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Hello Monday - McDaniel Canoe Trip

POSTED BY BECCA MCDANIEL

July 4th was a memorable display of all that inspires me to love living where we do. Neighborhoods gathered to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy. Playing children, parades, fireworks & food at every turn. We went to bed that night feeling grateful and with eager anticipation of our next adventure; a camping trip complete with a guided canoe tour. TN has a wealth of affordable, fun outdoor options available all over the state throughout the year. From celebrating TN agriculture at the Soybean Festival in Martin to exploring the breathtaking view at Foster Falls at the south end of the Cumberland Plateau, there is something for everyone. My family and I, woke up on July 5th, loaded the van and headed to Montgomery Bell State park located near Dickson, TN. Over the years we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Inn, summers swimming at the beach on Lake Acorn, spring picnics at the Montgomery Bell Presbyterian Church and most recently taking an evening guided canoe tour around one of the 3 scenic lakes.

Ranger Tim was our captain and coach through the experience. He gave us a crash course in proper canoe etiquette and then off we went for a leisurely paddle. He knew the name of every tree and creature we came across. He explained how, when and why they occasionally drain the lake and shared the most common birds that nest there. My husband Dave enjoys understanding how things work and Ranger Tim had an answer for every question. There was a hint of honeysuckle in the air and the sound of the water moving as we made our way around the lake. My trio of kids were content paddling while they asked questions about what kind of fish were in the lake and if the snakes were poisonous. Ranger Tim warned us that we might cross paths with the local beavers and we did! We paddled right in to their territory. Although they weren’t too happy to see us, we were tickled to see them slap the water with their tails.

The best part of the trip was how Ranger Tim weaved in history and local folk lore. Every few yards he would signal for us to gather round as he would give us another piece of the story. After sharing how the iron industry lured settlers by the hundreds to the area, he introduced us to the legend of Werewolf Springs, the White Screamer and the Clement Railroad Museum. According to the locals, a circus train passed through Dickson in the 1860’s. The train derailed near the Burns community allowing several animals to escape. Among the escapees was a duo aptly named the Wolfmen of Borneo. These wolfmen were never found. To this day people in the area claim they hear the sounds of the wolfmen at night. 
The sun was setting & as we paddled back to the dock I couldn’t help but feel like this would be one of those times we will remember, as the good ole days. Another great Tennessee summer night.
What’s your favorite TN adventure?  
Hugs and High Fives from the McDaniel Crew

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