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Hiking takes center stage in staying young at heart

The Johnson County Hikers have been busy each Friday hiking many different locations in NE Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. Submitted photo.

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

Much of the discussion in Johnson County as well as across the nation is how to get kids out of the house and active.
The answer may just be with the older generation. Most of the older citizens of Johnson County know and want to stay active as long as possible.
They have worked hard, and now many want to play hard as well. The “seniors” of Johnson County are not exploring new video games or some new apps; they are exploring the mountains of Tennessee while finding more satisfaction getting out to play golf than sitting indoors playing it on a video game.
Local seniors know the importance of health and fitness and are willing to search out the possibilities within their hometown.
Johnson County is surrounded by the beautiful, majestic Appalachian Mountains and home to some of the greatest hiking trails across Northeast Tennessee.
The Johnson County Hikers have found a great way to explore the beautiful area in and around Johnson County. The hiking group is open to everyone. Their first hike of the year was in April.
They meetevery other Saturda at at Food Lion’s parking lot and carpool to their destination.
So far this year they have covered areas from the Creeper Trail to the Cascade Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many of Johnson County’s older citizens grab those hiking sticks, pack those lunches, and go out and enjoy the beauty of the area and make new friends along the way.
Doe Mountain Recreation Area is another favorite spot for the young at heart.
There are some great hiking trails, but for those more adventurous folks; Doe Mountain offers ATVs and great biking trails. The beautiful Kettlefoot Fire Tower provides a picturesque view of the beautiful mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Getting to Kettlefoot Fire Tower allows for a delightful adventure either by foot or ATV. Many see Doe Mountain as a place for dirt bikes, but it offers something for everyone and another approach of fitness and family for seniors.
Many of the county’s young at heart also enjoy daily trips to the Johnson County Senior Center. Executive Director Kathy Motsinger keeps the center full of life and happiness for this great generation. Each day the senior center offers an exercise program to its members and those who are a part of the insurance covered silver sneakers group. Motsinger also keeps everyone moving through local dances, games, and music. The senior center offers everything from quilting to billiards.
One of the greatest strengths of Johnson County is the diversity of activities for the seniors of the county. Its members representing all ages will confirm that to stay busy and active is a must nad that being fit is not just about walking three miles a day, but also being socially, mentally, and physically fit.
Fitness is known to allow a person to continue to do what they love to do — of course, having an area that can incorporate fitness and the whole person for the young at heart helps.

For more information please call (423) 727-5947.