We spent our day off this week exploring the Warner Parks, which are the neighboring Percy Warner Park and Edwin Warner Park of Highway 100. These beautiful parks have miles of hiking trails, numerous picnic areas, playgrounds for the kiddos, a 30 minute scenic drive, a dog park, baseball fields and a golf course, all on 2,684 acres of land. It’s a beautiful place to get lost for a day. Adam and I have visited the parks before but finding directions and clear maps online turned out to be a bit challenging. And once in the park, your phone’s maps and GPS can do little to direct you. Hopefully this little guide to hiking at Percy Warner Park will help you enjoy the natural beauty without the hassle of getting lost!
We hiked the 4.5 mile Mossy Ridge Trail (red trail). The head of the trail is located in the center of the park by an inconspicuous parking lot and picnic area, which was fairly difficult for us to find. We were driving away from downtown Nashville on West End Ave. which becomes Harding Pike, continuing into Belle Meade and into the Belle Meade community. You’ve passed the plantation and the entrance to the Belle Meade neighborhood. Harding Pike then splits off to the right, but you will stay left on Highway 100W. After the split, drive about 1.7 miles and the entrance is unmarked but decorated, the first left after you’ve passed Vaughn’s Gap Road. The road dead ends at a parking lot with a large trail map at the head of the trail.
This entrance does have a couple of port-o-johns for convenience. There are also a couple of picnic areas adjacent to the lot with trashcans. A flat grassy area and large boulders surrounding it make a great place to stretch out before and after if you’re doing a marathon day of difficult trails! Bring water with you as no water fountains are immediately accessible.
The hike was beautiful with a lot of steep hills, which made it challenging, but not impossible. We noticed a handful of stop off points along the trail, some vistas, and some clearings with a bench or two. We stopped at Quiet Point which ended up being a high elevation spot that was incredibly quiet. Provided a nice break in the middle of the hike.
The Mossy Ridge Trail loops you back to your parking lot, and there are other trails accessible from that point if you want to keep going. But we had some exploring to do for our dog Harper to find her a swimming hole! Scouring message boards about where dogs can swim in Nashville, I came across a tip that the Little Harpeth River runs along Edwin Warner Park is a great place to take them.
From your parking lot at the trail head, drive back to your Highway 100 entrance and turn left. Drive 1.5 miles to Old Hickory Blvd. Turn left, then take a right on Vaughn Rd. You’ll see sports fields on the left and come across a dog park on your right. Turn right into the picnic areas 1-11. You’ll want to park at Picnic Area #5. I saw several well-behaved dogs who were off leash, but signs are clearly posted that leash laws are enforced. Just a word of caution. We brought a long rope for Harper so she had freedom to explore while being on leash. Walk towards the river from the parking lot and two walking paths lead you down to a small beach. It’s a beautiful spot with cool water and enough space for Harper to fetch a ball until she’s worn out! Needless to say, the three of us had an enormously fun day!
I hope these tips help you enjoy the beauty of the Warner Parks!
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