Friday, November 11, 2011

Harpeth Woods Trail

We woke up to a cold morning today.  The forecast was predicting a low last night of 27 degrees.  I’m not sure if it got that low, but it was definitely below freezing and there was a hard frost blanketing our campground.  Since we no longer have our insulated water hose, with temperatures that low Gene went out late yesterday afternoon and disconnected our water.  We already had plenty of water in our fresh water tank for dishwashing and toilet flushing.  We usually keep 2 or 3 gallons of drinking water on hand in case of emergencies.  This may be the only time we need to disconnect our water.  The ten day forecast has no other nights with temps below freezing.  I sure hope the weather folks know what they’re talking about this time.
We saw hoar frost on several plants beside the trail.

Even though it was cold it was a bright, sunny day.  We just had to head out to a trail.  We’ve been to Warner Parks several times this fall, but we have always done our hiking at Percy Warner.  Today we parked at the Nature Center at Edwin Warner and hiked the Harpeth Woods loop.

The Harpeth Woods trail is 2.5 miles in length and there is easy access to this loop from various places.  The most popular place to start is at the Natchez Trace Trailhead.  There is a large parking lot there and a kiosk with a trail map.  We usually start at the Nature Center because that’s where the restroom is.  Today we hiked this trail in the counterclockwise direction, but it really makes no difference as far as difficulty is concerned.  The trail is one long up hill climb and then an equally long descent.
The historic Natchez Trace

If you start either at the Nature Center or the Natchez Trace trailhead and go counterclockwise, the first stretch is along the historic Natchez Trace.  After about three-quarters of a mile the trail leaves the old trace and turns sharply left and begins the long climb.
Compass rose in the rock quarry

In order to increase the distance a little we did the very short side trail to an old rock quarry.  Back in the 1930s and early 40s, WPA workers quarried the rock to build the park roads.  Today, vegetation is growing back and it’s almost unrecognizable as a quarry.  We noticed that someone had used rocks to create a compass rose on the floor of the quarry.
You can hardly tell this was once a rock quarry.

To add another third of a mile to our hike we took the short Owl Hollow Trail which intersects Harpeth Wood trail after about a mile.  Owl Hollow is an interpretative trail. Brochures with descriptions to help with tree and shrub identification are available at the Nature Center.  We didn’t have a brochure; we were just doing the trail for the extra distance.
Markers along Owl Hollow trail correspond with plant descriptions in the brochure.

At the Nature Center complex there are picnic tables by a small pond.  We hadn’t stopped along the trail for a break so decided to have our hot chocolate at the picnic table.  By that time the temperature had warmed up considerably and we had worked up a sweat on our hike.  The hot chocolate hit the spot anyway and it was very pleasant sitting at the table in the sun.

Today is Veterans Day and I don’t want to end this post without offering a word of thanks and heartfelt gratitude to all those who have and are serving in our Armed Forces.  Thank you for securing our freedoms.

Fellow blogger, Rick, has written a fantastic tribute to his Dad in honor of Remembrance Day.  Give that a read at Rick and Paulette’s RV Travels if you haven’t already.  It’s quite a moving story.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

1 comment:

  1. a nice day for a walk!..glad you enjoyed it..I read Rick's post this morning and it was a very fitting tribute, as were many of the posts today.