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184 Harpeth Woods in the Snow 2010-02-01

snowy trails in Edwin Warner Park

Friday, it snowed in Nashville. We were planning on hiking at South Cumberland, again; but opted to stay closer to home. Still on our to do list were all the trails at the Warner Parks in Nashville. We chose to hike the Harpeth Woods Trail.

Saturday morning we woke early and drove the snowy roads to the Park. The roads were easy to travel at a reduced speed and no traffic. There were vehicles that had beat us to the trailhead.

Leaving the Nature Center we passed the Trailhead kiosk, crossed a bridge and followed the blue blazes of the Harpeth Woods Trail. Even in the snow the trail was easy to follow. There are however, several nature trails near the Nature Center. These trails may lead to some confusion as they criss-cross the blue blazed Harpeth Woods Trail. Just watch for blazes along the trail and signs or posts with blue arrows at intersections.

After crossing the Old Roadway (closed to motorized vehicles) the trail climbs through a couple of switchbacks. The trail skirts the tops of all the hills, but still has a good moderate climb of over 200 feet.

After descending to the Owl Hollow Trail and Butler Field, the trail turns right and climbs through a cedar glade. The rolling and twisting trail is a fun section to hike.

After crossing another leg of the Old Roadway, the trail goes by the rock quarry. From the quarry the trail climbs a small hill and then descends to the old Natchez Trace.

The trail returns to the Nature Center by the flat old road. There are several bridges crossing Vaughn Creek along the way.

A few trail notes...

  • The Nature Center is a great facility.
  • The Nature Center was closed when we arrived, but the restrooms were open. Thanks!
  • The trail was easy to follow and at a good grade.
  • The Park map rates the trail as moderate, however it is very similar in grade to the "hard" rated Ganier Ridge Trail of Radnor Lake.
  • The Park is dog friendly, but the dogs must be on leashes.
  • Runners are also allowed on the trails but they should yield to hikers.
  • The Old Roadway enters the Park off Hwy 100. At the bridge crossing Vaughn Creek there is a gate and parking for the Natchez Trace trailhead to the right. The same parking area is also used by the Woolwine Trailhead for the Harpeth River Greenway. There is no Woolwine Trailhead sign, kiosk, or information in the area or at the Natchez Trace Kiosk. I am puzzled why the two trails share the same parking area; but not the same trailhead kiosk. Even more curious, Woolwine Trailhead is only mentioned on the City’s Greenway map. (Link to cloudhiking’s Harpeth River Greenway.)
  • The old Natchez Trace is another section of the old Natchez Trace that we walked at Garrison Creek.
  • The snow made the familiar hike even better.
  • We met a number of hikers also enjoying the snow.
  • There were also many folks sledding the hills of the Park.

This is a great hike. We highly recommend it. It is especially nice in the snow!

Happy snowy trails.


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