Trail Review: Bells Bend Loop

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

 

Like camping, but on steroids

Backpacking 101 overnight excursion

One of my bigger flaws is admitting I don’t know something. I hate for attention to be drawn to my ignorance, and that flaw has kept me from pursuing hobbies or goals that would otherwise really strengthen me. It’s also annoyed the heck out of Thrillbilly, because he’s usually the one teaching me things.  Continue reading “Like camping, but on steroids”

Trail Review: Beaman Park

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”

First trail run of 2018

Humility, mud, and what I wore

For the first day in what seems like forever, the weather got into the high 50s/low 60s and the sun was shining. It was a perfect Saturday morning. I went trail running at Percy Warner, a route I’ve done many times, but this time was different: I ran my slowest time ever.  Continue reading “First trail run of 2018”

Trail Review: Burgess Falls State Park

Add some truth to that dating profile

We all have a friend that lists “hiking” on their online dating profile but hasn’t been in the woods since that one-mile concrete stretch of greenway they did once when they were dog sitting. The short round-trip trail at Burgess Fall State Park is a perfect way to re-introduce them to nature, add some truth to their profile, and perhaps fashion them into an awesome backpacking buddy.   Continue reading “Trail Review: Burgess Falls State Park”