I had to meet a client in Kingston Springs, TN and decided that since it was an hour drive away, I would see if there were any hiking trails near that I could take advantage of while I was that far away from home. That’s when I found out about Narrows of the Harpeth.
I stopped to gas up my truck for the day’s journey. As I sat there waiting for my tank to fill, there was a park ranger just on the other side of me. I excused myself and asked him what it would take to be a park ranger. He told me a four-year degree and sell your soul to the devil then laughed. Then he told me that in the state of TN there recently was one opening that had over 250 applicants. 34 of them were military veterans. He told me that unless you’re a vet, you can pretty much count yourself invalid because they must have a perfect reason NOT to hire the veteran first. Needless to say if I wanted to be a park ranger in the blessed state of Tennessee, it’s a lost cause.
I got back on the road and headed towards the Narrows. An hour later I was getting closer but it seemed awkward that the roads were beginning to look in rough shape. I started to wonder if I was in the right place as the road became one lane. That’s when I saw the state park signs.
The road turned back into the woods with the river off to the left side. When I arrived at the parking lot, I couldn’t imagine that I was in the right place. There was a sign pointing to the trail head, so I got my gear prepared even though it was a day hike that would be no longer than an hour or two, I still carried my whole 30 lb. pack preparing for my 12 mile hike I’m doing with Carrie next week.
I had to backtrack about 200 yards to the trailhead then once I stepped on the trail there was a split in which way to go. Basically up or down. I took the down first. This took me on a small winding trail with very steep sides. Sides, that if I lost my balance, I could have been seriously hurt. I stopped after a few minutes because I saw a small northern ringneck snake on the trail. I took a minute to watch it and play with it with my hiking stick. I stepped off the trail to let a young lady come running by and she almost stepped on it. She didn’t realize it was there.
I started back on the trail with the river to my right side. It turned and wound down through the trees until I heard a roaring of water that sounded like a water fall. I was approaching the Montgomery Bell Tunnel. This tunnel was hewn out in the early 1800s to create power for Montgomery Bell’s iron manufacturing. I met the young lady down by the tunnel and we greeted. She said her name was Stephanie and comes down there a lot to trail run. She lives mere minutes away. I asked her if she saw the snake and she said no. Good thing it is a harmless snake. After she left, I filmed a small video of the tunnel and began my ascent back to the trailhead to tackle the second trail on the top of the ridge.
After climbing the steps to where the trail begins to the ridge trail, I met Stephanie again. We again talked for a moment and I told her on my way back from the tunnel, I too almost stepped on a snake. It was a common garter snake. Also harmless but dang snakes are just creepy! She laughed and I told her I was going to continue with my out of shape self on up the ridge. She said it was good to meet me and she took off running again.
The view up the ridge was spectacular and the trail was dreamy as if I was walking through the “wardrobe” in C.S. Lewis book. There were a few look outs to look upon the river and they were beautiful. I finally reached the “summit” of the ridge where I took my pack off and had lunch. I had a liter of water, almonds and a cliff bar. I talked to God for a little but mostly praised him for being able to do such a thing as hike the ridge as well as thanked him profusely for loving me. Creation shouts God’s awesomeness.
After lunch and an annoying battle with a red wasp who wouldn’t leave me alone, I walked a little further to where there was a sign that says, “End of trail. Turn around. Private Property.” I hate it when that happens. So I made my descent to revisit the annoying red wasp and a few boulders to climb down. It really is a beautiful trail covered with trees and bushes creating this natural corridor. I returned back to my truck blessed with an amazing short hike yet saddened that my hike for the day was over.