SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

City Dog Explores Edgar Evins State Park

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Hey, peeps, Ella here. It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on my adventures—that’s no fault of my own, but rather because Mom and Dad have left me at home while gallivanting around the world (*pouts*). But I put my paw down and said, “no longer! You will take me out to explore Tennessee’s state parks this summer.” And so they did—because I have that kind of authority in this household, you see.

Ella at Short Mountain Distillery

First, we hit up Burgess Falls last month as part of Nature Valley’s Summer of a Million Miles Challenge to check out the gusher of a waterfall, the biggest I’ve seen in my eight years roaming this Earth and I’d venture to say one of the most spectacular on this continent. This past week, we packed up the boards and went to an entirely different kind of state park: one located on a lake, my favorite kind of place if we’re being honest.

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee
SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Neither Mom nor Dad had been to Edgar Evins State Park, so this was a first for all of us, humans and canine alike. The 6,000-acre park is situated lake side just an hour east of Nashville with a marina, 11 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of cabins and campgrounds if you want to stay over.

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

We just went for the day, however, as we’re lucky enough to live so close to Edgar Evins, as well as numerous other Tennessee state parks.

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Our day started out quite ominously with a few stops around the lake for quick hikes as angry clouds clustered on the horizon, but we persevered and were not only gifted with sunshine everywhere we went, but also a blissfully empty Center Hill Lake. In fact, besides one yummy flavored fishing boat that was pulling out as we pulled in, we were the only people out on it!

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Though I’m no breed of water dog because too much H2O jacks up my adrenaline levels, I love my time standup paddleboarding—especially as Mom does all the hard work while I navigate the open waters like the capitano that I am. It’s a pretty fair compromise if I do say so myself and #savesthesquirrels from being all mangled up in my radius if I take a full dip.

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Last summer, Dad bought his own SUP, so when we’re all three out on the lake together, I like to hop back and forth between the boards, you know, so as to keep them in check not play favorites.

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

A few things not to forget when you’re taking your pup along for a family day trip in your own state or national park:

  • Your board and paddles (it sounds obvious but on our last SUP trip, Mom and Dad actually left the paddles at home! *face palm*)
  • A life jacket for your fur pal and a life jacket for you
  • A separate leash and harness for your pup should you also decide to take in the hiking trails
  • Nature Valley granola bars, which are easy to eat during your paddling breaks
  • A bowl and plenty of water

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

After we were done paddling, Mom had to show off a bit on her board before we packed up to leave. We get it, we get it, you have a flat head—let’s continue with our hiking already!

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

And so we did. We headed through Edgar Evins up along the north edge of the lake and did a little hiking along the eastern border, drove down to the Appalachian Center for Craft, through the town of Smithville and eventually ended our excursion with lunch at Short Mountain Distillery.

Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Ella at Short Mountain Distillery

A state park, a lake, a quaint town square and a distillery/restaurant all in one half-day, are you even kidding me? It’s basically my dream outing.

Evins Mill in Smithville, Tennessee

We’ll be squeezing in a few more hikes at the state parks by our house the remainder of the month as part of Nature Valley’s Summer of a Million Miles Challenge, which goes through Aug. 31. Nature Valley had pledged a sizable donation once one million miles were logged by adventurous souls, but because of all the recent fires made the decision to immediately commit the $250,000 donation to the National Park Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which will allow the NPF to distribute funds as needed right away to parks affected by disasters like wildfires. I’m all about that! Where would all the flying squirrels live without our public lands?

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

If you want to join us in the Summer of a Million Miles Challenge, download the free MapMyHike app and start logging yours, too. The outdoors, fitness, Mother Nature and doing good all rolled into one is totally my kind of challenge. And don’t forget, you can still unlock some sweet prizes through logging your hikes. (I’m determined to win, though, because I’m competitive like that.)

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee
SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

Where will you go on your next state park adventure with your pup? And do you need me to tag along as your guide? I may be born a city dog, but I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I must have been a park ranger in a past life.

Pup out,

Ella

SUP at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee

This post is sponsored by Nature Valley. All opinions are mine and those of my parents. Qualifying Hikes can earn entry into the sweepstakes for a chance to win various prizes. Must be U.S. resident 18+ to enter. No purchase necessary to enter. Ends 8/31/18. Must be 18. Find out more info at www.naturevalley.com/hikeamillion.

 

PIN IT HERE

Paddling Center Hill Lake in Tennessee
Paddling Center Hill Lake in Tennessee
Paddling Center Hill Lake in Tennessee
COMMENTS
  • August 14, 2018

    Ella, you definitely keep your parents grounded and remind them that there is lots of fun to be had in parks right in your backyard!

    • August 29, 2018

      What would we do without her? Probably work 24/7 (as opposed to 16/7, ha) and never remember to eat or step outside.

  • August 15, 2018

    Ella is so sweet! Amazing that she stays on the paddle board and even enjoys it. The park looks beautiful, glad you had a nice day pup x

    Jenny | localleo.co.uk

    • August 29, 2018

      She loves it! She doesn’t, however, like to actually swim 😉

  • August 18, 2018

    I think it is quite great. I envy all of you travel bloggers. 🙂

  • August 26, 2018

    Aww I always love seeing Ella on a SUP board. Lately, I’ve been looking at pups to adopt as well. I would love to have some adventures of my own with a little ‘un 🙂

    • August 29, 2018

      Ella and I both hope a fur friend joins your family in the immediate future! They’re the best.

Leave a Comment

GET MY POSTS DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX
+ Sign up and receive your free copy of my eBook