Bells Bend Park
Site Directions: Bells Bend is located in northwest Nashville (Davidson County) and accessed via I-40, exit # 204. From that exit, go north on Briley Parkway.
Take exit #24 and turn left onto State Rt. 12 toward Ashland City. Go over 2 miles and turn left at the stop light onto Old Hickory Blvd.
Go 4 miles and the first entrance to Bells Bend Park is on your right.
Go to the second park entrance for the Bells Bend Outdoor Center.
Lat-Long: 36.153955,-86.920214, entrance to the Nature Center
Hours: dawn to dusk (Outdoor Center is open weekdays 12 noon - 4pm, Saturdays from 9am - 4pm)
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: Bells Bend Park takes its name from a bend of the same name in the Cumberland River and consists of 880 acres of weedy fields, reclaimed pastures, and riparian woodlands.
Several miles of paved and mulched hiking trails and old farm roads are accessible at both entrances into the Park. There is a campsite with primitive campsites (permit and small fee required).
A visit to Bells Bend Park is a nice complement to a visit to nearby Beaman Park, due to the vastly different habitats supported by the two parks.
Wildlife to Watch: During spring and summer, Bells Bend Park supports sizeable populations of many species of birds that favor fields, secondary growth, and forest edges, including large numbers of Field Sparrows, Yellow-breasted Chats, Common Yellowthroats, Prairie Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and Red-winged Blackbirds.
Since 2008, the park has hosted a small population of Henslow's Sparrows. The park could potentially host breeding Willow Flycatchers and Grasshopper Sparrows; both have been reported in recent springs in appropriate habitat.
In spring and fall migration, the park can play host to almost any of the regions regular migrants, although species that favor mature forest tend to be casual.
Shorebirds are occasionally found in wet areas or seen passing by along the river; if plans for installing shorebird ponds come to fruition, the potential for wetland species is enormous.