Narrows of the Harpeth offers a two-for-one deal: scenic views and a historical site. The park is located on the Harpeth River, right where it makes a loop around a tall limestone bluff before coming around and returning to within 200 feet of itself again. There are two short hiking trails and also put-in/take-out opportunities for kayakers.
The first trail leads to the top of the limestone bluff and provides a fantastic overlook of the Harpeth Valley and river. The trail is steep at first, but it flattens out once on top of the bluff. After you’ve taken the time to enjoy the view and snapped a few pics, return back the way you came.
The second trail leads behind the bluff and to a historic tunnel. The tunnel at the end of the trail cuts all the way through the limestone bluff and was excavated between 1818 and 1820 by African American slaves under the direction of Montgomery Bell. The tunnel was created in order to harness the power of the Harpeth River to run Bell’s iron forge operation. The operation was named Pattison Forge and continued until the 1860s. The tunnel was then used in the late 1800s to run a saw mill and a gristmill.
Be aware that, in order to get to the trailhead from the parking area, one must actually walk back up the entrance road for a few hundred feet. The trails then spur off to the left (away from the river).