Follow the Harpeth River west from the Percy and Edwin Warner Parks, and you'll eventually reach Harpeth River State Park, a unique linear
park with several trailheads at different locations along the river. The park's dog-friendly trails cover a little over
six miles, and feature a wide variety of scenery, from high river bluffs
to hidden pools and quarries.
The closest trailhead to Nashville is the Hidden Lake Trailhead on McCrory Lane. The Blue Bird Loop and Lower Field Loop Trails start at the trailhead and wind through open fields where bluebirds nest and wildflowers bloom in warmer months. One of the park's best trails, the Hidden Lake Trail, follows half of the Blue Bird Loop, but is clearly marked with signs that begin at the trail entrance.
The half-mile Hidden Lake Trail takes you into the forest and past a small pond to an old quarry that was transformed into a pool for the 1940s-era Hidden Lake Resort. Limestone bluffs rise all around the lake, adding drama to the scene. Add the Ridge Loop to increase your hike's round-trip distance to two miles. It's a spur route that branches off of the Hidden Lake Trail and leads to elevated views of the quarry. Be careful of the sheer drops as you climb. At the top of the trail, you and your pup can stop to rest on one of the flat rocks overlooking the lake.
Another pawsome section of the park is located a little further north, where three short, scenic trails radiate from a common trailhead on Narrows of the Harpeth Road. The Harris-Street Bridge Trail also has a trailhead just off of Cedar Hill Road, which is a great place to start if you want a slightly longer hike. The Harris-Street Bridge Trail connects to either the Tunnel Trail or the Bluff Overlook Trail for a one-mile round-trip out-and-back hike.
You can also start the 0.15-mile Tunnel Trail or the 0.25-mile Bluff Overlook Trail at the trailhead on Narrows of the Harpeth Road. The Tunnel Trail leads to one of the park's most interesting features, the Montgomery Bell Tunnel, a remarkable man-made tunnel that was carved into the river rock in the early 1800s and pulls water across a narrow meander in the river. The Bluff Overlook Trail features a steep climb up some stone steps to a scenic bluff that rises above the river narrows.
With few amentities along the way, you'll need to bring any essentials with you, including clean up bags and water to share with your adventurous pooch!
Whether you stop by the Narrows of the Harpeth or Hidden Lake trailheads, you can't go wrong with the amazing scenery at Harpeth River State Park.