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Couchville Lake Trail at Long Hunter State Park


In the foreground, there's a paved road followed by trees with a blue lake in the background in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.
Couchville Lake area of Long Hunter State Park

Couchville Lake is a very popular recreation area within Long Hunter State Park. On my last visit to this Middle Tennessee park, I walked the Couchville Lake Trail, a paved path which encircles the lake. (1) The signs on the trail say it’s 2 miles, but the online map says 2.10. (2)


A kiosk says that the trail is an arboretum certified by The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council and The Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc., but I couldn’t find it on TUFC’s online registry of arboreta. (3) Either way, you definitely will learn about trees on this trail. 


A white rectangle with a green leaf is painted on the pavement in front of a tree with a small black plastic sign on it in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.
The white rectangle with a green leaf on the pavement indicates a marked tree.

While you walk, look for white rectangles with green leaves on the pavement. Next to each of these emblems is a marker with the name of a tree. Sometimes, the marked tree is a bit further back from the trail so be sure you don’t miss it. 


If you’d like to learn more, you can get a free online brochure with information about each of these 45 marked trees. (4)


A laminated green sheet of paper stapled onto a kiosk has a QR code for a tree brochure in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.
This QR code links you to a free online brochure for the trees on the trail.

Look for the QR code at the kiosk to get the brochure before you begin. (5) The brochure says to walk the trail counter-clockwise if you want to follow along. (6)


A covered pavilion with picnic tables in the back and restrooms in the front sits on grass with trees behind in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

There’s also a building with restrooms and a covered picnic area next to the parking lot. 


A flat paved trail winds among trees in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

The trail is flat. There are just a few places where the pavement has buckled creating small ridges (not pictured above) so anything on wheels will need to be able to get over these. 


A narrow paved path connects to a wooden pier surrounded by trees and overlooking a lake in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

Pets are not allowed on the trail, and biking and skating isn’t permitted. (7) There are many benches and some small piers connected to the trail that overlook the lake.


An A-frame shelter with open sides has two long benches on either side in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

On the last half of the trail, there is a covered seating area in case you get caught in the rain. 


A long wooden bridge extends over water with a forested shore on the other side in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

I really like the long bridge that crosses the lake. It’s on the last part of the trail, and it’s fun to look over the lake and see how far you’ve come.


A tree trunk bends up before growing down and then up again on the lakeshore in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

At the end of the bridge that’s on the same side as the parking lot, I found this tree that’s bent at interesting angles. 


A tree trunk splits before growing together again and then splitting again. It's surrounded by trees with a lake behind in Long Hunter State Park in Tennessee.

Further down the trail, I saw this tree that split, then grew together, and then split again. 


This is a really great, peaceful walk. I know it’s beautiful in the morning, and I bet you could spot some interesting wildlife then too. Maybe I’ll see you out there!


 
  1. https://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-maps/Long_Hunter_web.png 

  2. Trail signs; https://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-maps/Long_Hunter_web.png 

  3. Couchville Lake Area kiosk; https://tufc.com/programs/tree/arboreta/search-arboreta/ 

  4. “Couchville Lake Arboretum at Long Hunter State Park Self-Guided Tree Trail” brochure

  5. Couchville Lake Area kiosk

  6. “Couchville Lake Arboretum at Long Hunter State Park Self-Guided Tree Trail” brochure

  7. Trail signs; https://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-maps/Long_Hunter_web.png  3/31/24

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