The City of Kingsport has several distinctive landmarks. There’s a circle of churches downtown. The City is a planned city with a unique matrix of community and industry. There’s a 9-mile Greenbelt that traverses the City and a collection of roundabouts that guide traffic through the iconic small town here in East Tennessee.

In my opinion, one specific natural landmark has always characterized the City of Kingsport. Bays Mountain terminates near Kingsport, and the slopes of this mountain range descend directly into the heart of the City. Legends abound of native Americans who used the mountains position and the island and rivers at the base as a treaty ground. One of the islands – still owned by the Cherokee Indians was dubbed Peace Island.

As the leaves hung on for much longer than we usually expect each year, I wanted to capture the colors of autumn on the mountain. This past weekend, I took a few flights over the mountain to catch the vibrant tapestry of fall color and explore another perspective of this rolling topography of East Tennessee.

Over the past several months, I’ve been capturing Bays Mountain from the outside. Oh, there’s plenty to see otherwise. Bays Mountain is one of the largest municipal parks in the country with over 3500 acres and includes a freshwater lake at the top, one of the only planetariums in our region, hiking trails, barge rides, nature programs and plenty of other activities throughout the year.

So for my travel guide, Bays Mountain is the penultimate way-finding natural landmark. Over the next several weeks, I hope to find the time to process all the video for a nice flyover of the mountain that points to our home in Kingsport, Tennessee.