Spring Ride

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Spring in Tennessee has sprung. The earth is bursting forth life. The birds are singing, the trees are blooming, and the grass is growing. It’s a beautiful time of year to ride! 

My rehabilitated rescue horse Banjo, and I recently took a short ride in Bowie Nature Park. My friend, Hilary, and her lovely 3-year-old Thoroughbred mare, Annie, accompanied us.

Bowie Nature Park is a convenient place for easy, relaxing riding. It’s located about 40 minutes from Nashville in Fairview. 

The view is definitely better than fair. The park offers over 700 acres of forest, lakes, and green rolling hills, as well as 17 miles of well-groomed trails. 

The park is open from sunrise to sunset each day, but closes if there’s been a heavy rain. If you go, it’s best to call ahead and check, just in case. 

There’s a $2.00 access fee for trail use, if you come from outside the local zip code. This is a small price to pay for all the trails the park has to offer. 

The trailer parking area is large and has ample room for pulling through or turning around. There’s also a small hitching rail and a wooden mounting block. 

It was only a 20-minute trailer ride for Banjo and Annie, but they were eager to hop off the trailer and see the sights. 

There are several loop rides available at the park. We chose the short 1.14-mile Horseshoe Trail Loop to start with, as Banjo is still a little out of shape and adapting to life without back shoes. Also, Hilary’s horse is a hunter/jumper and hasn’t done much trail riding. 

Once mounted up, we had a little trouble finding the trailhead, but once we got on the trail, we enjoyed the lovely loop. We even had access to a Walmart store, if we needed it. (See the photo in slideshow.)

The trails were mostly soft and sandy, with pine needles. There were a few rocky areas where the spring rains had washed away the topsoil. 

Banjo and Annie were doing great. They were getting along like they’d known each other for years, even though this was their first outing together. 

As things were going so well, Hilary and I decided to go on the Loblolly loop. This 1.09-mile loop passes the picnic area and Lake Van. It was a good opportunity for 3-year-old Annie to see some new sights. 

This trail passed though rolling green hills, as well as a lovely budding spring forest. Canada geese swam in the little lake. 

This ride went well, too. I’m looking forward to trying out the park’s longer rides, such as the Perimeter Trail, which is 4.45 miles long and goes around the entire park. 

There are also several short connecting trails throughout the center of the park. You can combine these trails in different ways to enjoy a variety of options. You could spend several days just exploring. 

When we arrived back at the trailer, I could tell Banjo was a little tired, but he was in great spirits. Nothing beats the first trail ride of spring!

Happy spring riding!