#OptOutside for Black Friday instead of shopping
The day after Thanksgiving is often associated with shopping and doorbuster deals, but this Black Friday, local group Green Steps Chattanooga and Tennessee and Georgia State Parks are joining the Opt Outside campaign started by retailer REI four years ago.
Green Steps Chattanooga, which is a branch of the nonprofit Southeast Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council, will have their community Black Friday hike at 9AM. The group focuses on enabling and encouraging the community to reduce litter.
"We are going to meet here at Stringer's Ridge and just do a nice, leisure hike. And, I think we will have snacks, and maybe we will pick up some litter," said Alyssandra Grizenko, Director of Green Steps Chattanooga.
Their hike is geared for all ages and abilities. They know people will be full from Thanksgiving and want to make it a nice and easy experience to help alleviate holiday stress.
Plus, if you decide to join the hike, you may discover a treat.
"There might be some prizes that are hidden in and around the trail, so you don't even need to go shopping. You can just get all your Christmas presents by joining us," Grizenko added.
Additionally, all 56 Tennessee State Parks are offering free hikes on Black Friday.
Locally, Harrison Bay State Park is hosting a sunset hike at 5PM, and Booker T. Washington State Park will have a guided hike with a ranger at 10AM. For a full list of Opt Outside hikes at Tennessee State Parks, visit their website.
At Booker T. Washington, the hike is a mild trail open to all abilities.
"Probably about 1.5 miles into the point of our hiking trail. As you get out there...you can look across the water and see the dam out there," explained Robert Thomas, Park Ranger at Booker T. Washington State Park.
You will see great views on both hikes and also release endorphins while getting some exercise. The state parks specifically want to encourage people to be healthy and reach all generations.
"We're trying to encourage young people to get back out into the dirt and have a good time and learn a lot about Tennessee state plant and wildlife. Not only that, they can get their heart rates up and be healthy," said Thomas.
Georgia State Parks also have hiking events planned for Black Friday and throughout the holiday weekend. Here is a list of their activities.
For social media users, you can use #OptOutside and #Thankful4Hiking.