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221 Murfreesboro Greenway 2010-04-28

Bridge over Stones River

For years I have known about a greenway in Murfreesboro, TN; but I had never ridden it. On Sunday, the Greenway became my weekly adventure.

I easily found the Thompson Lane Trailhead, located north of town. The trailhead was an excellent facility with ample parking, picnicking, restrooms, water, and trail information.

The main greenway follows Stones River to Cannonsburg Village located in the downtown area. There are short spurs leading to the many trailheads and longer spurs connecting the Greenway to the Stones River Battlefield and the Gateway Island area.

My first stop was at the General Bragg Trailhead. After deciphering a kiosk map, I took the connector path to the Battlefield. Near the eastern border of the Battlefield I crossed W College St and continued on a paved path, the Cotton Field Trail. The path continued until it intersected with the loop road of the Battlefield.

view of the battlefield

Following the road I stopped at the Visitor’s Center. Maps, restrooms, and water were available there.

With a map in hand I rode the loop road. There was no traffic on the road, making it possible to ride as slow or fast as I wanted. It was enjoyable.

Returning to the Cotton Field Trail, I retraced my ride to the Bragg Trailhead. I did not re-examine the kiosk map and so did not find the spur to the Gateway Island. Instead I continued on the main Stones River Greenway toward town.

The Greenway is a linear park. Historical plaques are featured along the way. Benches are available in the vicinity of the plaques. The path, for the most part, is level and shaded. Many people use the Greenway to access the river. Many unofficial paths led to the river.

Stones River

Near Old Fort the path crosses the Stones River on a great bridge system. At the junction I went first to the Old Fort Trailhead and then returned to the junction. Next, I took the Lytle Creek path, the main trail.

As the path neared town, it narrowed and passed beneath many roadways. Lytle Creek was a fast moving body of water; but my ride followed a heavy rain.

At the historic Cannonsburg Village, I took a couple of pictures and then returned to my truck at Thompson Lane Trailhead.

The Murfreesboro Greenway is the quintessential urban path. It is almost completely separated from the roadways. It is historical and picturesque. And, it links areas of the city. Murfreesboro should be proud.

railroad Crossing

A few trail notes...

  • The pathways were shaded.
  • The Greenway was an easy ride.
  • There were a couple of areas of caution along the path (path narrows, path drops off, etc); but they were noted with signs.
  • Mileage markers were posted every quarter of a mile.
  • The paths were busy while I was there.
  • Most users were walkers, followed by runners, and then bicyclists.
  • There were gangs of children enjoying Sunday outings.
  • Lots of fishermen, young and old, were trying their luck along the banks.
  • The City’s trail map was saved as a low resolution image instead of a pdf. The viewing quality of the map is poor if you try to enlarge the image.
  • There was lingering evidence of the tornado which passed through the area in April 2009.
  • The Battlefield seemed like it would be hot in the summer.
  • I enjoyed the Battlefield detour even though I am not a huge fan of historical war zones.
  • I did not go to Gateway Island, but it seems like a worthy side trip.
  • And then a complaint - As noted a few weeks ago near Ashland City, none of the bicyclist were wearing helmets on this greenway either! Well, one small girl was wearing one, but her parents were not. One girl was in a carrier loosely strapped to her mother's bike. The reason I remember her was that she had a look of terror in her eyes as her mother was trying to mount the bike. The girl was not wearing a helmet. Please, put a helmet on your head before the good stuff starts leaking out.
  • My ride was 15.5 miles. Your mileage may vary.

Happy paved trails.


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