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July 23 2024 / 06:17 PM
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Nashville’s Big Back Yard
Sit on a porch, take a walk, float a river, ride a bike, dine creek side

This is your personal invitation to come and play in Nashville's Big Back Yard; an idea meant to inspire rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. NBBY is 13 rural Tennessee communities and The Shoals of Alabama, connected by 100 miles of the meandering Natchez Trace Parkway. This has been a case study in slow travel since the Native Americans walked the trace some 10,000 years ago.

Leiper's Fork is for porch sitting or guitar picking. Whether relaxing in the swing at  Leiper's Creek Gallery, the back porch of Patina Home & Garden, or enjoying creekside dining courtesy of BAMFoods, Leiper's Fork is the village of your dreams for a slow day. Shop, sit, sip whiskey at Leiper's Fork Distillery, or take in world-class music and southern food at Fox & Locke. Stay overnight at the quaint Fork & Field cottages.

Natchez Trace Parkway is for easy riding. NTP is a bucket list item for bikers, whether powered by two legs or on your free-wheeling motorized ride. The National Park Service has designated the Parkway as a bicycle route. It's a slow roll, though, at 50 mph.

The Shoals of Alabama is for birdwatching.  Enjoy birding and foot trails for an uncomplicated outdoor experience. The Shoals is home to a vintage railroad bridge, a natural waterfall, and easy hiking. Natural beauty is abundant all around.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is for golfing. The Shoals of Alabama is home to two 18-hole championship courses near the Tennessee River. While waiting for the spouse to play 18 holes, explore the "Hit Recording Capital of the World," including tours at Fame and Muscle Shoals Sound studios.

The Buffalo River is for floating. Drift along on a scenic kayaking excursion. Start in Linden, (population 1000), home to the historic Commodore Hotel. Their speakeasy is laid-back, and the no-pressure service is like "old home week." Nearby Lady's Bluff Loop Trail is a beautiful hike leading to far-reaching views of the Tennessee River.

David Crockett State Park is for outdoor living. The 1,319-acre park in Lawrenceburg has paved bike trails and more than ten miles of hiking trails. Enjoy scenic vistas of Shoal Creek and Crockett Falls, wildlife, and serene forests. Don't miss the David Crockett Museum.

Small towns on 4th of July are for celebrating pure Americana. Country duo LoCash will perform on July 3 in Waynesboro. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. CDT. At 7 p.m. on July 4th, Mount Pleasant celebrates its 200th and America's 248th birthdays.  Boom on the Duck in Centerville's River Park features food, live music and fireworks at 5 p.m. CDT, July 4.

Elephant Discovery Center in Hohenwald is for watching elephants. This Discovery Center exists to support the private Elephant Sanctuary nearby and offers hands-on exhibits and educational programming. This one is good for the soul.

Jun 26, 2024

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