Bells Bend Park – Ashland City, TN

Group photo at the halfway point
Group photo at the halfway point

My job doesn’t really lend itself to meeting new people (I’m stuck in a cubicle most of the time), so I decided to join a Meetup group for hikers.  The first hike I did with the group was Bells Bend Park, a park in Tennessee outside of Ashland City.  There was a wide variety of people who signed up for the hike, including parents with their children, some middle-aged women with their dogs, younger singles (like me), etc.  There were also a couple of people who I could tell had never hiked before, ever.  There was one guy in his 20s who showed up at the last minute in a white polo and loafers with no water, for a 6 mile hike.  He dropped out and headed back to the parking lot before the halfway point.

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The hike ended up being a lot muddier than anyone predicted, including the organizer.  It had rained several days prior, but between the shade and the cooler-than-normal weather, the mud was still ever-present.  By the end, all of us were covered in mud from the waist down and our shoes and socks were soaked through.

You may not be able to tell, but this is all mud.  Our shoes sunk so far into the ground with each step we took.
You may not be able to tell, but this is all mud. Our shoes sunk so far into the ground with each step we took.

I must say, I’m really glad I did this park as a group because the trails are not marked well.  There was a lot of walking through large fields and then later trails that intersected each other with no signs as to which way to go.  If I had hiked this myself, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would’ve gotten so incredibly lost.

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The best part of the hike was the brief part where we followed the river.  We took a brief break at that point to wait for the stragglers to catch up and just relaxed while watching the water.

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