Harpeth River State Park is unique because it is a linear park following the Harpeth River and it’s split up into 9 sections across 40 river miles. Some sections are just canoe/kayak launching points and others also include a few short hiking trails. Some of the more popular sections of the park are Narrows of the Harpeth and Hidden Lake.
The Narrows is a part of the Harpeth River that consists of a high bluff with two different parts of the river on both sides, forming a very narrow bluff in between the two sections. Above, you’ll see the view from the high bluff.
There are three very short trails in the Narrows of the Harpeth section: the Bluff Trail, the Harris Street Bridge Trail and the Tunnel Trail.
- Bluff Trail (.25 mi) – Steep climb to the top of the bluff, views of the Harpeth and the rolling Tennessee hills.
- Harris Street Bridge Trail (.35 mi) – Hugs the bluff on the one side (beautiful rock ledges) and the river on the other
- Tunnel Trail (.2 mi) – Short and flat walk to the tunnel through the bluff.
- Fun history fact: This tunnel used to power Pattinson Forge which was used to break pierces of iron into smaller pieces of iron – pretty exciting stuff for 1818.
Because they are all so short, I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t just try ‘em all. You’ll end up doing an out and back of all three trails because they don’t form a loop. So, even though the trails only add up to .8 mi, you end up hiking at least double that amount. (I did about 2.5 miles because I parked near a canoe access and walked along the paved road for a bit.) Although these trails are short, there’s a few pretty nice things to see.
Bring your hammock or a packable chair and hang out on top of the bluff or near the tunnel if you need to get a quick relaxing reset from the city.
Distance from Nashville: 40 min
Directions to trailhead: Either near Harris Street Bridge parking area off of Cedar Hill Road or near the canoe/kayak access point on Narrows of the Harpeth Road
Trail: Harris Street Bridge, Bluff Overlook, and Tunnel Trails
Link to trail map: Harpeth River State Park Trail Map
Length of hike: ~2 miles after all is said and done, allow about 30-45 minutes
Brief overview: River bluffs overlooks, tunnels through those bluffs and the Harpeth River. Short and close to home.