The Nice Mill Dam Recreation area area is located just to the east of today’s US Hwy 41 (Nashville Hwy) between Smyrna and Murfreesboro. Named after Nice’s Mill (once known as Ward’s Mill) which has been lost to history… today it is a well-used fishing and swimming hole.
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The mill was owned by Mr. J.E. Nice who came to Rutherford County from Coffee County around 1923 and purchased Ward’s Mill near the intersection of Florence Road and Sulphur Springs Road as indicated below in the post and photos from the Rutherford County Historical Society
On the day that we visited, the parking lot was absolutely packed! We headed down to the beach area and found some great spots to place our camp chairs in the water so that we could sit and watch the kids take advantage of the natural slide that is present from the breakdown of the dam stones to on the left side of the river as seen in the opening picture. Children can sit and get pushed 20 or 30 feet down river potentially, which appears relatively safe if they stay on the closest section. Admittedly, supervision is required however since we saw several navigate into the middle of the river and then have trouble getting back to the shoreside and parents had to swim in to assist.
The area is a great summertime swimming hole stop providing that you use some caution and ensure that children playing on the natural slide are supervised.