I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 6, 2013
A few weeks ago, Bruiser went to Indian Camp at Belle Meade Plantation, which has got to be one of the greatest day camps I’ve ever come across. Five and six year olds spend all day outside under the plantation’s huge oak trees, learning about Native Americans, making crafts, hanging out in enormous wigwams set up on the lawn, and– most importantly– playing in the creek. Each afternoon, I picked up a completely soaked Bruiser who was tired and happy and very, very dirty. At the end of the week, I showed up a few minutes early and took photos of my son with his new pals. Then I had the idea of getting a few shots of him in the creek, where he had spent so much time playing.
I had never really investigated the creek at Belle Meade Plantation before (investigating creeks is just not something I, you know, do.) But once I saw it, I became convinced that this has got to be the best wading creek in all of Nashville.
First off, these stone stairs allow easy access to the water. So many creeks require scrambling down a muddy bank. The stairs were a nice detail.
The creek itself has a smooth, flat stone bed, which makes the water crystal clear. It’s shallow, but there’s one spot near the stairs where kids can wade in up to their waists — and see the bottom the whole time. Bruiser, having done this all week, waded right in. Punky gamely followed behind him. I took off my shoes, rolled up my pants, and gingerly stepped in after them with my camera.
And then I fell in.
The kids looked at me in surprise as I sat in the water, resolutely holding my camera high above me, and then we all burst out laughing. We laughed and laughed and laughed. And for the first time in days of scheduling and planning and writing and videoing and housekeeping and kid-wrangling, I felt like myself again.
And it felt great.
We spent nearly an hour playing in the creek and by the time we were done, everyone had fallen in at least once. (Prepare for that if you go and don’t worry, the rock has a little bit of soft moss on it and a fall really doesn’t hurt.) The creek has lots of wonders that your children will enjoy.
We walked among a large school of minnows.
We made important discoveries.
And Bruiser proudly showed off the stone ‘wall’ he and his friends had been working on all week long.
We can’t wait to go back — perhaps after a stop at Phillips Toy Mart. If you live in the Nashville area, just enter Belle Meade Plantation’s main entrance, turn left after you cross the bridge, and park in the free lot with picnic tables in the center. Walk down to the creek from that point- You will not have to pay as long as you don’t go inside the mansion or its outbuildings.