60 Hikes Within 60 Miles

Appreciate your own back yard

There’s a wonderful book series called 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles. I bought one years ago for Nashville, and one when I moved to Denver.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville is a fantastic guide to nearby trails in the middle Tennessee area. Written by Johnny Molloy, it includes a map of where the trails are in middle Tennessee, individual trail maps, mileage, conditions, level of traffic, directions to the trailhead, and more. I’ve used this guide book for years (I have the second edition; the most recent is the fourth edition), and I’ve decided to write reviews for all 60 trails within this book. I’ll also be doing a few trails from other editions.

Continue reading “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles”

Trail Review: Devils Backbone Loop (#32)

Stop and smell all the things

I’ll admit – I wasn’t impressed for the first few steps of this trail. It felt kind of vanilla – just another wooded trail in middle Tennessee. By the end, it was one of my absolute favorite trails in a while.

Continue reading “Trail Review: Devils Backbone Loop (#32)”

Trail Review: Bells Bend Loop (#17, 3rd ed.)

Favorite hike of the season!

This evening’s stroll along the trail that winds through the meadows of Bells Bend Park was exactly what I needed after a busy, stressful day in the office. This trail is the PERFECT easy trail to hike during a Tennessee spring. The scent of honeysuckle and clover permeated the air the entire time, and Moka and I had the trail all to ourselves. This hidden gem is my new favorite spot.

This trail is ideal if you like:

  • easy, meandering, level, grassy trails

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  • close enough to Nashville to go after work, but far enough to feel a world away
  • SO MUCH HONEYSUCKLE and wildflowers

 

  • a great path for your favorite pupper
  • gorgeous views
  • wildlife (ducks and rabbits and songbirds, oh my!)
  • lots of parking in a clearly marked and tidy trail head

 

  • a beautiful drive to get there

Some challenges you may encounter:

  • It’s springtime in Tennessee, so check trail conditions. It hasn’t rained in a few days, so the trail was dry and lovely. If there’s been recent rain, some spots will be fairly muddy.
  • Mosquitoes and ticks. This is a mowed path through a huge meadow with a few copses. It’s tick Disneyland. I hiked the entire A.T. with no ticks. I picked more than 15 off of me this evening – including one on my face! And Moka got the full tick checking treatment when we got home – 20+ off of that pretty girl. In the future, I’ll be sure to wear bug spray and treat my shoes and gaiters with permethrin.
  • The trail may be confusing for some to follow. Signs are situated at junctions, but are faded and sometimes not very clear. Trails intersect each other frequently, so make sure you carry a picture of the PDF map the park provides.

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The loop that Moka and I hiked was only 2.6 miles long, so we made a second, smaller loop to explore the middle of the meadow. The small trail was just as lovely, and may be a good option for folks starting their fitness journey who may not want to tackle the entire 2.6 mile loop.

I’ll let the pictures in this post speak for themselves, but I really encourage you to take a nice, quiet walk through this lovely pastoral acreage. It’s the perfect ending to a busy day.

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A small covered lookout on the west side of the trail, overlooking the meadow

 

 

Trail Review: Beaman Park (#23)

Great hike for groups with a mix of fitness levels

[First, yes, I realize I’m laughing in nearly all my pictures. Instagram model = no, happy woman = yes.]

Beaman Park is a beautiful hiking area nestled in the foothills just north of Nashville (near Whites Creek and Joelton).

Beaman Park is a great place to take a group because you can choose your own adventure for varying fitness levels or time constraints. The “entire” hike is actually made up of three trails. The first is a .6 mi out-and-back trail that connects to the second trail, a 2-mile loop. The 2-mile loop is interrupted by the third trail, a 2.1-mi one-way trail. Completing the third trail, joining back with the second loop, and going back out the first trail adds up to about 6.5 miles. The trails are marked with yellow, white, and red blazes, respectively.  Continue reading “Trail Review: Beaman Park (#23)”

Trail Review: Barfield Crescent Park trails (#39)

Little-known gem close to MTSU

Nestled on the outskirts of Murfreesboro, and fewer than six miles from Middle Tennessee State University, the Barfield Crescent Park trail system offers paved and earth trail combinations through forest and meadow – a sure cure for those mid-term and finals blues.

Suitable for all hiking skill and fitness levels, trail combinations range from a 1.5 mile there-and-back paved trail to 4.5 miles of trail combinations (paved, main trail loop, two side trail loops). This park was a great place to take my senior dogs for a little day excursion, and would be perfect for a mid-day escape.   Continue reading “Trail Review: Barfield Crescent Park trails (#39)”