Dam good places to visit

By Mike Steely Getting away from Knoxville on an outing can be fun and educational. Don’t tell the kids it is educational, surprise them. Ever taken a day to visit the many dams in our region? People who fish know most of them, especially if they fish from shore as one of the favorite shore […]

Ever been to the Nibroc Festival?

By Mike Steely Are you interested in three days of free festival fun just 90 minutes north of Knoxville that includes two stages of music, a car and motorcycle show, a 2K run, street parties and carnival rides? If your answer is yes, you should check out the Nibroc Festival which will be celebrating 66 […]

Want to get high in East Tennessee?

  By Mike Steely If you’d like to rise far above the increasing hustle and bustle of our area there are many overlooks around that are easy to drive to and safe to visit. Getting away for a Sunday or any day and taking the family along can be an exciting and visually pleasing adventure. […]

Taking the Dandridge Loop

Taking the Dandridge Loop

By Mike Steely If you’ve ever been to our state’s oldest city, Jonesborough, you may be delighted to learn that our “second earliest city” is nearby and just as historic and interesting. Dandridge is east of Knoxville and not far off Interstate 40. A day’s drive to Dandridge and back by the way of Sevierville […]

The Pruden legacy in upper East Tennessee

By Mike Steely What in the world does the Kroger store on North Broadway in Fountain City have to do with an old coal town on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line? The connection goes back to what was on the lot where Kroger now stands. Originally there was a mansion there built by Col. J.C. Woodward. […]

Camp Blanding and Penney Farms

By Mike Steely Next time you’re in Northern Florida, whether it’s for a UT game in Gainesville, or if you’re passing through on the way to Disney, there’s a Day Away side trip that’s free and interesting. If you’re into military history or the ministry, there are two places just east of Gainesville that are […]

A Day Away: Martin’s Station celebration this weekend

By Mike Steely Just a few miles east of Cumberland Gap and only about an hour or so from Knoxville is an event you may want to attend this weekend, especially if you’re interested in early regional history. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Martin’s Station will feature the reconstructed frontier fort, re-enactments, tour of a […]

Some of my favorite places

By Mike Steely   After some 50 years of wandering around the Southeast I’ve visited many, many places that interested me or my wife. We’ve been in every Tennessee State Park except one, in many parks in the region’s states and many National Parks. Sometimes the things you remember the most are not in parks […]

Want to visit Tennessee’s newest state park?

A DAY AWAY By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com There’s a large new park in the Tennessee State Park systems and it is in East Tennessee in rural Unicoi County. As I’ve written before, my wife and I have visited every state park in Tennessee except this one and we’re planning a summer trip there. “You can’t […]

Indian Mountain State Park, Jellico worth a visit

  By Mike Steely The unique location of Indian Mountain State Park in Jellico, Tn., not only makes it the “First Tennessee State Park” for southbound travelers on Interstate 75 but also gives the park the recognition of being the only state park built on a strip mine. If you’re headed north into Kentucky or […]

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