January 29, 2023

Take an easy hike for beginners

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SPECIAL PROJECT – The Happy Hollow Interpretive Trail at NBF State Park was completed in 2016 as a Girl Scout Gold Award project by Shelia Little. The interesting 0.8-mile trail is a great easy hike for beginners.

A Walk in the Park

By Susan Woods

It is well known that walking in the woods is good both for physical and mental well-being. In Japan there is an established therapy that I have heard is translated as “bathing in trees.” 

We are lucky to have many great places to walk in the woods here at NBF State Park. The purpose of this column to inform you of those trails and encourage you to use them – that’s why the column is called “A Walk in the Park.”

The Happy Hollow Interpretive Trail is a good trail to use if you are just starting a hiking program or would like to walk with young children who are not ready to hike a long trail. Less than a mile long (0.8 mi.), it begins just to the right of the entrance to the Happy Hollow Campground. The only steep portion is near the beginning, and it is not long. The rest of the trail is fairly flat. It ends on the far end of the campground near Happy Hollow Road.

INTERPRETIVE TRAIL – NBF State Park offers interpretive trails that provide facts about plants, animals, and locations.

This trail is called an interpretive trail because as you walk along you will enjoy reading the small signs that tell you about the plants along the way. These signs were installed as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project completed in 2016 by Shelia Little. Also included in her project were a bench and a bird house that you will see as you cross Happy Hollow Creek.

A new bridge was a recent upgrade to the Happy Hollow Interpretive Trail. It was built by a group from Poplar Springs Missionary Baptist Church of Lexington, which comes to stay in the NBFSP Group Lodge every spring. While they are there, they perform various service projects for the park. Last March construction of the new bridge was just one of several projects the Poplar Springs group completed. The group consists of children and adults working together. (In these times of so much bad news doesn’t this just warm your heart?)

If you would like to try out the Happy Hollow Interpretive Trail, a good place to park would be near the picnic shelters beside the ball field. From there you will cross Happy Hollow Road to reach the start of the trail. When you have completed the trail, you can either walk down the campground road or down Happy Hollow Road back to your vehicle. Either way is a very short distance.


Oct. 8, 4 p.m.: Come out and enjoy some music at Pickin’ in the Park. Bring your instrument and join fellow musicians at Shelter #1 to play, sing, or just listen for fun and fellowship. 

Oct. 15, 10 a.m.: The challenging 10K Pilot Knob Race will begin with walkers at 10 a.m. and runners at 11 a.m. To register, visit www.tennesseerunningtour.com. Awards and food will follow the race.

Oct. 23, 2 p.m.: As part of the speaker series, hummingbird expert Cyndi Routledge will share information about these delightful tiny birds. Learn more about her work at southeasternavianresearch.org. 

Ranger Led Events: All year NBFSP rangers lead fun activities such as hikes, kayak floats, owl prowls, snake and bird demonstrations, etc. To find out when special events are happening, visit tnstateparks.com/parks/nathan-bedford-forrest.com and click on “upcoming events.”

Need more information or specific assistance? Call NBFSP at 731-593-6445. Get outside and enjoy the park!

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