Located northeast of Nashville in Sumner County, Bledsoe Creek State Park was our hiking destination for today. It has been years, possibly even a decade, since we had visited this park. Bledsoe Creek flows into the Cumberland River, but many years ago, the Cumberland River was dammed creating Old Hickory Lake. The park, which borders the lake, was established as a recreational area for campers, boaters, and fishermen. Hiking trails were eventually installed, but it is still primarily a campers park.
Despite the heavy rains (and I mean a real gully washer) overnight, we decided to hit the trail anyway. At least the radar indicated the rain moved out of our region. We knew the park was undergoing a campground renovation, but the official state park website clearly stated the trails were open. You can imagine our surprise when we saw the barricade with the big “closed” sign at the trailhead. Gene called the park office. As it turned out, the handicapped accessible trail was being repaved. The trail from the parking lot connected with the handicapped trail, so it was closed also. However, we were advised to walk along the road to the main entrance and access our trail from there. Everything worked out just fine and we had a good hike, even if it was a bit muddy on the ridge and soggy along the lakeshore. In fact, the lakeshore trail in places was flooded.
We got some first hand information on the campground renovation. We ran into Tommy, a park employee, who seemed to know all about it. He seemed to know so much we decided he has taken ownership of the whole project. The original campground had small sites and catered primarily to tent campers and pop-ups. The whole campground has been revamped with 65 foot long by 25 foot wide paved sites (some back-ins; some pull-thrus) with water and 50 amp electrical hook-ups. No sewer, but they do have a dump station. Actually, I think he may have said they have 4 dump stations. Anyway, the sites are huge. The project is far behind schedule due to record rain the summer. The original opening date had been set for November, but Tommy said they now didn’t expect to open the park until spring. Tommy wanted our feed-back and took us to the one site that had been completed. Tommy is an RVer, also, and didn’t need our input; he was just being nice. Besides, he was eager to show off “his campground”. That didn’t stop us from offering our opinion and we ended up talking to Tommy for several minutes. A very nice guy and oh so proud of the new facility. When finished, it will be a very nice campground.
Having walked all the way around the park to the point where we ran into Tommy, we found the trail too flooded to continue on. We could see the truck, but it was across the inlet from where we were. Not being able to walk on water, we turned around and headed back the way we had come.
Even though there were heavy clouds all day, temperatures in the 50s, and a light wind making it fee pretty chilly, we had a great day outside.