Bluff Overlook Trail at Harpeth River State Park

The Bluff Overlook Trail is located in Harpeth River State Park in Cheatham and Davidson counties, approximately 30 minutes west of Nashville, which is known for its national historic landmark, the Montgomery Bell Tunnel, as well as the Mound Bottom and Mace Bluff archeological sites. The park includes two trails that are family friendly and offer fantastic views.

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On reaching the parking lot, you walk a short distance along the base of the bluff (on your left) before reaching two trailheads. To the left is the Bluff Overlook Trail, steeply rising along the side and towards the top of the bluff. On the right is a trail that follows the Harpeth River and leads to the Montgomery Bell Tunnel.

The beginning of the Bluff Overlook Trail

The hike to the bluff overlook is only 1/3 of a mile. It’s steep, but my children (youngest is 7) was able to make it up without a problem. On both sides however is a steep drop off so be sure to keep them close and ensure that they stay in the middle of the trail in the most narrow areas. I would not recommend this trail for anyone with mobility issues however.

As you make your way along the trail, you’ll see that it narrows as mentioned above, with a steep drop off on either side which is it’s namesake ‘Narrows Of The Harpeth’. The Montgomery Bell Tunnel runs under this trail.

Narrow area of the trail with steep drop off on either side

As you progress along the trail there are in fact, several overlooks with amazing view of the Harpeth River. Be sure to stop and take in the scenery and snap a few pictures.

At the main overlook you’ll see a stone bench with the best view yet. You can proceed a short bit further through the woods, but it quickly becomes private property and you’ll need to turn back.

While at the overlook, look out and you’ll see a long grassy expanse… this used to be a prehistoric, Mississippian Period Native American complex that consisted of earthen platform and burial mounds, along with a 7-acre central plaza and habitation areas that was occupied between 1000 and 1300 AD during the Mississippian period.

Adults and children alike will love this short, but extremely scenic (and historical) hike… check it out!


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