Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

The family decided to get out since the cold stretch was creating cabin fever. It was an unusual warm day so we decided to head up to Henry Horton State Park and do a day hike. We knew we didn’t want to take a long hike since our four-year old is still developing his hiking legs but we needed to do something before we drove ourselves crazy.

Henry Horton offers numerous trails;

                         Hickory Ridge Nature Loop  — 1.5 Miles (inner loop) — N3.5 Miles (outerloop)— Natural Surface — Moderate

Wild Turkey Trail  — 2.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Wilhoite Mill Trail  — 1.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Adeline Wilhoite Horton Nature Trail  — 4.0 Miles — Natural Surface — Moderate
Henry Horton Greenway  — 0.2 Miles — Porous Concrete — Easy

For our hike, we chose the Wild Turkey Trail. The website says it’s a moderate hike but to an avid hiker like myself, it wasn’t moderate at all. It was actually easy. Maybe what makes it moderate is simply the length at two miles.

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Nashville Highway (Hwy 31) splits Henry Horton State Park. On the east side just on the south side of the park, you take Warner Road. Just up about one mile is the trail head to Wild Turkey Trail. There is a small parking area and park maintenance building.

Just as you begin it meanders down into some oak trees with sporadic pines. It continues down and incline then turns to the right. Just as you turn there is what looks to be an old well or spring house. A small block wall and a water basin is all that is left.

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

You then begin to climb to your left.  It’s not a steep climb by all means. Just as you reach the top you’ll find a cross memorial. Not sure if it really is a memorial or somebody was just fooling around. However, my four-year old was very intrigued with it.

Cross memorial on the Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Cross memorial on the Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

The trail then cuts back to the right where you’ll find a small pond of water. It’s dirty and looks just to be a small crater that catches water. The trail circles around it and up ahead you’ll find a larger pond. For some reason, I didn’t snap a picture of this pond so I grabbed one from AllTrails.com. We took a few moments to sit and rest before moving on. Levi threw a couple of sticks in the water because that is what four-year olds do.

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After moving on the trail continues its moving to the right. We were on the back side of the trail when I noticed in the woods a sign on the outward facing portion of a tree. I was curious why a sign would be pointing away from where the hikers would be so I investigated. Afterwards, I realized that there is a cemetery on the backside of the park with an old gravel road for a through-way.

A sign facing outward from the park in a remote area

A sign facing outward from the park in a remote area

Continuing on, we came across where someone attempted some bushcrafting. I always enjoy seeing things like this. I think its pretty cool that there is a renewed interest in bushcrafting and doing things the old way. This particular craft is a shelter of a main beam with limbs on each side with what would have been covered with leaves still attached to limbs or any other brush that would keep the person out of the elements.

Bushcrafting on the Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Bushcrafting on the Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the red hiking man. I’m not a big fan of the new hiking “blazes” but they do hold up to the outside elements far better than fading paint or wooden trail markers. I am an old soul so I like the more raw and natural materials to communicate with hikers but I understand that aluminum is much longer lasting.

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Nearing the end if you are hiking the Wild Turkey Trail clockwise, you come to a grove of pines. I am always fascinated with nature and the way it abruptly moves from one type of tree to the other. You can see that the trail cuts the two types of trees. It is magical to be walking along the oaks and find yourself surrounded by pines so tall and waving with the wind making a groaning noise as they sift and squeak as they rub against one another. The ground floor covered with pine needles reminds you of the softest bed you have ever lie on.

 

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

Wild Turkey Trail at Henry Horton State Park

After walking past the pines the trail will take its last turn back towards the parking area. Levi did wonderful and Carrie and I both enjoyed being out of the house and walking in the calm of nature. If you are in the neighborhood, I would highly recommend checking our this two-mile hike. It won’t take you long and you experience some fresh air and relaxation as you meander through the woods along Wild Turkey Trail.

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