Tennessee State Parks

Harpeth River State Park

Activities

Boating

The Harpeth River contains canoe put-in and takeout points in close proximity, which enable a 7-mile float around a looping meander of the Harpeth in Tennessee’s Western Highland Rim. Canoe access areas are located at all sites (excluding archeological areas) providing beginner and advanced paddlers opportunities to float this beautiful class II river. Bring your own canoe or kayak or call local commercial outfitters for trip information and boat rentals.

Access points are at the U.S. Hwy. 100 Bridge, the 1862 Newsom's Mill ruins, and at the McCrory Lane Bridge at Hidden Lake. Downstream, the Narrows of the Harpeth provides an upstream and downstream access, the Bell's Bend five mile float and a unique 1/4 mile portage.

Birding

The Harpeth River supports resident waders such as Great Blue and Green Herons, Belted Kingfishers and Prothonotary Warblers, to name but a few. The Gossett Tract, consisting mainly of old fields through which a pair of two mile trails meander, allows observation of Northern Bobwhite, American Goldfinch and Field Sparrow. Mid to late summer is a particularly good time to see numerous field flowers, the insects that feed on them, and the songbirds that in turn depend upon them for sustenance.

Fishing

Whether you enjoy fly fishing or spin casting, the river hosts large and small mouth bass, bream, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and other game fish. 

Hiking

Enjoy the solitude and tranquility of several miles of easy to difficult trails meandering through wildflower meadows, lush forests, and along majestic bluffs.

At the Narrows of the Harpeth three trails originate at a common trailhead near the park entrance. A half-mile bluff overlook trail includes a steep ascent to a narrow bluff offering hikers a panoramic view of the Harpeth Valley. A half-mile trail along the backside of the limestone bluff leads to the site of Montgomery Bell's Pattison Forge where a small waterfall is all that remains of the iron forge operation. Another half-mile trail connects the canoe launch area to the canoe take-out parking area at the Harris Street Bridge Access Area.

At the Gossett Tract there are two trails. A one mile trail circles a meadow and another one mile trail winds along the river providing a glimpse of Mound Bottom Archeological Site.

At Hidden Lake a one mile trail meanders around and through a wildflower meadow. Another trail offers a half-mile hike through the forest and along majestic bluffs to a small lake with a one mile spur trail ascending to the top of a ridge where the remains of an old marble dance floor are all that remain of a 1940's resort.

Gossett Tract Trail —  2.0 Miles — Natural Surface/ grass — easy
Hidden Lakes Trail — 3.0 Miles — Natural Surface — moderate
Narrows Trail — 1.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Newsom Mill Fisherman Trail — 0.2 Miles — Natural Surface — easy
Mace Bluff Trail — 0.2 Miles — Natural Surface — Difficult