Gina and I were looking for an outdoor excursion a few weekends ago and we stumbled across Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens. It's located just a stones throw away from us in Murfreesboro, and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens, which obviously has a long and descriptive name, encompasses everything it's title entails. The 846-acre area supports several forest types and barrens, and is one of Tennessee's most ecologically significant natural sites - See more at: http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/article/na-na-flat-rock-cedar-glades-and-barrens#sthash.fvDYMG6P.dpuf
The area contains two hiking trails, a one mile loop and a 3.5 mile loop. The one mile loop would be great for the hiker who's short on time, but we opted for the 3.5. We took our time and still managed to complete the hike in about two hours. The hike is basically just a nature walk and manageable for hikers at any level. We picked a muddy day to hike, which made walking a little more difficult, but the terrain is flat and easy to maneuver. The trail does cross several small streams, and stream rocks are always slippery, so be careful! The trail was well marked until the last quarter mile. Towards the end of the hike multiple trails seemed to converge and we got a little turned around for a few minutes, but we were able to retrace our steps and get back on track.
This wasn't a super flashy hike with views of gushing waterfalls and sculptural rock formations, but the scenic landscape was nice and relaxing. We enjoyed the serenity of the forest and grass barrens. The glistening rocks and sounds of the rolling stream had me in a pretty zenful state of mind. Gina kept finding rocks with fossil impressions, and fossils are always cool! This area finds it very easy to be green, with it's impressive supply of flora and moss. The moss is so soft you'll be tempted to take a nap on it. I also enjoyed watching the tall grass blowing in the wind as we passed through the barrens. There were a few small junk piles abandoned from the past, but they didn't really detract from the scenic views. The old metal scraps actually made me more curious about the area's history. All in all, I definitely recommend visiting this area for a nice short hike, especially if you live in the middle Tennessee area.