Where Should I go hiking in Spring Hill?
Spring Hill offers several places to take a walk. Whether for exercise, exploration of our wonderful town, or an outing with the kids, there is a trail for you. There are paved trails and unpaved for the more adventurous. I’d like to share with you my favorite locations and some attributes of each.
If you are a beginner walker, I highly recommend going to the well-maintained Harvey Park on Miles Johnson Parkway. This city park has a paved, half-mile trail with a slight incline on the back side. It has a walking bridge that crosses McCutcheon Creek. This park has bathroom facilities, a playground, and shelters. It is open from dawn until dusk. Leashed and friendly dogs are welcomed and the park has “doggie stations” for your convenience.
Another favorite spot of mine is Fischer Park at Port Royal (named after the late Spring Hill Parks Director, Kevin Fischer). This is also known as the “splash pad park”. It has an asphalt and concrete loop trail about a mile long. Some cool attributes about this trail are the overlook platforms along Rutherford Creek. There is even a semi-secluded trail down to the water’s edge where aquatic life can be observed. Wildflowers and butterflies are abundant along this trail, too. Be sure and bring a wildflower or insect identification book and see what critters can be found. There are restroom facilities and a playground for the kiddos.
My favorite walking area is Historic Rippavilla. This 90-plus acre historical property is virtually unspoiled. There are several loops and “in-and-outs” to historical features such as the slave and Cheairs family cemeteries. Just down from the cemeteries is the replica of Brown’s Stand. It gives you a great example of a “dog-trot” type cabin. The McCutcheon Trace was used by travelers years ago, along with all sorts of wildlife. Look for turkeys, quail, and deer while walking around the rolling beanfields and corn.
The road from the mansion parking lot to the cemetery is gravel and the trail to Brown’s Stand is rocky and uneven. Wear some good walking shoes. Carry a journal to sketch some of the trees and tombstones, or a tree identification book to discover all the different species. I would also carry some water as it is about 1.8 miles long, if you also include the battlefield walk, just east of the Mansion. Be sure and stop in the Gift shop and check in. Ask about purchasing a walking membership and the benefits of joining. While there, take a house tour as well!! Check the hours of operation before you go, 931-486-9037. Times are a little different than Harvey and Port Royal.
Spring Hill is a growing city, and has some pretty cool places to enjoy nature. I encourage you to get out and explore the areas Spring Hill has to offer for outdoor adventures. Greg Bearden teaches outdoor classes in Spring Hill upon request. He is a realtor and owner of The Bearden Group with Keller Williams Realty, a member of the Spring Hill Parks and Recreation Board, and is known around town as Greg, the Hiking Guy.