Watershed Facts / Harpeth River State Scenic Parks

Harpeth River State Park

This unique linear park located along the Harpeth River in Middle Tennessee offers natural, cultural, and recreational day use areas rich in historic significance and natural beauty. Canoe access areas are located at all sites (excluding archaeological areas) providing beginner and advanced paddlers opportunities to float this beautiful class II river. Bring your own canoe or kayak or call local commercial outfitters for trip information and boat rentals.

See the park web site for map of the various river access points and hiking trails.  The park also organizes interpretative tours of the archaeologically significant mound bottom area that is the terminus of the natchez trace.  

 

 

Fishing
Whether you enjoy the thrill of fly fishing or spin casting, the river hosts large and small mouth bass, bream, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and other game fish. Remember all Tennessee state fishing and boating rules apply.

Hiking
For your hiking and wildlife viewing pleasure, enjoy the solitude and tranquility of several miles of easy to difficult trails meandering through wildflower meadows, lush forests, and along majestic bluffs.  At the Narrows of the Harpeth three trails originate at a common trailhead near the park entrance.  A half-mile bluff overlook trail includes a steep ascent to a narrow bluff offering hikers a panoramic view of the Harpeth Valley.  A half-mile trail along the backside of the limestone bluff leads to the site of Montgomery Bell's Pattison Forge where a small waterfall is all that remains of the iron forge operation.  Another half-mile trail connects the canoe launch area to the canoe take-out parking area at the Harris Street Bridge Access Area. At the Gossett Tract there are two trails.  A one mile trail circles a meadow and another one mile trail winds along the river providing a glimpse of Mound Bottom Archaeological Site.  At Hidden Lake a one mile trail meanders around and through a wildflower meadow. Another trail offers a half-mile hike through the forest and along majestic bluffs to a small lake with a one mile spur trail ascending to the top of a ridge where the remains of an old marble dance floor are all that remain of a 1940's resort.

Picnic Facilities
Picnic tables and grills are available at Newsom's Mill Historic Site, The Harris Street Bridge Access Area, and The Gossett Tract. Restroom facilities and a park office or visitor center are not available at any location at his time. Handicap accessibility and parking is limited at all locations. Motor coaches, larger than 15 passenger vans, will have difficulty maneuvering along narrow tree lined winding roads and negotiating small parking areas at most locations. Swimmers may wade or swim at their own risk in the river. However, rock climbing, rappelling, bicycling, four-wheeling, horseback riding orienteering, camping, metal detecting, hunting, and collecting or disturbing plants, wildlife or artifacts are among a few activities not permitted in the park. Artifacts uncovered during an early 1970's excavation of Mound Bottom are on display inside the park office at Montgomery Bell State Park.

Programs
Self-guided interpretive signs are posted at most sites. Guided tours of The Narrows, Newsom's Mill, Hidden Lake and Mace Bluff are offered throughout the year by reservation. Guided tours of Mound Bottom are offered November through March by reservation. For program reservation information call 615-952-2099.

Learn more about the parks at the TN State Park website