Residents and visitors will soon be able to traverse the Harpeth River from the Park at Harlinsdale Farm and utilize an existing walking trail in the Chestnut Bend neighborhood, connecting significant portions of Franklin’s trails and greenways system.
In anticipation of the start of bridge construction in early 2023, Friends of Franklin Parks and a host of partners have completed the trailhead within the Chestnut Bend neighborhood.
“Chestnut Bend’s greatest asset is its picturesque trails, and we are excited to integrate them with the broader Franklin trail system, as it further defines both our neighborhood and commitment to the community,” John Jackson, president of the Chestnut Bend Homeowners Association, said in a press release.
“We are also pleased to be a partner of the Harlinsdale Bridge Project, and believe it offers the opportunity to further appreciate this incredible section of the Harpeth River. Our homeowners are grateful for the generosity of Friends of Franklin Parks, Bell Construction, and the city of Franklin in helping us be a part of these historic projects. “
Friends of Franklin Parks spearheaded the design and funding of the trailhead, and partnered with Bell Construction and Kiser Vogrin Design, with key support from the city of Franklin’s Parks and Engineering departments and local attorneys Julian Bibb and Matt Roberts.
Bell Construction, which has been a part of the Williamson County business community for more than 50 years, led construction of the trailhead, donating services to fit within Friends of Franklin Parks’ budget of $60,000.
Connectivity has been a key priority in recent years for the city of Franklin’s Parks Department and the nonprofit Friends of Franklin Parks. A few years ago, Friends of Franklin Parks, the Chestnut Bend Homeowners Association, the city of Franklin and Williamson County came to a lease and maintenance agreement to facilitate the trailhead and bridge across the Harpeth to the Park at Harlinsdale Farm, which is currently being built with funds from a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant.
By virtue of its location, history and number of households, Chestnut Bend is an important neighborhood in the fabric of central Franklin. The Chestnut Bend Homeowners Association voted to participate in the partnership not only for its own convenient access to Harlinsdale, but for the benefit of the larger community.
“As a neighborhood that is blessed with an existing trail system that connects us to this side of the river, we want to be a great community partner and steward, so this just made good sense,” Jackson said. “We recognize what it means to our quality of life, but also to everyone who wants to be able to walk and bike around town instead of getting into a car.”
Once connected to the new bridge, the trailhead will allow for pedestrian connections from downtown Franklin to Cool Springs via sidewalks and bike trails. This trail extension adds approximately one mile to the Franklin trail system and will also connect Bicentennial Park to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm. New mile markers and signs with the Franklin Trails logo have recently been installed, thanks to the city’s Parks Department.
“This project embodies the spirit of public-private partnership, and what we’re all working to accomplish together — government, neighborhoods and the nonprofit community,” said Torrey Barnhill, executive director of Friends of Franklin Parks. “As a result, this new multi-modal opportunity will now be available to the public.
For more information, please contact Torrey Barnhill at email@example.com.
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