The Park is closed only on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
There are lots of different activies to do at Bays Mountain Park. It is located away from the busy city on the top of a beautiful mountain. You can take a walk around the lake, go on a barge ride, visit the planetarium, visit with the animals, fish, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the day with friends & family.
Bays Mountain is a great outing for families! We recently saw a Shakespeare play at the amphitheater at Bays Mountain Park. It was the perfect setting for the show. We wished we had brought cushions or camping chairs though. We really enjoyed being in the woods with the sun setting as we watched. The kids preferred the barge ride, the planetarium show, and visiting animal habitats. There are wolves and deer (and others) outside and a reptile lodge that gave me the willies, but of course the boys loved it.
In 1917 a forty-four-acre lake was created to provide water to the city of Kingsport. Today that
lake is the tranquil centerpiece of Bays Mountain Park, a 3,000-acre city-owned oasis of green beauty within the city limits. If there is a single, perfect place for a full day of family fun in the
First Frontier, this is it. City leaders say this is the largest municipal park in the United States.
One of the primary missions of the park is environmental education and among its
offerings are 22 miles of trails where you’ll more than likely run into a few native animal
species, including white-tailed deer, bobcats, and wild turkey. A waterfowl aviary gives
you some great close-up views, and special habitats for the gray wolf, deer, and river
otters help bring those species in closer for better viewing. A freshwater aquarium allows
a close-up look at native fish and their surroundings.
The nature center houses an exhibit gallery filled with many interesting displays; you
may get so interested in them you’ll forget all about going outside to enjoy nature at its
finest. Allow plenty of time to explore. You can pick up a trail map at the nature center
before setting out on your adventure.
Another area you learn about at Bays Mountain Park is the one “way out there.” The
various wonders of the universe are projected inside the planetarium theater, and large
telescopes are used to show close-ups of the sun, moon, and planets as well as stars and
galaxies light-years distant. Various exhibits highlight the space sciences.
While you’re here, be sure to take a barge ride on the lake. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll
see some beautiful sights along the way and get some great views of the aquatic life.
Also, if your family enjoys learning about pioneer life, the park’s Farmstead Museum features
displays on pioneer tools and implements.