Looking for a short hike a little off the beaten track? Well look no fur-ther than the Three Hickories Nature Trail! Located in a forested portion of Cook Recreation area near J. Percy Priest Lake in Hermitage, TN, this trail is a perfect slice of wooded wonderland just outside of Nashville. You’ll find parking at the picnic shelters by Cook Day Use Area, which costs $5 per day. There’s a catch, though -- unfortunately, pups aren’t allowed in Cook Recreation area itself, but you and your buddy are still welcome to walk Three Hickories, and you can access the trail from the Old Campground area. While the route is relatively low-traffic compared with some other local trails, it is pretty pawpular with local dog owners -- those desperately seeking solitude should probably search elsewhere, but your pooch might meet some new playmates. At 1.6 miles long, a walk on this loop is a great way to spend an afternoon!
Three Hickories is ideal for those looking for a peaceful walk through the woods. Stately mature trees aren’t all that this route has to offer, though -- if you think that geology rocks, you’ll be interested to know that part of the trail runs through a striking karst landscape. You’ll also pass some sites of historical interest. The main draw of the Three Hickories Trail, though, is the unique and diverse flora and fauna. The area features cedar groves and wildflowers, and water birds flock to the lake every year. Stick to the shoreline and you and your buddy might even see some turtles!
The path is pretty flat, so Three Hickories is an accessible place for all kinds of pups and owners to stretch their legs, from the fittest furry friends to the most committed couch puptatoes! However, the surface can get a little muddy after it rains, so be sure to bring appropriate footwear. In terms of facilities, you’re pretty well covered -- there are restrooms in the park and at the Old Campground Trailhead. Just be sure to bring waste bags and water with you, and remember -- bug spray is a must in the summer, or your pooch might bring home some unwelcome passengers.