Warriors’ Path State Parkis located in Colonial Heights, a suburb of Kingsport, along the Holston River. From biking to water activities, hiking, camping, golf and even horseback riding, the 950-acre park has everything you need to explore the outdoors this summer.
Being new to the area, my fiancé and I were excited to see what Northeast Tennessee has to offer. We recently moved to the area so that I could attend East Tennessee State University. Although much of my time is spent with studying and working, we love to explore the outdoors whenever possible. After learning about Warriors’ Path State Park from friends, we decided it made for the perfect Saturday staycation.
If you are first-time visitors, like us, I recommend downloading the Avenza Maps app, and purchasing the Warriors’ Path State Park Map for only $.99. The map helped tremendously when trying to navigate through the park for the first time. After reviewing all the trail options, we ventured out to Sinking Waters Trail, located on the outskirts of the Park behind the golf course. Sinking Waters Trail is 2.9 miles in total, but split into three loops: Forest Loop, Meadow Loop and Wetland Loop. Each trail is unique, some are easy hikes with mountain views, others are challenging with early settler remnants, while others showcase wildflowers and less traveled routes.
Forest Loop is .75 miles and is very steep in select areas, so be prepared! The loop takes you through the forest and leads you up wooden stairs. Forest loop then flows into Meadow Loop., passing through serene grassy sections, which make for perfect wildlife viewing areas. Halfway through Meadow Loop, we reached Wetland Loop, which is mostly boardwalks. You can choose to by-pass Wetland Loop, but we were feeling adventurous. Wetland Loop showcases the beauty of the wetlands and as you make your way through the trail, you can even see where a few sinkholes have formed. Each loop has signs with details covering the trail you are entering.
After our hike, it was time to hit the water as we decided to rent kayaks from the marina. The marina has single kayaks, tandem kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and pedal boats that are available for an hourly rate. As fun as it looked, we decided that we would attempt the paddleboards on our next trip to the park, and opted for a single kayaks. The views as we paddled down the river were incredible. Kayaking at Warrior’s Path is a great option for paddlers of any level.
After our fun day in the sun, we decided to reward ourselves with The Shack BBQ & Grill, a local restaurant located about six minutes from the Park. The diner has a stage for live music every Friday and Saturday night, and a patio for outside seating. With great food and a variety of local brews, like the locally crafted Yee-Haw on draft, this was the perfect spot to relax after the day’s activities.
For additional information on events and things to do in the Kingsport area, go to VisitKingsport.com.
Written by Bailey Stoddard for Northeast Tennessee Tourism.