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136 Bells Bend Park - Nashville 2009-10-12

a field at Bells Bend Park

Sunday we went to Bells Bend Park to hike and explore. We knew the Park’s manager but had never visited the grounds.

Driving out Ashland City Highway there are no signs indicating where the park is located. We had looked up the directions on line which indicated the road was two miles from Briley Pkwy, but it was actually 2.8 mies by our odometer.

The entrances to the Park were signed, thank goodness. We first stopped at the Nature Center, but because it was Sunday, it was closed. We explored around the building, peering in the windows, sitting on the porch, and trying to see all that we could without setting off security alarms.

Leaving the Nature Center we went to Poplar Hollow Trailhead to begin our hike. I guess you could have started hiking from the Nature Center, too. There were restrooms at the Nature Center, but not at the Trailhead. Kiosks in both locations told a brief history of the area and a displayed map marked the trails. Lucky for us, they also provided us with handout maps.

The main trail, a "2.3 Mile Loop", really did not seem to have a name. The trail toured the Park’s grounds and was an easy grade to walk. Basically the trail was a mowed path through the fields, with improved drainage. The cut was easy to follow, but there was no signage. None. First time walkers to the area need to grab a map and refer to it often to learn the lay of the land. We had no navigation problems, but we did stop at each intersection to check the map.

A few trail notes:

  • The fields were full of birds and I am sure there was lots of critters in the undergrowth hidden from our view. We only saw one deer, but saw the evidence of many more.
  • Mosquitoes attacked us along one section of the trail, but they were not everywhere. If we had had repellent we would have applied, because the little suckers were definitely out for blood.
  • There were great views especially along the river and then above the river in the highlands area.
  • It was not crowded. We saw five people.
  • I would imagine it is very hot hiking the trail in the summer. There is basically no shade.
  • The facilities were in great shape and well cared for.

Bells Bend is a great little park, but it is isolated from downtown Nashville. If you are looking to escape the hoards of hikers at the Warner Parks, Bells Bend is just the ticket. You could increase the trail mileage by doing laps or exploring other farm roads in the Park. We will go back again.

Happy trails.


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