On Thursday, I hiked Bryant Grove Trail in Long Hunter State Park near Nashville. I had never before hiked this trail; it follows the edge of Percy Priest Lake and is completely flat. As I was hiking for distance, I was glad not to have to tackle any climbs or descents, but don’t be fooled - this is still quite a trek! It is four miles one-way so unless you have a ride waiting for you at the other end, you’ll have to do what I did and turn around and head back. There are plenty of benches along the path to stop and rest; I took advantage of them.
Not only had I never hiked this trail, but I had never even been to this area of Long Hunter State Park. I started and ended my hike at the trailhead at the end of Barnett Road in the Bryant Grove Area. This area would be great for a family outing. It has a nice playground, several shady picnic tables, a view of the lake, and even a pavilion with a volleyball net.
Pets are not allowed here so if anyone in your group would rather not be around dogs this is the perfect spot.
While hiking, I was struck by how varied the landscape was along the trail:
I passed through wide-open glades baked by the sun and then through wooded sections strewn with driftwood and trash from past flooding. I’d be picking my way over roots one minute and would find myself on solid rock lined with tall overgrowth the next. Before I got to the end of the trail and had to retrace my steps, I enjoyed beautiful views of the lake while listening to the fine gravel crunch underneath my boots. It’s certainly not a boring hike!
I came at just the right time as flowers were everywhere. I can’t identify them all, but I can certainly admire them. I hope you enjoy them too.
Even the drive to Bryant Grove Area is lined with beautiful wildflowers:
I didn't want to stop taking pictures!