Taking up walking or running? Make it fun with by seeking out the paths and trails that are available in the area.
Maury County’s best trails start with Chickasaw Trace Park. Designed by bicyclists for mountain biking, this trail offers 8 miles of scenery and variety for walkers and runners as well as cyclists. The first four miles are tame and feature views and access of the Knob Creek and Duck River with easy exit points. Upon reaching the sign for the Trail of Tears, this begins a 2.5-mile commitment of hill challenges. At its highest point is a view of the landfill excavation artwork below. This is followed by a descent into a bamboo-like forest, a passage through rock formations and a pass under the entryway bridge. Park in the MTB parking area to take advantage of the mile markers in order. Visit www.ColumbiaCyclingClub.com for a map of the trails.
Maury County Park offers 4 miles of roads and paths for biking, walking and running. For a 2-mile easy jaunt on the paved walking path, park next at the Little League baseball fields. For a hill challenge with scenic overlooks of the city, take the road that leads to the peak. Near the top, look for a new cinder trail that stretches even higher to another scenic look to the north.
For two miles of nicely paved sidewalks without hills, visit the Riverwalk Park near Riverside Elementary. The paths stretch in two directions: One crosses under the Duck River bridge and takes a loop next to the school. The other direction extends to the dam and offers close views of the Duck River.
For trail hiking with awesome views from bluffs along the Duck River, go east of Columbia on Sowell Mill Pike, past I65 to Cheeks Bend Bluff View Trail on Cheeks Bend Road. This is a well-marked 1.8 mile trail with caves as well.
Stillhouse Hollow Falls Trail is on the way to Summertown right beside Hwy 43. It is a steep hike down of about ¾ mile to the bottom of the falls. The view from the bottom is worth the climb back out. There is an alternative of latching onto the Elk Ridge horse trail from there.
A little further west are several trails with waterfalls along the Natchez Trace Parkway, such as Jackson Falls and Fall Hollow. Visit http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm