Trails Around Cheatham Lake
Take a jump back into the past on the Lock A Nature Trail. This trail, located in the Lock A Campground, will give you a sense of what it was like to live the life of a lockmaster. As you wander through the site of the old homestead, inquire about what the river was like before the locks and dams we have today. This property was used first by the workers constructing the old Lock A. It was then occupied by the lockmaster, his family and lock workers, during the years of operation of Lock A. Overall, the site has been a home to many people from 1895 through 1953, when the current lock replaced it permanently. The buildings consisted of living quarters, an icehouse, and several outbuildings. Several of the buildings’ foundations are still visible today. Other remnants of the old lock and it’s occupants are located throughout the campground, such as the road leading down from the living quarters, an old fire hydrant, mooring rings, steps, and water depth markers.
While you are on the trail, get a bird’s eye view of the river from either of the two overlooks. Keep your (bird’s) eyes open, you may see an eagle, hawk, heron or vulture!! The overlooks are also great places to watch a barge tow pass by. Explore the beauty of nature as you wander along the twists and turns of the trail. Marvel at the size of the Tulip Poplar, American Beech, and Sweet Gum trees, some of which have been around for over a hundred years.
Starting just west of Ashland City and ending in the Lock A Campground is the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail. This trail is open from sunrise to sunset and accommodates hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, bird watchers, wildflower enthusiasts and all people with a love for nature. The trail, a “rails to trails” project, currently spans approximately 6.5 miles of an old railroad bed.
Cheatham Lake offers an interpretive trail located at the TSU Farm near Sams Creek off of River Road. This ¾ mile trail takes visitors through native grasslands with local wildflowers planted along the trail and meanders through a forested area that ends at a viewing platform overlooking a wetland. Along the trail, viewers are likely to see a variety of songbirds, deer, and eastern wild turkey. At the wetland viewing area, visitors are presented with a unique opportunity to view turtles, fish, and other aquatic wildlife as they move through one of TN’s most unique habitats. This trail consists of a level gravel path and is great for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.