One of our favorite things about living in Nashville is how close we are to some truly beautiful places, and many of those are less than 30-minutes from ours house. Metro Parks and Recreation (Nashville/Davidson County) does a really great job of developing and maintaining natural parks. We've enjoyed many; Shelby Bottoms Park, Bells Bend Park, Percy Warner Park and Edwin Warner Park (we love the Warner Parks) just to name a few.
Before today we never made the drive into Ashland City, TN to visit Beaman Park. We're really happy that we did; it will probably become our new go-to park for those hiking days when we don't have time to go too far from home. Warner Parks used to serve this purpose for us, but to our surprise Beaman Park is only about 15 minutes from our house. Driving to Warner Parks take twice that long. Besides the convenience, we think Beaman Park is just as beautiful as the Warner Parks. It has a beautiful nature center and three trailheads for three different trails.
Henry Hollow Trail
Note: We recommend you check out the cloudhiking description of the Beaman Park trails. We have been making our way through the list of trails they have visited and written about in Middle Tennessee. They have great descriptions with really helpful information.
Recently, we've been selecting trails that are relatively short. This gives Little Hiker an opportunity to hike on her own as long as possible. Henry Hollow Trail is easily accessed at the Creek Side Trailhead. The trail is a 2-mile easy-to-moderate loop with some relatively gentle elevation gains, which is a prefect distance and difficulty level for our purposes. Giving our daughter the opportunity to hike on her own requires a lot of time, attention and patience.
We love watching her find awe and inspiration in everything around her. She stops to touch and hold things on the trail, goes back to see things she thought was really cool, tries to move off-trail often, and stops to rest anywhere she fancies (e.g., sitting on rocks, lying one her back in the middle of a trail, in the middle of a creek). So, we need a pretty good amount of time to make sure she is able to be an active toddler, hiker and learner for as long as she wants.
She was able to go a little over 1/2 mile today before requesting/needing to be put in her kid carrier (Deuter Kid Comfort II). A little over one-fourth of our hike took three-fourths of our time. This was just fine with us; it's why we picked the trail in the first place. She had a great time, as did we, and by the time we made it home she was ready for lunch and a nice long nap. We're looking forward to our next visit when we'll take a spin on the longer trail, and maybe loop in with this one again while we're at it.
How did you enjoy nature this weekend?