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857 Crowded Days
in the Parks

hiking with Jake on a wooded trail

Smiling Jake, walking in the woods, yes, he is on a lead!

Sunday morning we went to a local park for a get-out-of-the-house-hike. Perhaps, we started too late, but the parking areas were already crowded by the time we arrived. As we approached the trailhead, we knew we were not going to have a nice, quiet day in the park. The park was going to be crowded.

We enjoy seeing others use the trails, but on near perfect weather days, crowds can be overwhelming. The real crazy thing, is that the park where we went hiking is not even the most popular in town! We could only imagine the crowds there. Regardless, it was important for us to get out on the trails, but next trip we need to plan a little bit better to avoid the crowds.

A few avoidance techniques ...

It goes without saying most of the popular trails are popular for a reason. Trails that offer a scenic walk, on a well maintained path with amenities such as easy access, security, parking, restrooms, water, etc - are going to be more crowded than an unknown trail somewhere in the boondocks.

Choose a less crowded day to hike, such as a weekday instead of a weekend. Our only problem is that it is only on the weekends that we can walk together. Jake is open for a walk any day.

Choose a less crowded trail to walk. We could have picked another trail in the park, but we also wanted to let Jake go swimming. A small river was close to where we were going to hike.

We could have planned for an early morning hike. A "metro" alpine start might be the answer. Leaving the trailhead at daybreak, the trails are probably not as crowded and like in the mountains the temperatures are probably cooler. Of course the only problem with an alpine start is that you have to get out of bed really early.

Try a night hike. Night hikes are as fun as daytime hikes. Modern headlamps have made it easy to walk or run at night. Check with the park to see if they allow night hikes, some close at dusk.

Avoid picnic areas. Many folks who picnic seem to play loud music and their activity seem to centered around their vehicles and noise. On our hike we crossed a ridge to a large picnic area. We were originally planning on accessing the river from that area, but it was just too loud.

Grin and bear it. Just embrace the numbers. That is what we generally do. Of course you might need to practice bladder control, trust me - you will never find a secluded tree to duck behind!

It is fun to watch others use the parks, especially children.

Jake waiting for a ball to be thrown while wading in a river

We had a fun hike on Sunday. It was worth the effort. Jake did get to go for a swim, we just went to another access point.

Happy glad to be outside trails


Index of trails and greenways in the Nashville area


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