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The Murfreesboro Greenway System, Priceless Community Enrichment, (Part 1)

In our society, we often associate expensive things with value. If something costs a lot, it must be better than something that is cheap. We often forget that some of the things that enrich our lives the most are the ones that are freely accessible to us and free of charge. The Murfreesboro Greenway System is one of our community’s richest resources.

With over 12 miles of connecting trails artfully integrated throughout business, residential, commercial and rural areas, the Greenway System of trails provides us a variety of ways to enrich our lives. It is a system of connected trails designed to give the citizens of our community a safe and beautiful place to walk, run, bike, roller blade, picnic, relax, explore, exercise your pets, view wildlife and much more.

The Greenway is a system of trails, some still being developed, and some still in the planning stages. Most of the trails are paved and wide enough to easily accommodate traffic in two directions, but motorized traffic of any kind is prohibited. The trails are pet friendly, with the request to keep pets under control and to clean up after them. And even though the trails are designed to handle a large amount of use, my favorite aspect of the trail system is the opportunity it provides for us to find solitude in the heart of our busy and bustling schedules.

The Greenway trails are scenic and openly accessible while still helping to conserve natural resources. Most of the trails parallel streams or rivers. The proximity to water assures that wildlife along the Greenway trails is abundant. Birdwatchers will especially be amazed at the diversity of species that can be seen along the riverside trails.

A good place to begin exploration of the Greenway Trail System is at the Cannonsburg Trailhead, located within walking distance of downtown Murfreesboro.

Cannonsburg is the historic heart of Murfreesboro, where visitors can experience what life was like here years ago. A beautiful bridge spans the stream that separates the entrance into Cannonsburg and the entry into the Greenway Trail system. This section of trail follows beside a small stream that soon merges into the Stones River. This section of trail soon crosses a slab bridge and goes under Broad Street. As Stones River floods, so does this section of trail. Caution is advised anytime water levels are expected to rise.

The tunnel that ducks under Broad Street brings Greenway pedestrians right down to the water’s edge. Kids love the echoes that the concrete bridge produces, and if you look up at the ceiling of the tunnel you can see the beginnings of small soda-straw resembling mineral formations. These formations similar to ones found in caves are created when the salt used to keep the bridge above ice-free during winter finds its way through the concrete.

Over the next few issues, we will explore the Greenway Trail System in detail. In the meantime more information on the Greenway can be found on the city website, murfreesborotn.gov.

Click here for a hi-res map of the Greenway

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