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342 Edgar Evins State Park Trails 2011-02-04

Steep Trail on Merritt Ridge

Last Saturday (30Jan11), we went to Edgar Evins State Park to hike the eight mile combination of the Millennium and Merritt Ridge Trails. Edgar Evins State Park is located on Center Hill Lake about 60 miles east of Nashville. We had a pre-conceived notion that Edgar Evins was a motor boat and RV park and therefore had never visited it. Why would we want to go to Edgar Evins, we don't motor boat or RV...

Well, there is one good reason for hikers to visit the Park, the Merritt Ridge Trail. It has open bottom lands, steep hollows, steep trails, and the real highlight - the ridges. The climbs to the ridges are hard; but once on the ridge the path and views are outstanding. It didn't remind us of any other plateau trails.

A few trail notes ...

  • There is a lot of evidence of old homeplaces from stone fences to remnants of structures. Signs are also placed naming two homeplaces.
  • The Millennium Trail is 2.5 miles and rated as moderate.
  • The Merritt Ridge Trail is a continuation of the Millennium Trail. It is an additional 5.5 miles. The total distance is 8 miles.
  • Our GPS mileage matched the Park's mileage.
  • White blazes mark both trails. Signs are also located at each junction.
  • Though the trails were well blazed, the tread of the path was at times hard to follow. Perhaps the winter season added to the difficulty by the leaves covering the ground.
  • Looking at the terrain driving in to the Park, we expected the trail to be rocky. It was actually very soft.
  • There was no litter on the trail.
  • Unfortunately there was lake litter along the shore line of the lake. Litter included dock styrofoam, plastic bottles, bait containers, etc.
  • The noise from the motor boats on the lake was very loud. You don't think we could talk the boaters into using mufflers, do you?
  • Trekking poles were useful on the steep ups and downs.
  • Water and restrooms are available in the Park; but not at the trailhead.
  • The trails are shaded.
  • Jake, the dog liked the trail. We saw one other dog, both dogs were on their leashes for the entire trip.
  • When we hiked it was a perfect winter day. We saw ten other hikers.

We liked the trail so much that we have already completed the map for the area (Edgar Evins map) and the adventure guide should be completed soon.

Happy Millennium and Merritt Ridge Trails



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