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241 Stones River Greenway 2010-06-14

Heartland Bridge over Stones River

For our weekly adventure we went for a bike ride. We still had not ridden the Stones River Greenway.

We had saved riding the last section of the Nashville Greenway for when the weather was too hot to hike. Saturday it was time to ride with the temperatures soaring to the real feel index of 100.

Starting at Shelby Bottoms, we rode along the Cumberland River to the Pedestrian Bridge. Despite the heat, there were a lot of people using the greenway. The morning shade shielded the sun, but the humidity was still in the too high for comfort zone.

Tunnels under Briley Parkway

Crossing the bridge we rode to Two Rivers Park. At the top of the hill we watched the skaters (in the Skate Park) for a few minutes. If I hit the concrete like one of those guys did, I would have been laid up for a couple of weeks. He just brushed off the hurt and continued.

The path continued through Two Rivers Park and then descended steeply to the Heartland Sports Fields. The fields were in use with a soccer event. It was hot as blazes in that low lying area. We felt sorry for all the players, but they did not seem to mind the heat.

Crossing Stones River on the Heartland Bridge, the trail continued by a large farm on one side and the Cumberland River and then Ravenwood Country Club on the other side. The rolling path came to gates as it intersected with Stones River Road. Since the last time I had been there, the Stones River Road had been re-paved and widened. When completed the low traffic road will probably have lined bike lanes.

After passing the entrance to Ravenwood and the Eversong Cottage, the trail leaves the road and goes down to the Old Bridge on Lebanon Road. After crossing Stones River the path circles beneath the bridge and continues near the shaded bank of the river for the rest of the journey.

the boardwalk

A long raised boardwalk was the highlight of this stretch. The greenway ran behind a residential area. Some residents embraced the greenway as an attraction, while others had "do not" signs. Please, respect the resident’s close proximity to the trail.

At a junction, a side path leads one mile to the YMCA. Along the side path to the Y, another side path branches off to the left after crossing under a railroad trestle This section of the greenway goes behind Clover Bottom and leads to Stewarts Ferry Pike.

percy Priest Dam

Back on the main path, it is over a mile to the dam. The noise increases as the path nears Interstate 40. After going under the interstate, Percy Priest Dam and the trailhead are in view.

A few trail notes...

  • The greenway was busy, despite the heat.
  • It was great to see so many folks using the paths.
  • The flood damage was minimal. It was interesting to note the obvious high water marks.
  • There were a few areas where the pavement had buckled. If the rider was doing the posted speed limit, the abnormalities could be noticed in plenty of time to avoid them.
  • I did however, run my front wheel into the only pot hole on the Old Stones River Bridge. The pavement was at least fifty feet wide, but I still ran right over it.
  • Erosion from the floods often left a impromptu drainage ditch on the sides of the path where an even shoulder use to exist.
  • The boardwalk section of the path was great.
  • A few sections of the trail had poison ivy encroaching.
  • During the morning hours, more than half of the path was shaded.
  • There was no water along the path. Well, you could probably get water at Two Rivers Park; but there was none designated for the path. There was water at the YMCA Trailhead.

We had a great day of riding. There was not much wrong with the path. It was interesting and scenic. Now we want to return to ride the whole greenway, from the Metro Center to the Dam and back.

Happy hot weather biking trails.


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