The last stop on the whirlwind tour of the Nashville area took us to Gallatin. After dropping Ladonna off for her last day it was off in search of one last greenway.
The information I found on line led me to the Gallatin Civic Hall to start this last journey. After parking I started down Union School Road, past the middle school and through a nice little wooded area. Coming out of the woods I found myself in Triple Creek Park, which was very nice, very well maintained and boasted many multi-use fields, a dog park and a pavilion. This is a pretty good loop taking you out into some fields at the northern most point before turning back and running into the Town Creek Greenway.
This section is truly the gem of this system. It started out running along the side of East Broadway before diving down and under the road, following along side of the creek bed. On the other side it continued down towards town. This was as beautiful of an area as any that I saw during this trip. The fall leaves were on the ground, the creek was bubbling along and there were many interesting sights along the way. It seemed like a perfect trail on a perfect day. At the end of Town Creek there was another short trail or spur and then it ended.
On the way back I tried to remember the map I had seen earlier and cut across East Broadway at the lower parking area then shot up Martha Ave to one last trail around Municipal Park. This one was at times more of a circuit of the parking lots more than a trail. One very curious thing that I noticed… The map showed that the trail crossed Albert Gallatin Drive and ended back in the parking lot of the Civic Center and there was a cross walk there exactly where it should be to do that. But on the fence next to that there was a sign on the park side saying no public exit and on the street side saying no entrance.
Oh well, my time was ending and my car was in sight, if the cops wanted to get me for this violation maybe when they checked my papers they would realize that I was a poor lost soul from Knoxville who most likely couldn’t read the sign… All and all the course I took was about 6. 1 miles.
I escaped without being arrested and was off to pick up my wonderful wife. I can say that each of the places that I visited on this trip had great potential in their own way. Each had it’s own draw and each was a pleasure to run. I hope that I will get the chance to go back again, explore some new places and visit the old ones to see what they have been up to.
A drive closer to the heart of the city brought me to Shelby Park and The Shelby
Bottom Nature Center and Trailhead. I was shocked to see a huge buck casually strolling by the electric car parking in the parking lot. His calm strut made a stark contrast to the city skyline just across the river. Shelby Park is a beautiful large park that offers two separate golf courses, baseball and softball fields and playgrounds. The Nature Center has many exhibits and would have been a great place to explore if time permitted.
The Greenway itself was just like the other end. It quickly disappeared into the trees along the river and almost like going through the wardrobe I was magically taken away from the city. A few miles out and there was the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge again, leading across the river but I choose try a small dirt path instead and found my way to a small pond. Turning back I choose to slow down and really savor the area.
The Shelby Bottoms and Stone River areas are truly something that Nashville should be proud of. Located so close to the center of a large city they offer so much of the country and in ways that almost anyone can enjoy it. They had smooth, mainly flat paved trails, rolling hills and gravel/dirt paths that were easy to escape into and forget the bustle of the city. With the option to run, walk, bike or even rent a bike there is no reason why everyone in the city can’t get out for a while if they wish. Most of the paved paths are also wheelchair friendly. With the surrounding areas offering family fun such as a water park, a skate park, ball fields, golf courses, lakes and rivers there is plenty for everyone to do.
Next it was time to travel North East of the City and explore one last area.
The next day it was back to meetings for Ladonna and I decided to explore a different section of the Stones River Greenway and headed to Percy Priest Lake.
The lake was beautiful and I took sometime to enjoy the shore close to the dam before crossing over to the greenway entrance. There were several people walking along the banks and just enjoying the morning view. Across the road again there was a bike kiosk at the start and dog park and then I was off, down the river bank.
Where the bank got steeper instead of digging into the bank they decided to build a walkway hanging from the hillside. Like the day before I was almost surprised to suddenly pop out in the middle of the city at a large shopping center. From there the trail twisted around and across a bridge and followed a fairly busy road for a short period before disappearing back into the trees.
The Stones River was a great place to get away for a while but since this was my last day to explore the metro area I cheated and drove the car for one last stop…