennessee to conserve over 20,000 acres of public land over the years, and the pace of this work is increasing. It is a privilege to work so closely with such dedicated public servants to protect land for the benefit of Tennessee citizens and visitors now and into the future.”

On April 7, approximately 100 people gathered at Window Cliffs State Natural Area, within Burgess Falls State Park, to celebrate the newest addition to Tennessee’s 85 State Natural Areas. As part of Natural Areas Spring Celebration Week, multiple free guided hikes were offered after a brief dedication ceremony.

Here are few photos from the celebration:

Two members of Tennessee State Parks Department traveling across the first river crossing at Window Cliffs State Natural Area on April 7, 2017.

 

L-R: Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton; Putnam County Executive Randy Porter; State Representative Ryan Williams; Director of TDEC’s Division of Natural Areas Roger McCoy; Burgess Falls State Park Manager Bill Summers; State Representative Paul Sherrell; TDEC Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill; President and CEO of The Land Trust for Tennessee Liz McLaurin; Burgess Falls Friends Group President Lee Hapner; Burgess Falls Friends Group Member and White County Commissioner Al Klee cutting the ceremonial ribbon at Window Cliffs State Natural Area on April 7,2017.

The Land Trust for Tennessee’s Vice President of Conservation Emily Parish (left), TDEC Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill (Center) and The Land Trust for Tennessee President & CEO Liz McLaurin at the opening of Window Cliffs State Natural Area on April 7, 2017.

The Land Trust for Tennessee’s Daniel Brown, Brickey Nuchols, Liz McLaurin, Emily Parish and Sharayah Winkler celebrate the opening of Window Cliffs State Natural Area on April 7, 2017.

For more information about Window Cliffs and TDEC’s Division of Natural Areas click here.

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