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Hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville

April 21st, 2010 · 1 Comment · ellington agricultural center

Roger's Walk - hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

As I mentioned in another post, I have only recently begun taking advantage of a nice little hike within walking distance of where I am now living: Roger’s Walk at Ellington Agricultural Center, in the Crieve Hall area of south Nashville, Tennessee.

These hiking trails are a jewel of a find for me, given the fact they are so nearby, so accessible – and probably not very well-known to Nashvillians as a place to hike within Nashville, Tennessee. Most outdoorsy Nashvillians now know about Radnor Lake and the Warner Parks (Percy Warner, Edwin Warner), but I would guess that most remain unaware that hiking trails actually exist at the Ellington Agricultural Center.

Roger's Walk - creeks at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

The most amazing characteristic of the hiking trails at Ellington Agricultural Center is the diversity and variation regarding the types of habitats through which the trail traverses. You’ve got creeks, wide open fields, woods (including one small stretch with huge, old-growth trees), an official Iris Garden, and more. Logic might propose that such a short trail (1.6 miles) in an area like this would be boring and repetitive, but I can assure you it is anything but dull.

Roger's Walk - hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

The main hiking trail is a 1.6-mile loop called Roger’s Walk, named after Rogers Clark Caldwell, a prominent banker and financier in Tennessee from the early 20th century. Clark was also the builder of Brentwood Hall, an estate on which he built a home using Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage as the architectural model – the very same land which is now Ellington Agricultural Center.

Roger's Walk - hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

There are creeks and streams galore at Ellington Agricultural Center, the largest being Seven Mile Creek (some sources read Sevenmile Creek). Creeks and other small waterways really add a lot to the hiking experience, particularly for amateur herpetologists such as myself (I have always found reptiles and amphibians to be quite fascinating). I will probably devote an entire post to the subject of how creeks and streams can add to the hiking experience.

Roger's Walk - hiking in woods at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

According to a Tennessee website:

Located in the heart of a Nashville suburb is an oasis of wild America, a rich tapestry of woodlands, meadows and hedgerows woven around the flow of Seven Mile Creek. This unique resource is preserved and protected as part of the Department’s Watershed Initiative for its aesthetic values, and to serve as a living laboratory for resource conservation.

Roger's Walk - hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

There are numerous places to get on the Roger’s Walk hiking trail, since it is at Ellington Agricultural Center where there are large parking lots and several roads running through the property. Speaking of roads, Ellington is probably one of the most popular short cuts in all of Nashville! There is constant traffic through Ellington between the Franklin Road/Hogan Road area and Edmondson Pike. Fortunately for all of us who take advantage of this short cut, it is now acceptable and open 24/7, unlike a few years ago when they would shut it down at night.

Roger's Walk - hiking at Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, Tennessee

For Nashville hiking enthusiasts, I highly recommend Roger’s Walk at Ellington Agricultural Center; just don’t expect it to be as long or moderately strenuous as Radnor Lake.

Resources

Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture – Roger’s Walk

Walk Nashville – Ellington Agricultural Center Trail

Tennessee Ornithological Society – Ellington Agricultural Center

Nashville Hiking Meetup Group – Ellington Agricultural Center

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Daniel

    Great to see the blog back! I never knew about the trail at Ellington and can’t wait to give it a shot.

    Have you ever tried any of the trails at Long Hunter State Park near Hermitage? The area is a bit more urban but the trails are great. The lake trail is a bit busy but to my amazement, I’ve seen a ton of wildlife and especially reptiles. One trail is literally right next to the lake so it will routinely spill over into the trail which makes it interesting.

    I think there are 6 trails total including 2 which are day hikes in which I’m sure you won’t encounter many people on.