Montgomery Bell State Park is located seven miles east of Dickson in Dickson County. The rolling hills of Dickson County contain a treasure that was considered more precious than gold to the builders of young America. The treasure was iron ore, and it lured men by the hundreds to this area of Middle Tennessee. The site of the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located at Montgomery Bell State Park. The iron industry in Dickson County has been long silent, but the 3,782 acres that make up Montgomery Bell State Resort Park still show the signs of its presence. Near the remains of the Old Laurel Furnace, ore pits, where men once scratched iron ore from the earth, lie quiet and abandoned; the hardwood forest, once heavily cut to clear farmland and to produce charcoal for the iron furnaces, has slowly healed its wounds. Fox, squirrel, raccoon, opossum, deer and a wide variety of birds and wildflowers have returned to the forest, making Montgomery Bell a place of quiet natural beauty.
Attempted 3 night trip, staying at each of the 3 shelters for one night each. But 2nd night at Woodland Shelter i got hit with a terrific storm. High winds, thunder, lightning and hail over 4 hours. Torrential rains had me worried about continuing the loop, but the following morning all the water had drained away.
So i cancelled my third night due to incoming cold weather and continued the hike around the loop past the last shelter and back to my car. The trail was good and i had no troubles finding my way. The west side of the loop was the prettiest i thought. Wildcat Shelter was the best, sited on a small hill overlooking the confluence of two creeks. I intend to do this trip again in the future.
I wanted a moderate walk that I could do in just a few hours and this was perfect for that (I did just the 6 mile loop)! Very well marked and maintained. A little elevation in some places but not much. No overlooks or waterfalls but several nice creek-side miles.
Very well maintained trail and the majority of the trail is well marked with clear small metal hiking signs. Be prepared for a long and somewhat strenuous hike, hence the multiple shelters scattered throughout the trail to rest. I would recommend this full 10.5 hike if you have good gear, energy snacks, and plenty of water.
Tiffany S. on Montgomery Bell Trail
One of the few loops I've found so far that are double digits in length. It's still technical enough to be challenging yet doesn't require as much elevation change as some of the others. Enjoyable for a day with the pup when I don't want to run into many other people.
My dog and I really like this trail it's beautiful and we never see a soul (maybe because it winter). There is a meadow near the lake perfect for picnicking and a shelter part way through the walk. There are other trails and the map that you can pick up at the nature center is super helpful.
I took my dog here because it's one of the few that didn't specify that a dog should be on the leash. I think they are still supposed to be, but she listens so we were good.
It's a simple walk. Not anything strenuous or no spectacular views. The park is clearly marked and easy to navigate. Walking up on the spill way was awesome. The pup really liked rock hopping.
It's a good walk. I think the whole loop would be worth while.
1/3 dirt road, 1/3 well maintained, 1/3 covered in leaves. Wouldn't complain if there weren't so many roots and rocks hidden under. Relatively nice scenery. Not too much challenge from an elevation standpoint. Went on a nice Friday with the dog and saw maybe two other people.
We did the 11.4 miles and it was incredible! The trail was marked well to easily find our way and was full of beautiful views. The water was low so we didn't have to get wet at all when crossing the creek - recommend bringing lots of water and extra socks! And watch out for falling acorns