54 Tennessee State Parks - Harpeth River State Park

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by aldntn, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

    Joined:
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    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

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


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    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

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    The original mills did not fare well against flood waters.

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

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    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).

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    Mosquito, tick, chigger and cottonmouth trail.

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    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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    #1
  2. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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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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    #2
  3. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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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.

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    I love old bridges:

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    Mostly another canoe put-in, nice little city park directly adjacent.
    #3
  4. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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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:

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

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    #4
  5. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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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.

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    Old house just across the road.

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    Corn field just across the road.

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    Canoe access.

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    No hiking through nature today--too hot

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    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.
    #5
  6. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

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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.

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    Pretty much a vertical bluff.

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    A perfect day for this.

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    Pastoral scene just past the park.

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    Another look at the river.

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    #6
  7. aldntn

    aldntn Vgo

    Joined:
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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.
    #7
  8. Liberia

    Liberia Fortunate

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    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.
    #8