The Harpeth River – Newsom’s Mill to Hwy 249

The first river trip of 2011 took us on part of the Harpeth River we haven’t been on before. We’d drive by this stretch a couple times a week on the way to Bellevue and it always looks interesting. So Sunday June 19 we set out with another couple to give it a try.

Launching at Newsom’s Mill is a breeze. It is a bit of a walk down to the water from the parking lot but you’re rewarded with an effortless put in and from there it only gets better. It’s about a 2.5 hour float down to McCory Lane with all kinds of interesting things in between. If there was a dull moment I don’t remember. You’ve got a number of sand bars twists and turns, the train bridge at River Walk subdivision and wildlife. A few Great Blue Herons where on this section of the river. You could get about 100 feet from them before they’d fly up ahead and eventually circle back.

From McCory Lane to Hwy 249 it’s much of the same many sand bars, a bridge for Interstate 40 (twice), and if you’re lucky you might even see a bald eagle. We were lucky enough to catch one just after passing under the bridge for Interstate 40 for the second time. No picture though, happened to quick. This section is almost 9 miles and took us 4 hours. We stopped just once for a few minutes and the water level was up a few inches with the rain from Saturday. It is not heavily marketed by the outfitters as it’s a bit of a drive for them but if you need a boat or shuttle Cliff at Adventures on the Harpeth will get you there, it is on his trip list. You can also see all access points on the Harpeth by visiting the Harpeth River Watershed Association.

It was a long day but a fun one. Next time could be the Piney, Buffalo, or Duck River we’re not sure but we are going to get out more than last year.