Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Last weekend kicked off our 25th anniversary celebration. For my birthday in February, Randy completely surprised me with tickets to see Billy Joel in concert in Nashville. He conveniently combined that with our traditional anniversary cabin get-away weekend. We usually go nearby to the Smokies, but we needed to be close to Nashville for our concert so he settled on Cedars of Lebanon State Park, about 30 minutes east of Nashville.

{First of all, the Billy Joel concert was amazing. I mean, what can you really say about having your whole life come together, childhood to adulthood, in a two-hour show? Hearing him sing "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and "Always a Woman" and "Anthony's Song" and so many more. It was incredible.}

Our cabin at the state park was very nice—clean with lots of windows and everything we needed except hand soap.

But this post is really about a walk in the woods. It's a meandering trail, flat as Iowa. We're used to hiking in the Smokies, so this easy pace was a welcome change.

Cedars of Lebanon is known for its cedar glades, a unique type of ecosystem that has adapted to the soil layers that are perfect for red cedars but too thin to support most large trees.

We spent lots of time just checking out the amazing limestone bedrock and sinkholes that characterize the park. We were really wishing we had our kids with us, especially Duncan, when we saw all these amazing cave-like sinkholes. He would have had to explore every single one of them!

It was a little too early for most wildflowers, but Randy-the-botanist always finds some plant life that delights him.

Cut-leaved toothwort

Checking out the ebony spleenwort

Shagbark Hickory

Setting free the milkweed      

Lots of skeletons of Queen Anne's Lace

It was a perfect day. We are diehard Smokies hikers, but we love exploring different terrains too. Middle Tennessee has some fantastic places to go, including Cummins Falls State Park and Stones River National Battlefield. We are definitely adding Cummins Falls to our list of yearly hikes!


  1. It was a wonderful weekend! And we need to add Fall Creek Falls to our list of places to visit!

  2. That looks like so much fun! What a lovely place to hike. Had to chuckle at the 'setting the milkweed free' shot!


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