When the time comes for some forest therapy and the chance to explore a new path, you can't go wrong with the 1.3 mile section of the North Murfreesboro Greenway between the Walter Hill Trailhead and the Central Valley Trailhead.
What Makes It Great
The North Murfreesboro Greenway runs from the Walter Hill Trailhead to the Central Valley Trailhead and includes some roller coaster elevation changes that could be more suitable for training for a rigorous backcountry trip than most of Murfreesboro's mostly flat elevation profile.
Just like the rest of Murfreesboro's more than 12 miles of existing Greenways, this trail allows you to access this area for nature hikes, walking, running, cycling, or in-line skating on a wide asphalt paved path.
The trail includes two overlooks for you to discover relaxing views of the East Fork of the Stones River, a series of switchbacks on a river-to-bluff section, and a pair of unique aluminum bridges crossing tributaries adjoining the river.
Breathe deeply the spicy scent of the ever-present Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana and enjoy outcroppings of limestone boulders that kids of all ages can climb.
The Central Valley Trailhead terminus incorporates longer parking spaces for horse trailers and includes a new connection point from Coleman Farm to the popular 18-mile Twin Forks Horse Trail. The horse trail has a rich history with nearly 2.5 miles sharing its course with the historic Trail of Tears. From this southern terminus, the horse trail runs to the Nice’s Mill Recreation Area with a total visitation of over 30,000 people a year. For a closeby bonus attraction, the Walter Hill Trailhead also adjoins the Walter Hill Park where you can visit the site of the first hydroelectric plant in Rutherford County; built in the 1920's, it was also one of the earliest operating in Tennessee.
All of these resources are a part of a long range city, county, and regional plan to connect natural spaces and communities via greenways, blueways, and bikeways for more accessible recreation corridors in Middle Tennessee. Over the next 25 years more than 65 miles of trails and 24 new trailheads have been proposed for development. The routes focus on improving connectivity between larger parks that already benefit communities and the neighborhoods and commercial districts that are isolated from natural spaces. Another goal focuses on providing trails to currently underserved segments of citizens.
Cohesive park and greenway rules also apply to the new section; for example, non-motorized bicycles are allowed, skateboards are prohibited, and horses are not allowed on the pedestrian trail. Each of the Greenway's trailheads open at daylight and close half an hour before sunset.
Who is Going to Love It
Families and day hikers will be eager to explore this quick hike with varied terrain, forests, and views, as will runners and cyclists (signs are posted for cyclists for awareness of steep grades). The overlooks are thoughtfully planned to take advantage of bluff views of the river and mature bottomland hardwood trees such as the stark white branches of the American Sycamore Platanus occidentalis. Park benches at the overlooks offer families a spot to regroup and cyclists to catch up while everyone enjoys the views.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Walter Hill Trailhead is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee about 9 miles north from the town square on the south side of the East Fork of the Stones River, one half mile south of Jefferson Pike on Highway 231 (Lebanon Road), and the trailhead on Central Valley Road is located approximately one mile from Highway 231. This trail is for day hikers, runners, in-line skaters, and cyclists only; there is no camping along the greenway.