Usually when I’m heading to Long Hunter, I hike the Volunteer Trail. But, I was looking at a map of the state park and found a trail I hadn’t done: Bryant Grove. I’m not quite sure why I’d never seen this trail before, but I’m glad that I found it.
The Bryant Grove Trail runs from the Couchville Lake area to the Bryant Grove Area. (FYI: When I went, the Bryant Grove Area was closed from the road, so to be safe, start at Couchville Lake.) It’s almost completely flat and pretty much follows the shoreline of Percy Priest Lake. It’s an out-and-back trail so, it’ll be about 8 miles total if you do the whole thing.
This is a great trail to trail run because it’s flat and there’s relatively little roots and rocks on the trail. Parts of the trail are exposed and meander through limestone glades that feel unlike most Tennessee trails, which makes sense because limestone glades are pretty rare for this area.) It really does have a beach-y feel. This hike reminds me of one I did in a state park in the Florida panhandle. At the Bryant Grove area, there’s a few benches to take a break and look out onto the lake. Plus, there’s a great chance you’ll see some wildlife; I saw a few herons!
This trail looks and feels completely different than the Volunteer Trail and Day Loop, even though they are part of the same park and a mere miles from each other. So, if you want the full Long Hunter and Percy Priest hiking experience, don’t miss out on Bryant Grove!
Distance from Nashville: 30 minutes
Trailhead: Bryant Grove Trailhead at Couchville Lake
Trail: Bryant Grove Trail (Out-and-back)
Length of trail: 4.0 miles one way
Trail map: Long Hunter State Park Trail Map
Brief overview: Meander through both tree-lined trails and exposed beach-y limestone glades as you hug the coastline of Percy Priest Lake. A great trail to run or work on getting your hiking mileage up.