Hiking Narrows of the Harpeth (Hidden Lakes)

Carrie and I dropped Levi off with a friend to play for the day and went to Kingston Springs Tn to hike the trails at Hidden Lakes, part of the Narrows of the Harpeth State Park. I took a stroll down to the lakes a few weeks back but didn’t take any pictures and I was only there for a few minutes to have a smoke in my corncob at the big lake and take a breather from work. I also previously hiked the Narrows a few weeks back down by the ridge. You can check that blog post out here.

We drove down to the Newsom’s Mill first to check it out. Newsom’s Mill was built around 1850 here and for many years its milling operation was central to the agrarian economy of this area. Rock that was hewn out of the quarry which is now the lakes was used to build the mill. Today its frame is still intact and in some ways it is rather remarkable that it has survived. This is one of the only historic sites in the world located where a road, a river, a power line, a railroad, and an Interstate (40) all converge.

After spending just a few minutes checking out the mill, we drove on to Hidden Lakes. I threw on my back pack (I’m still looking for a daypack) and we began walking through what basically is a hay field until we reached the point you walk into the trees. The trail follows a stream for a while until it crosses and heads to the lake.

A few minutes on the trail and Carrie grabs my pack and stops me. I looked at her confused why she did that and she pointed about 30 yards down the trail was a deer eating. We stopped for fifteen minutes or so and watched him eat slowly stepping closer to get a better view. We actually ended up getting within five feet of him. We noticed on the other side of him was a man who was watching him too. He finally decided to move on and walked right by him. The deer simply moved into the trees a few feet to let him pass. We reckoned he was used to humans because he wasn’t scared of us as we passed him.

The trail splits and you can either go up the ridge to see the lakes from the top or stay on the low side and walk directly to the lake. We chose to go up first. As we walked we came across a building that had overgrowth in it with a shed near by that seemed to have been a chicken coup. We’re not sure what the building was for but we found information telling us the lakes was once a quarry. The site was acquired in 1931 for a Swim/Recreation site. The quarry bottom was sealed with asphalt and a concrete edge. There was filtered water, a water slide and water wheel. There was a large Bath/change/food service/rec building on the North rim at the stone steps. On the top of the ridge they even had a dance floor. Very cool history. We also found what some have said to be an old train car that carried gas or it was just a very large gas tank that was half buried in the ground. Folks had thrown trash in it. I guess better there than littering up the trail

After getting to the top and looking down on the lake, we followed the trail to where it began to descend  It was very slippery and muddy from the recent rains and we decided that the trail was too dangerous to continue on so we turned back. We then got back to the bottom of the ridge and took the trail down towards the lake where we stood for a moment to check out the view. The lake was very mossy but definitely quiet and relaxing. Afterwards, we made our way back to the car.

It was a short hike but it lasted some time because we watched the deer for some time as well as we had to backtrack after not being able to go forward on the trail. We didn’t get to go see the other portions of the park that we had hoped to because we needed to get back home so we’ll save that for another day where perhaps we’ll do a few small trails and make a day of them.

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About Kevin Riner

child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged
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2 Responses to Hiking Narrows of the Harpeth (Hidden Lakes)

  1. Pingback: Jordan Lake State Park (Part 1:New Hope Overlook) « ncoutdooradventuresmia

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