Spring is not quite here yet, but we are anxiously awaiting warmer temperatures, hiking, and those beautiful Tennessee summer nights. We asked our team and our Facebook friends for recommendations, and here's what we found!
By far, the most popular recommendation was hiking. You may have to travel outside of Johnson City to find the best trails, but not far! Here are some of our favorites.
Roan Mountain State Park
Although it's 45 minutes away from Johnson City, Roan Mountain offers some of the best mountaintop views in our area. It's a 20-30 minute walk from the parking lot to the first summit, on well-maintained trails. Take a picnic with your family or your pet, and soak in the sun. When you're done, stop by the Smoky Mountain Bakers for incredible made-to-order brick oven pizza. You won't regret it.
Buffalo Mountain Park
You don't have to leave Johnson City to find some good hiking trails. This park starts just behind ETSU and south Johnson City, so the trailheads are just minutes away from the city center. Buffalo Mountain overlooks the city, and it boasts some great overlooks for an afternoon photo op or trail run. As you're driving around Johnson City, you'll see Buffalo Mountain watching over our great little town.
Okay, the Tweetsie Trail is more of a walking/biking trail than a hiking trail, but it's too good to leave out. The Tweetsie Trail stretches from downtown Johnson City through Elizabethton, with over 9 miles of trail to enjoy. The Tweetsie Trail was created from the tracks of an old railroad that linked Johnson City with much of Appalachia. Thanks to that fun historical fact, the trail is also relatively flat and easy to bike, run, or walk.
Johnson City is home to some great parks, which are perfect for spring evenings. Take your dog for a walk, your family for a picnic, or yourself for a run! These our are the best parks, according to our Facebook friends!
Founder's Park is one of the most recent additions to our city's public spaces, and already one of the most popular. This park is a short walk to downtown and the farmer's market, and it is linked to ETSU by a walking trail. Soon, the Tweetsie Trail will run right by Founder's Park and on to ETSU. Founder's is a great place to catch live music or just soak up a warm day.
Willow Springs Park
Willow Springs is another great park recommended by a Facebook friend! Here, you can find a playground, a dog park, volleyball courts, and tons of wide open spaces. Take a football, a frisbee, a kite, or your high-energy kid to the park to take advantage of the room to run.
What to Do
The outdoors are a major draw to the area, for obvious reason. But there is still plenty to do and see in Johnson City, if you're not so outdoorsy!
Our team loves going to ETSU games, because we have a competitive division 1 school in our backyard! The fall has football, the winter has basketball, but what about the spring? One of our Facebook friends recommended catching a tennis match, and underrated spring sport. For another great experience, grab a hot dog, cracker jacks, and a ticket to an ETSU baseball game this spring!
There are several places to catch live music in the Johnson City area, you just need to know where to look! Starting in May (not really spring, but hang in there), Music on the Square in Jonesborough is a great experience in Tennessee's oldest town. Also be sure to check The Down Home and Wild Wing Cafe. You can catch some big name artists at one of these venues if you keep an eye on them.