Cafe de Desiree

July 6, 2014

City Hiking

Filed under: Exercise,Health,hiking,photography — desi83 @ 10:12 pm

I am a hiking snob. I don’t consider it a hike if the trail is paved, or completely flat, or less than five miles. That, my friends, is a walk in the park. Before discovering a couple of new hiking trails, I used to only consider it a good hike if I had to drive an hour and a half in the middle of nowhere through the mountains. I want to see waterfalls and climb boulders at some point during the hike. I want to feel like I just had my ass kicked. When my entire body aches, I feel accomplished. I did not think that Nashville could offer a satisfactory hike that would leave me sweating, panting, and sore from head to toe. That was before I joined and was introduced to several new destinations. Mossy Ridge, also known as the red trail at Percy Warner Park, is a 4.5 mile loop, and it takes about 2 miles to arrive at the beginning of the loop. I hiked a total distance of about 9 miles. I should have used my GPS to track total mileage, but I tend to put away the technology when I hike. I have hiked much longer distances than this, but the deep inclines and declines made it a challenging 9 miles.


This is the first trail that I have hiked where the majority of the hikers weren’t hiking at all. They were trail running. I have always been intimidated by that because I can be rather clumsy. I decided that this would be the perfect trail to test my skills. Even though it is hilly, there aren’t any terrible obstacles to hinder a runner. It is fairly smooth with just small rocks and a few tree roots. There are a few spots where I had to climb rocks, but they were almost more like steps in their arrangement. I ran occasionally, and I power-hiked. I did stop to take pictures, because this blog is just more appealing to read with pictures! I also noticed that the hikers and runners on this trail are much friendlier than those at any other place I’ve hiked. Everyone at least waved as I walked past. Everyone seemed happy, healthy, and enthusiastic about what they were doing. My favorite human encounter on the trail was a runner approaching me from behind singing “Buddy Holly” by Weezer at the top of his lungs. This guy was happy in his own little world, and he has great taste in music.


I came across this random chimney when I was close to the end, and I imagined being out here with some friends during autumn. We could collect a few logs, build a small fire in the chimney, and roast some hot dogs and marshmallows while singing badly, talking too loudly, and just enjoying the moment together. I am sure someone has done that at some point in time at this chimney.

mossywater mossyrocks

This, unfortunately, was the only water source on the trail. I think Nashville needs more rain. Normally, there is a small waterfall flowing from the top of this small cave. There used to be a visible stream flowing through that area. It was still a fun area to explore today. Luckily, I didn’t meet any creepy crawlers in there!


This is what I call the “Oh Shit” hill. I was trail running, and somehow I made it up this massive hill. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. There was a bench not far from the top of this hill, and I sat for a few minutes to catch my breath. “Good job, Mossy Ridge. You win,” I mumbled between breaths. “We made it!” the lady behind me exclaimed when we approached the top. She was at least twenty years older than I am, but she kept power walking past me. This hike makes me want to live somewhere else even more than I already did. Murfreesboro is flat; there are no challenging trails here at all. If I lived near a park like this, I would go a few times a week so that I could be in the shape that these seniors are in. I met a man on the trail who is 70 years old. He was energetic, had perfect posture and form,  and he was hiking at a fast pace. He told me that he used to run marathons, and he did a cross-country bike-a-thon once with his best friend. I told him that he was now my idol.


I stopped to meditate for a few minutes, because it is easier for me to meditate outside away from civilization than it is to meditate indoors. I sat on a roughly carved wooden bench with a plaque glued to it with an in Memoriam message engraved in it. I wish I would’ve taken a photo of that; it had someone’s name on it, and it stated that he used to enjoy walking on these trails. I imagined an older man walking on the trail, completely at peace with himself and his life. We can only truly be happy and at peace if we can enjoy life’s simple pleasures. I sat on this bench and closed my eyes. I could hear the wind rustle the trees, and I could hear the squirrels and other small animals rummaging for food or shelter through the woods. My mind was clear and empty of distractions. It was a blissful moment of peace. Whatever your path is in life, whatever it is that brings you joy or serenity, take the time to enjoy these moments away from the stress or problems that you may have in your life. Even in a bustling city like Nashville, there are hidden areas of nature that are mostly untouched by civilization that are there for your enjoyment.



  1. Great photos!
    I guess I am a hiking noob. 🙂 Most of my hikes are under 5 miles. The longest one I’ve done was about 10 miles but it repeated much of the same scenery. There are many longer hikes i want to do once i retire, like el camino de Santiago, john muir, appalcian, etc.
    It is wonderful to be out in nature and to imagine what stories were told, how other people say the same thing but maybe with a different perspective.

    Comment by Michael — July 8, 2014 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

    • I would love to hike outside of the US! I hiked in Maui, so that was sort of exotic. It was definitely prettier and more difficult than anywhere else I’ve been.

      Comment by desi83 — July 9, 2014 @ 7:18 am | Reply

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