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  • Writer's pictureBrandi & Candace

Warner Parks

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Percy Warner managed the Nashville Railway and Light Company, playing a major role in financing loans against streetcars for the Nashville Parks Board from 1900-1914. He served as director for six different Nashville banks and businesses, and became Chairman of the Nashville Parks Board in 1926. This Board began to search for a large recreational area to be a new Nashville park.

Percy Warner’s son-in-law, Senator Luke Lea (founder of the Tennessean) offered to donate 868 acres owned by his real estate firm in Bellevue on several conditions: the land be used as a park and not a zoo or for any athletics other than gold, his real estate firm would retain the title to the water supply reservoir, and that a year be allowed to move livestock over the land in a slower pace. Local gossips felt this wasn’t done in the interest of the city, but in Lea’s desire to boost the property values of adjacent property also owned by his real estate company. Nevertheless, the Nashville Parks Board approved Lea’s gift to Nashville September 26th, 1927. Fifteen farming families were uprooted to make this park a reality.

Percy Warner died in June 1927, and four days later, the Parks board voted unanimously to name the park after him. His brother, Edwin Warner, joined the parks board in Percy’s place, where he would serve for 20 years, spending most of his working days physically surveying and mapping out plans for the park. Park Commissioner Charles McCabe would comment, “Edwin Warner is worth the rest of us [five board members] together.”

Percy’s widow donated $20,000 to the project, and Edwin’s family matched it with another $20,000. Negotiations sparred over acquiring new land. The acquisitions were then called Edwin Warner Park in 1937, and the Warner Park Nature Center was built in 1973.

Percy Warner Park today has 1,991 acres of land. It has picnic shelters, walking/jogging trails, hiking trails, horse trails, mountain bike trails and a golf course. It’s three hiking trails are: Warner Woods Trail (2.5 mile loop), the Mossy Ridge Trail (4.5 mile loop), and the Cane Connector Trail (1 mile, one way).

Edwin Warner Park today has 1,113 acres of land. It has a nature center, a playground, a dog park, a baseball field, walking/jogging paths, and hiking paths. It’s six hiking trails are: The Hungry Hawk Trail (1/3 mile loop), the Little Acorn Trail (1/3 mile loop), the Amphitheater Trail (200 yards one way), the Nature Loop (3/4 mile loop), the Harpeth Woods Trail (2.5 mile loop), and the Owl Hollow Trail (1/3 mile loop).

Print a map! ( ) I’ve gotten lost hiking in these woods quite often, and cellular service isn’t great in the woods. But it’s beautiful. Even driving around, I can’t recommend the Warner Parks enough. Make a plan, try to hit all of the trails.

Name: the Warner Parks

Address: 7311 Highway 100, 37221

History: 5 out of 5

Walkability: 5 out of 5

Kid Like-ability- 3 out of 5

Date Night-ability- 5 out of 5

Charm: 5 out of 5

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