Hikers negotiate a slope as they enjoy the 2 miles of Seven Bridges Trail in Fairfield Glade. The Cumberland County Hiking Marathon kicked off on Sept. 1. Fairfield Glade Hikers group offers guided FG trail hikes throughout September, meeting at the Square parking lot (at Peavine Rd. and Stonehenge Dr.) on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Fridays at 8 a.m.

Local trails have been busy with hikers since the 2020 Hiking Marathon began Sept. 1.

More than 2,000 hikers from across the Upper Cumberland signed up for the sixth hiking marathon, which encourages everyone to explore the scenic beauty of Cumberland County and be more active.

The Hiking Marathon committee designates trails within Cumberland County of varying distances. This year, there are 12 trails. The combined mileage comes to 26.2 miles.

Hikers log their hikes. Everyone completing one hike can get a T-shirt during the annual Hit the Trails festival in Fairfield Glade, set for Oct. 3 this year. Hikers who complete all 26.2 miles get a special patch denoting their accomplishment. 

While registration has closed for this year, there are still plenty of trails to explore, from the trail system in Fairfield Glade to the Cumberland Trail and Cumberland Mountain State Park, out to Pleasant Hill and the Lake Alice Trail. Three trails are in Crossville, at Meadow Park Lake, the Maryetta Trail and the Woodlawn Loop Trail.

Many of the trails were build by local volunteers with the Friends of the Trails, who were busy in August getting trails in tip-top shape for the increased foot traffic.

Dogs on leashes are welcome on the trails. 

To find local hiking trails, visit hikingmarathon.com or the Friends of the Trails website, time2meet.com/trails.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.