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Old 06-15-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
aldntn OP
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54 Tennessee State Parks - Harpeth River State Park

A couple of weeks ago I went to a company day out at the boss's farm. Not far from there lives my long time friend who has a tire changer. So, being a two bird guy, I strapped on the new rear tire so to get er done after "work".

I got to my friend's place a bit early so I ran down the road to look at Newsome's Mill to kill a little time. Turns out it is a State Park, or rather a part of one: Harpeth River State Park.

At first I thought I had enough for a "54" RR. Two things showed me I didn't 1) My cheap little camera has no drivers available for anything newer than Win XP so no pics and 2) There are actually 10 parts to Harpeth River State Park.

So, today, I began anew with a better camera and better knowledge, so lets count em up 1 to 10.

1) Hwy 100 Canoe Access .. 36.053731 -86.9293



The Harpeth has a little more water this year, so great canoeing and kayaking. This little spot has some nice features.











The last piece a bit of flood architecture: during the flood two years ago the water would have been about 20' over my head at this spot. Can't tell now.

2) Newsom's Mill Historical Site .. 36.07941 -86.99599



The original mills did not fare well against flood waters.



Picnic tables, grills, the river.. nice little spot



The stonework in the old mill is amazing. Some of the pieces are enormous. I believe this was all hand work (with help from mules).









Mosquito, tick, chigger and cottonmouth trail.



This is a tight single lane underpass you'll probably go through if you visit here. Be careful; people in cars are nuts.

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
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3) Hidden Lake State Natural Area 36.087231 -87.025366

It was pretty hot, so I wasn't hiking in riding gear back to Hidden Lake for pics. There is another canoe access here. Narrow little gravel track back which is fun.









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Old 06-16-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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4) Kingston Springs City Park Canoe Access -- 36.100989 -87.105703

The roads today are all nice, curvy two lane. Pinnacle Hill Road is tighter, steeper and has some gravelly repair spots. Fun for some.



I love old bridges:





Mostly another canoe put-in, nice little city park directly adjacent.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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5) Highway 70 Canoe Access -- 36.123941 -87.098751

Canoeing was peaking at this point and this access point was full up. Just a couple of quick pics:



The take out here is very steep. Considerable huffing and puffing going on..

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Old 06-16-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
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6) Gossett Tract State Natural Area 36.135033 -87.100414

Another canoe access and an archaeological research area. No really my cup of tea, but interesting.



Old house just across the road.



Corn field just across the road.



Canoe access.



No hiking through nature today--too hot



This area was getting full as I left. The rangers were setting up to turn people away.


Numbers 7 and 8 are, I think, only by request from the Rangers. I saw no sign of access. The mounds and bluff area have a lot of evidence of pre-historic cultures. Worth a look if you enjoy that sort of thing.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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9) Narrows of the Harpeth 36.148618 -87119243

The river here winds around a steep, narrow bluff. Not much fall in the river, so a dam didn't seem practical for an iron hammering operation. So the obvious idea: blast a tunnel through the bluff. Well, it worked but the iron ore eventually ran out. I didn't get a pic of the tunnel because the parking area was full there. If you looked at the State Park link, lots of good pictures there.



Pretty much a vertical bluff.



A perfect day for this.



Pastoral scene just past the park.



Another look at the river.

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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10) Harris Street Bridge canoe access

I don't think there is a Harris Street, just a Harris Street Bridge canoe access. The parking lot was full. There is a steep access road down to the gravel bar. I'm pretty sure the VStrom would have negotiated it fine, but I like to walk the unknown first and decided I was extremely thirsty and not interested in a hike.

All in all it was a good afternoon. I visited places I'd been to many times and a few places I had never been to.

After number 10 on the list, I chased a road I'd never been on and ended up in White Bluff, TN where I got a cold orange juice and a PayDay and rested in the cool a few minutes before blasting across town to the house. FYI for crossing Nashville east and west to avoid traffic jams and such: Briley Parkway, aka hwy155.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for a great report

Aldntn,

I do some work for a company that's fairly close to this park. Your report has inspired me to make a late afternoon visit now that the days are getting longer.

Thanks again for doing such a nice write-up.
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