City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

See Summer In Full Bloom

Williamson County's Five Best Wildflower Hikes

Fall is so vibrant and gorgeous in Franklin that it tends to get all the attention — but in this longtime Tennessean’s opinion, summer is just as glorious — particularly out on the hiking trails. Wildflowers abound, drawing enthusiasts from across the region to see the amazing blooms our area has to offer. 

You owe it to yourself and your people to head out on at least one wildflower walk this summer. Here are five great options right here in Williamson County.

Marcelle Vivrette Smith Park

With more than six miles of hiking trails winding through hilly forests and alongside grassy meadows, you’ll see plenty of wildflowers at this popular Brentwood park. Download a trail map before you go so that you don’t lose your way and prepare for a few uphill climbs – the wildlife is plentiful, the scenery is gorgeous, and the tougher parts of the hike are totally worth it! 

While you’re there, you’ll also want to explore the grounds of the historic Ravenswood Mansion, which was built in 1825 and named for Sam Houston, affectionately called ‘the Raven’ by the Cherokee Indians. The home is a mixture of Greek and Federal architecture and has a fascinating history.

Timberland Park 

You’ll find Timberland Park on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Franklin – the drive to get there is almost as beautiful as the park itself! You can expect to see wildflowers and butterflies along all of the park’s trails in spring and summer, but if you really want to up the ante, opt for the park’s Big East Fork Reserve Trail. This particular trail is privately owned but maintained by park staff, and you’ll definitely need a map to find it the first time. Once you get on the trail, you’ll wander through the woods before emerging into a large meadow and sparkling pond. Here, flowers are in full bloom, and since the owners have thoughtfully placed benches by the pond, it’s a great place to take a break, savor a snack, and enjoy the season – and the wildflowers! Once you’ve soaked up the scenery, loop around the pond and continue back through the woods on the trail until you return to Timberland Park property. Maps are available at the park’s visitor center.

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

This private preserve is truly one of Williamson County’s hidden gems. It’s also my favorite spot for wildflowers in Tennessee. Because the priority here is to protect native species and their diverse habitats, only a few hikers are allowed on the grounds each day, so you’ll want to reserve a $5 dollar day pass on the sanctuary’s website before you come. You’ll also want to hike earlier in the day; Owl Hill’s gates close at 3 p.m. Yes, it takes a little bit of work to hike here, but trust me when I tell you it is worth it. Wildflowers bloom in profusion at Owl’s Hill, even on the trail itself since so few people walk on it each day. Once you start exploring the grounds, you won’t want to stop, and although a few of the trails head up steep inclines, there are surprises at the top of each one that absolutely make the climbs worthwhile.

Peacock Hill Nature Park

You have a unique opportunity right now to be among the first in Tennessee to witness the wildflowers at Peacock Hill Nature Park, a newly-opened park in College Grove with ponds, five miles of trails, and a scenic overlook area. Some of the trails are steep, because the park includes a hill, among the tallest in the county, that is on the Tennessee Valley Divide, which once separated the U.S. from the Chickasaw Nation.

Take a walk on one of the new trails and let us know what kinds of wildflowers you find.

Bowie Nature Park

With more than 17 miles of trails through ecosystems that include wetlands, grasslands, pine forest, oak/hickory forest, riparian, and lowland bottomland wetlands, you know this incredible park in the heart of Fairview is going to have some amazing wildflowers! 

Bowie Nature Park is beloved for its mostly-flat trails and its plethora of ponds – and where there are ponds, there are always flowers. Expect to see plenty of blooms during your jaunt, from daffodils to dogwoods, and I’d suggest downloading a trail map ahead of time as well – with so many trails, it’s easy to get turned around. 

Enjoy the wildflowers and the warm weather!