Monday, August 4, 2014

Trail Review: Beaman Park Trails - Nashville, TN

Beaman Park creek bed, Nashville, TN

Trails: Beaman Park Hiking Trails (Ridgetop Trail, Henry Hollow Trail, and Sedge Hill Trail)
Location: Beaman Park; 5911 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN
Trail Length: 4.3 combined miles (typical route/loop options are 1.2 mi., 2 mi., 3.2 mi., 5.8 mi., and 7 mi.)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Solitude: Moderate to good for an urban park (depending on time of year and time of week.)

Beaman Park holds a very special place in my heart. It is only a twenty-minute drive from my East Nashville home, typically offers better solitude than other popular city parks, and provides the opportunity to splash around in a limestone creek basin during the hot summer months that hover in middle Tennessee. The park is a great place for city dwellers to get in a workout or leisurely respite while soaking up the scenery, oxygen, and tranquility of a natural space. Beaman sits atop the Highland Rim just northwest of the Nashville Basin. Hardwoods trees abound throughout as do fern, mosses, and many mushroom species. Wildflowers of several varieties can be seen throughout the spring and fall (and the park’s nature center provides a striking wildflower garden that winds along its entryway.) I have seen plenty of lizards, minnows, darters, and a small snake or two in the creek beds at Beaman. I have not been luck enough to spot any of the deer, bobcat, fox, coyote, or raccoons that inhabit the park, though I’m pretty certain my dog has enthusiastically smelled their presence. I’ve undoubtedly heard owls and woodpeckers, and I’ve spotted birds of prey in flight, more than likely hawks. Three well-maintained trails are the main arteries of this 1,700-acre park, though they only trace about half of the park’s territory. I would be curious to know if plans exist to cut trails on any of the northeast sections of the land. For now, let’s take a look at the map below and explore some details about each of the three trails that the park currently provides.

Hiking trail map, Beaman Park, Nashville TN
Click map for larger image
Sedge Hill Trail - 0.6 miles
This short trek, with its trailhead in the Nature Center parking lot, acts as one of the park’s three main entry points for hiking. The trail gradually descends through the upper regions of the park's hardwood forest until a final sharper descent lands you on a footbridge crossing Henry Creek, the park’s main focal point as far as I’m concerned.

Henry Hollow Loop – 2.0 Miles
Trail signs, Beaman Park Nashville TN
Trails and signage are well-maintained at Beaman Park
This loop functions as the primary hub of the park’s trails. The western edge of the loop runs parallel to Henry Creek for what I would guess is close to two-thirds a mile. I often simply hike the creek bed during warmer weather, omitting the parallel section of the trail altogether. The flow of the creek varies from season to season with drier months resulting in rocky shale basins and areas of exposed limestone floor. The eastern edge of the loop snakes its way atop a ridge offering some elevation gain as well as access to the Ridgetop Trail.

Ridgetop Trail – 2.1 Miles
This trail maintains a pretty flat and consistent elevation along the top of the parks southern ridge. The Ridgetop shares 0.4 miles with the Henry Hollow Loop. While the views are certainly not expansive, during winter months one can see a bit of the landscape and hollows below when the trees are free from foliage. The simple out-and-back provides a rustic seating area at its endpoint, a nice place for a picnic or quiet moment.

Hollow Creek at Beaman Park in Nashville, TN
A small tributary with stacks of limestone forks with Henry Creek just along the Henry Hollow Loop.

Reflections in water, Beaman Park creek
I became seduced by the play between the reflections in the creek and the rocks and earth below on my last visit. 
Other Information
The Nature Center's wildflower garden in full bloom.
On nice weekends especially, these trails can get a bit crowded as one would expect. Those lucky enough to hit the park during “normal weekday work hours” might not see another person, however, especially during colder months. Dogs are frequent companions of hikers at Beaman, and my pup certainly loves the place. Our most frequent route is to park at the Nature Center, take the Sedge Hill Trail down to the Henry Hollow Loop and back up for 3.2 total miles. I usually hike the loop clockwise (turning left from the footbridge as Sedge Hill meets the Henry Hollow Loop.) This offers the chance to cool off in the creek on the last leg of the loop after working up a sweat hiking to the upper ridge and back down. Two other trailheads are also provided at Beaman’s southern tip allowing access to the Henry Hollow Loop (lower entrance) and the Ridgetop Trail (upper entrance.) Parking has always been easy and accessible on my visits. For more on the park, visit the Nature Center website or click for a downloadable map.

If you've enjoyed any of the content you've found here, please join me on my social media platforms.
This helps support the site. THANKS!



  1. My friend and I are making our way over to Beaman tomorrow morning from Hendersonville, I can't wait! Thanks for the info!

    1. Enjoy, Emmie. It should be a nice day to splash around in the creek to cool off!