Bells Bend Park on the prettiest day in February
For more than three hours we hiked the easy trails and roads, cutting through and around the fields, even following the contour of the Cumberland River for a time. With no maps available at the trailhead, we were on our own. Our strategy was to turn right at every intersection, figuring eventually we'd make it back to where we started. Of course we did, but not after hiking nearly every section of every trail, both marked and unmarked. I hadn't thought about simply snapping a picture of the trailhead kiosk map with my phone while we were there. But it didn't matter; we had nowhere else to go and were in no hurry to get there.
The Cumberland River
Bells Bend offers a hiking experience unlike any other I've experienced in Middle Tennessee. The open spaces and relatively flat terrain give the park a distinctive Midwestern feel. Had the wind been blowing twenty or thirty miles per hour, I might have thought I was stomping across a Kansas prairie. But on this day my hat stayed firmly in place on top of my head, so I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore.
Bells Bend sports a Midwestern flair
We came across a few other people in the park, as well as a raccoon, an armadillo, a cardinal, and a number of bluebirds. Back at the house, I also uncovered a tick which had hitched a ride on my leg. There is still snow and ice on the ground in places and I'm getting ticks! I reckon it will be another bad year for insects around here.
My estimation is we walked somewhere between 6-7 miles. The trails here are wide and in good shape. While there is some standing water in places, this can't be avoided right now due to the weather we've been experiencing. We discussed during our hike how the trails at Bells Bend would be good for running, too. You could just take our word for it, but we encourage you to check this unique park out for yourself and see if you agree.
Bluebird near the park property line
Wide, well-maintained trails are the rule here
Pond at Bells Bend Park