Being in the heart of Middle Tennessee, one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America, Murfreesboro is home to a fascinating array of native plant and animal life. The Outdoor Murfreesboro Natural Resources team is working to catalog the amazing diversity of species in our natural areas and to manage them for ecosystem health and function, biological integrity, and human enjoyment. Often, this includes first restoring them to a more pristine state, removing exotic invasive plants and animals that compete with native species, revegetating with locally-native (indigenous) species, and monitoring plants and animals that live there.
Barfield Crescent Park is beautiful 430-acre community park along the West Fork of the Stones River in southwest Murfreesboro. It includes 275 acres of natural area with 5 miles of hiking trails through forested, grassland, and riparian (riverside) areas, backcountry camping, and Mountain Bike Trails. The first part of the hiking trail is paved, includes a 0.7-mile Tree Trail. The 1.10 mile Rocky Path Trail winds through oak/hickory woods with limestone outcrops. Wildlife viewing is a favorite for hikers who report barred owls, deer, turkeys, and an occasional snake, bobcat, or coyote.
The Wilderness Station at the backcountry trailhead is home to a rich program of nature-themed classes and activities for all ages and hosts a small nature center with animal ambassadors and a gift shop.
Seventeen miles of paved greenway run through Murfreesboro along the Stones River and Lytle Creek. Enjoy nature hikes, walking, running, or bicycling along the greenway, which is open year-round, dawn to dusk. Several of the trailheads include access points to Stones River for kayaks and canoes.
The Murfreesboro Greenway System connects historical sites, parks, neighborhoods, and businesses; it also serves as a conservation corridor preserving precious natural and cultural resources.
All trailheads provide parking. Many also provide restrooms, picnic shelters, water fountains, and other facilities. Please see the individual trailhead's listing for a complete list of the amenities it provides. Special features:
Tucked away behind the Siegel Park soccer fields is a 20-acre natural area including a creek, a small limestone cedar glade, a patch of prairie, thickets, and wooded areas. This site is particularly interesting because parts of it stay wet much of the year, unusual for a cedar glade. Several globally rare or threatened plant species occur here. An unpaved walking/running trail winds through the area. (map)