Bledsoe Creek State Park is not far outside of Nashville, but you can have a real woodsy experience on this park's six miles of hiking trails. Most of the trails in the park are dirt, though there are some short paved trails too. The four named trails -- Shoreline, High Ridge, Birdsong and Big Oak -- combine to loop around the park's perimeter. Hiking these trails you get into high forested ridges, cross bridges over creeks, and skirt the shoreline of Old Hickory lake between campsites, playgrounds and the habitat of massive herons.
What Makes It Great
This is a gem of a state park that's within a half-hour drive of Nashville. Especially on the High Ridge Trail -- the dirt trail with the most ascent and descent as you, unsurprisingly, climb the park's highest ridge -- you feel that you are in the backcountry. Yet, the park office, clean modern restrooms and camping facilities are within easy reach. The abundant wildlife of the park makes it really special; in a relatively small acreage there are lots of deer, squirrels and birdlife including herons on the lake. Another great aspect of the park is the choice of easy and paved or more challenging dirt trails -- those with mobility issues can reach the lakeshore in just a few level, paved steps from many parking areas. Hikers looking to train on hills can head deeper into the high regions of the park. The combination of wide, leaf-strewn trails, narrow dirt ascents and the easy lakeside strolling keeps your hike interesting and varied.
Who is Going to Love It
Hikers of all experience and fitness levels will find trails to enjoy at Bledsoe Creek State Park. It's also a great destination for families, as there are campsites and playgrounds throughout the park. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can spy abundant and diverse wildlife in the park. Bledsoe allows for anything from a few minutes' walk to and from the shore, to a multi-day camping trip.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From downtown Nashville, take Highway 65 north to Route 386 eastbound. Pass through Gallatin and continue onto Route 25 east of Gallatin. Turn south onto Zieglers Fork Road, and the park will be signed on your left off this road. It's about a 30-mile drive.
Plentiful paved parking is available at Bledsoe Creek State Park.