MetroCenter Levee Trail on the Cumberland River Greenway

May 8, 2013 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

MetroCenter Levee Trailhead

MetroCenter Levee Trailhead

Nashville has made great strides in the last several years to strengthen the greenway system throughout the city. We’ve already reviewed several of the greenways (Shelby Bottoms, Stones River, Mill Creek, Bells Bend) so last fall (I know, I know this post is LONG overdue) we headed out to check out the MetroCenter Levee trail on the Cumberland River Greenway.

  1. Scenery:  2.0
  2. Difficulty:  0
  3. Length:  3.0 miles
  4. Dog Friendly Factor: 4.5
  5. Convenience:  5
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 0

Scenery (2.0 out of 5.0): If you’re familiar with MetroCenter, you know it’s a pretty flat space topped with a whole lot of office buildings (and the Titans’ training facility), so I was pleasantly surprised by how relatively scenic this trail was. The Cumberland River and the bluffs overlooking it are the main attractions. There were a few nice views, but the steady stream of office buildings and storage facilities killed a lot of the “get out in nature” vibe.

Great sunset on the MetroCenter Greenway

Great sunset on the MetroCenter Greenway

Difficulty (0 out of 5.0): This trial is flat and paved and super easy. This is a there-and-back trail, so unless you’re immensely talented you won’t get lost. It’s easily accessible for walkers as well as cyclists or would also be a good alternative for anyone with disabilities who may not be able to get out and about on other trails.

Length: 3.0 Miles

Dog Friendly Factor (4.5 out of 5.0): This was another easy trail for the dogs. The only thing it’s missing is a good watering hole for them to take a long drink, but overall this is a short enough trail that it shouldn’t matter too much.

Convenience (5.0 out of 5.0): This trail starts just north of downtown next and is easily accessible.

Bonus Funtimes (0 out of 5.0): Aside from the perk that this trail is almost smack dab in the middle of Nashville (where there’s tons to do), there’s not a lot of extra fun stuff on this trail. However, the immense convenience of it does make for a nice spot to get some fresh air and enjoy views of the Cumberland River.

Couchville Lake Trail at Long Hunter State Park

April 22, 2013 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Couchville Lake Trail

Couchville Lake Trail

Springtime has finally arrived and it’s time to get back on the trails. This was our first time “hiking” since little E was born in January, so we chose Couchville Lake Trail at Long Hunter State Park, a quick and easy hiking trail just outside of Nashville.

  1. Scenery:  2.0
  2. Difficulty:  0
  3. Length:  2.0 miles
  4. Dog Friendly Factor: 0
  5. Convenience:  5
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 3.0

Trail Map:

 

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Lots of quiet spots for fishing or just relaxing along the paved trail at Couchville Lake.

Scenery (2.0 out of 5.0): Couchville Lake Trail makes for a nice, if uneventful, day out in nature. The terrain is completely flat and paved – a bonus if you’re carting a long a stroller (as we saw quite a few folks doing). The trail loops through Tennessee’s first state-certified arboretum in a State Park and there are markings along the paved path that identify different types of trees. This trail would make a good starting point for anyone interested in learning how to identify different tree types. Here’s a guide to identifying the trees along the Couchville Lake Trail.

There are some nice views of the small lake and quite a few places to stop and enjoy the quiet scenery, including benches and short fishing piers. The tall trees provide a great canopy for about 85% of the time on the trail… looking up at the tall trees and leaves was very entertaining for our little guy. This trail seemed to be a great intro for his entry into the outdoors :)

Difficulty (0 out of 5): This trail truly could not be any easier. The flat path is completely paved and well maintained, which kind of makes it a stretch to call this a “hike” but it is a nice spot for a walk in the woods. Cyclists and skaters are prohibited – basically anything with wheels (except strollers and wheelchairs) are prohibited, making it much more relaxing than some other busy trails in the area. We saw quite a few joggers – this is a great, easy spot for a short run.

The trailhead for the Lake Trail is very close to the Bryant Grove Trail. If you’d like to add some distance on to your hike, combine these two trails for a 10 trek.

Little E pondering Couchville Lake Trail.

Babies welcomed at Couchville Lake Trail, but not doggies.

Length: 2 miles

Dog Friendly Factor (0 out of 5.0): Dogs are prohibited at Couchville Lake Trail. There are several signs and the area is well patrolled by the park rangers, so it’s best to leave the pups at home for this day outdoors.

Convenience (5.0 out of 5.0): Couchville Lake is right next to Percy Priest Lake, making it a quick and easy trip. Entry to Couchville Lake area is well marked and just down the road from the Volunteer Day Loop trail.

Bonus Funtimes (3.5 out of 5.0): Bonus Funtimes is where Couchville Lake excels. There’s a pavillion for cookouts and parties, lots of great spots for fishing, a nice sized playground for the kiddos, the arboretum guide and small boats are available for rent during the summertime months.

3 Hikes for Thanksgiving Weekend

November 21, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Thanksgiving Hiking Hounds

Thanksgiving is for the dogs.

My personal favorite holiday is almost upon us (which means I’ve got to get to cookin’…). We hope you all enjoy a great Thanksgiving with family, friends and full bellies! Among dozens of other things, we’re thankful for the opportunity to get outdoors and share our stories with all of you. Thank you for your ongoing support!

If you’re looking for a good alternative to the frenzy of Black Friday shopping (ugh!), here’s our recommendations trails to hit up after you’ve done your best to conquer the Thanksgiving feast.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Weekend Destination – July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012 in Other

Ocoee River

Ocoee River in Cherokee Nat’l Park

With the country still in the midst of a record breaking heat wave, the MMT crew is taking another weekend off from hiking. This weekend, instead of sweating on the trails I’ll be heading to the Ocoee River for a little whitewater kayaking fun.

The Ocoee River is in the Cherokee National Forest in southeastern Tennessee and played host to the whitewater events of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Ocoee area has a little something for everyone, from rafting to hiking to zip lining.

If you’re wanting to get out and enjoy the great outdoors this weekend and haven’t decided where to go, check out these great hikes:

  1. Narrows of the Harpeth
  2. Greeter Falls at Savage Gulf
  3. Volunteer Day Loop Trail at Long Hunter State Park

Where are you headed this weekend?

lower greeter falls

View of Lower Greeter Falls

4 Hikes for the 4th of July

July 3, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Nashville Hiking Trails for the 4th of July

Near Big Falls at Old Stone Fort Park

In honor of the 4th of July, we’re skipping our normal Wednesday trail review post and instead we’re offering up our picks for historic Nashville hiking trails that will help get you in the patriotic spirit.

  • Meriwether Lewis Loop - The Meriwether Lewis Loop marks the spot where Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark fame, died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds on his way from Louisiana to DC. It was very interesting to be at a place with so much history and it gave me a renewed appreciation for the difficulty of life before our modern age.
  • Stones River Battlefield Loop - If you’ve got a history buff in the family, bring them on this hike. This history of this Civil War battle is very well documented… and if you’re lucky (like we were) you’ll be walking along the trail and nearly start to run for cover when they start simulating the canon firing!
  • Old Stone Fort Loop - Old Stone Fort is home to an ancient indian enclosure built by Native Americans. The stone wall still exists and this loop trail takes you around most of it – from checking out the visitor’s museum that includes the history of the ancient indians who built the wall to fishing, camping and more, you’re sure to find a few good ways to spend your time.
  • Barfield Wilderness Loop - With an historic Civil War era rock wall as a prominent feature on this trail to take you back a couple of centuries. The park is about as family-friendly as you can get. There are camping spots in the wilderness area, a frisbee golf course, ball fields of all kinds, shelters, tetherball, playgrounds, drinks for sale at the Wilderness Station.

We’ll be back on Thursday for a recap of our amazing trip to the Smokies and our hike up Mount LeConte! Until then, everyone have a great 4th of July!