So, fun story: it turns out that there are multiple separate tracts of land separated by several miles that make up Harpeth River State Park, all connected by the Harpeth River, which people enjoy via kayaking and floating. If you don’t know this and just enter “Harpeth River State Park” into Google Maps, you’re definitely going to end up at the wrong location, looking around very confused. Finally, though, I realized my mistake and managed to get to the correct destination – the Hidden Lake tract.
Having never been to this park before, getting started was a touch more difficult than I would have liked. The trailhead was clearly marked, but periodically there were offshoots while walking through the tall grassy field that weren’t marked at all and you just had to assume you were on the right path. I actually downloaded the Hiking Project app before this trip, which helped immensely in terms of GPS tracking and determining mileage. I highly recommend anyone hiking an unfamiliar trail in a park or other area that doesn’t provide clear maps for hikers to check it out! Thankfully, once I was out of the grass and into the woods, the trail was much more clearly defined. Aside from being quite muddy due to recent rain, it was actually very easy to navigate.
Despite being June in Tennessee, the temperature was in the mid-70s. Coupled with sunny skies, it made for my ideal outdoor weather. I left my headphones in the car and embraced the outdoors. Even though I was hiking mid-day and mid-week, I thought there would be many more people on the trails since school is out for the summer. However, I only came across two groups on this particular hike – a daddy/daughter finishing as I was starting out, and a college-aged couple that I quickly passed because they stopped every couple of yards to take cute couple selfies.
Hidden Lake was surprisingly quite peaceful. I’m used to hikes that end at lakes being very noisy, with lots of splashing and small children. However, Hidden Lake doesn’t allow swimming, making it a much more subdued environment. Unfortunately there was no bench or rock where I could sit down, and all of the mud on the trail made me unwilling to plop my derrière on the ground, so there wasn’t as much lingering at the lake as I would have normally enjoyed. Despite that, though, the whole experience was incredibly relaxing and I would do it again if I were in the area in the future.