Date Hiked: 10/19/09
Park: Beaman Park - Nashville, TN
Latitude: 36.26877, Longitude: -86.90547
Trail Rating: Moderate
Round-Trip Mileage: 4.4 miles
Other Trails in the Park: Sedgehill (included w/ Henry Hollow Loop) and Henry Hollow Trail
For Map, Trail Mileage, GPS, and Trail Notes go to Page 2
Beaman Park is new to Nashville. It officially opened in 2005 with only a trailhead and a couple of trails and is located, we thought, a long way from our house in mid-town. After doing the Loop Trail at Bells Bend, we decided to try Beaman Park.
Beaman Park is tucked away in northwestern corner of Davidson County. It has three trails. The Ridgetop Trail was the first trail we hiked.
Beaman Park Nature Center
To find the park: leave Briley Pkwy at exit 24, Ashland City Hwy. Go west 2.8 miles toward Ashland City. At the intersection of Old Hickory Blvd., there is a traffic light and a huge convenience market. Turn north (right) and follow Old Hickory for 4 miles. The park's Nature Center is located off to the left. However, more than likely the gate will be locked since the Nature Center is only open for very limited hours each week. To continue to the main trailheads, continue on Old Hickory. Turn left on Eatons Creek Rd and continue for .85 miles to Little Marrowbone Road. Turn left, the Park entrance is .5 miles on the left of Little Marrowbone Rd. Once in the Park, continue straight as the Park Road passes the Creekside Trailhead and climbs a steep hill to the Highland Trailhead. Note: You may also take Eatons Creek Road from Ashland City Hwy (go east from Briley, then North on Eatons Creek), but that road was not as direct asOld Hickory.
The Highland Trailhead is surprisingly deluxe for such a small park and has great parking and picnicking facilities, along with an informative trails kiosk. There is, however, no water or restrooms at this trailhead. A special note about the map on the kiosk, it is upside down! The top of the map is oriented to the south. This must have been for artistic reasons rather than navigational ones. It was confusing.
The trail begins just beyond the kiosk. It follows an old logging road along the ridge tops, staying high for it's entire 2.2 mile length. The trail is very easy to follow and, any place there might possibly be some confusion, there can be found a sign or red blaze.
From the trailhead, the first intersection is only a few hundred feet up the trail. The Henry Hollow Loop comes up the hill from the left and, for a very short time, joins the Ridgetop Trail. The Ridgetop Trail continues straight ahead. At .35 miles the the Henry Hollow Loop separates from the Ridgetop Trail and heads down to the left. To the right is the Shortcut Trail. We stayed straight on the Ridgetop Trail going out to the turn around and took the Shortcut Trail on the way back.
Following the old logging road, the path veers to the right (straight ahead leads to a gated road (Blue Berry Hill Road.) Continuing right, the path begins to roll more as it follows the crest of the ridgeline. At .85 miles from the trailhead, the Shortcut Trail re-unites with the ain trail, junctioning from the right.
The Ridgetop Trail continues but eventually narrows into a narrower, more trail-like path as the distance from the trailhead increases. It is 1.35 miles further to the end of the trail. There are a few overlooks on the left side of the trail where glimpses of Long Hollow can be seen between the leaves. In the winter, the views should be better.
Ridgetop Trail Turnaround
The trail abruptly ends at 2.2 miles. The ridge continues beyond that point, but there is a sign that indicates the end of the trail. Benches are provided.
Junction with the Shortcut Trail
On the return trip, take the Shortcut Trail, which is well marked and easy to follow. The trail stays to the left of the ridge (on returning). We enjoyed the trail as it contoured the hollows to the north and west side of the road. The Shortcut is not really shorter than the regular path, but is a change of scenery.
Back on the main trail, it is less than a half of a mile to the trailhead or you can take the Henry Hollow Trail and extend your hike.