If you happen to be in the Middle Tennessee area, Montgomery Bell Tunnel, the historic tunnel at Narrows of the Harpeth in Kingston Springs, belongs on your to do list.
Why go? The hike is short, and the view is beautiful. This was honestly what drew me to this particular park. My youngest is six and doesn’t have a lot of stamina to do a longer hike and my oldest is recovering from an injury. They have been wanting to go to a waterfall since that is kind of the “cool thing” to do this summer, and this hike was very doable for them and rewarding.
Part of the reason I felt led to write this post, is that after we arrived at the parking lot, we, along with several other carloads of visitors, were not clear on how to get to the tunnel. It is not very well marked! We failed twice before finding the correct path.
Our first attempt, we walked down the wooden set of steps right behind the lot. This will take you to the back of the tunnel and it is actually blocked off.
The second attempt, we continued further down the road past the parking lot, following some of our fellow visitors. This too was a dead end and ultimately led to private property. So don’t do that.
We decided to set out by car and my oldest was in charge of looking for a possible trailhead. On our third loop around she saw it! There are steps before you get to the parking lot that lead to the trailheads. We had passed it.
All of this to say, when you arrive at the lot, you will need to backtrack about 1/8 mile to the steps and then you will see the three trails. Be sure to take the one marked Historic Tunnel. From there it is an easy hike. If this post has helped you or if you ever struggled finding this tunnel, let me know in the comments!
If you are traveling with kids, or even if you’re not with kids, you might like knowing there is a charming sweet shop 20 miles away, called Sweet Charlotte. You might enjoy visiting – you could grab a hot dog, old fashioned soda, candy, shaved ice, or fudge. Check out my post on Sweet Charlotte if you would like to know more.
History Lesson: It is interesting to know that the tunnel is believed to be the first full-sized tunnel in America and was formed with gunpowder and slave labor. It was to divert water for industrial purposes.
The Narrows of the Harpeth is located at 1254 Narrows of the Harpeth Rd Kingston Springs, TN 37082.