Things To Do: Cypress Grove Nature Park, Jackson, TNFriday, July 10, 2015
There is a hidden gem in Jackson, TN called Cypress Grove Nature Park. With shady nature walks that range from 3/8 of a mile to 2 miles roundtrip, it's a great place to go for a stroll. Of added interest is the Raptor Center, a sanctuary for injured birds of prey like hawks, eagles, and owls. There is no cost for admission, so this is a fun and free activity you can do with the kids.
Jackson, TN is located on I-40 in between Memphis and Nashville, so if you're traveling that way, stop in to Cypress Grove (Google Map) to stretch your legs!
We come here often, summer or winter, to take long walks in a beautiful and natural setting. You start at the Visitor Center, which has a cold drinking fountain, clean restroom facilities, and a pavilion for picnics.
Please note: Pets are not allowed on the boardwalk at Cypress Grove Nature Park. They are welcome on a leash in any grassy or wooded areas off the boardwalk.
These are the walks with distances. We always go all the way through to the Observation Tower across Wood Duck Lake, but if you'd like a shorter walk, or just want to see the Raptor Center, you can do that as well.
There are benches at intervals throughout the walk, just in case you'd like to rest.
A feature I love are the plaques along the railings on the trail from Kildeer Pond to Wood Duck Lake identifying tree species.
There are also a few shelters in case it starts raining or you'd like a shady seat. This is the shelter at Cypress Knee Loop, or as we like to call it, "The smallest tower in the tiniest kingdom." Daughters, y'all.
Wood Duck Lake allows fishing, and we've seen some monsters here.
There is also an Observation Tower once you cross Wood Duck Lake. It's about 3 stories, so you get a great view. Sadly, it's always covered in graffiti, so if you're with kids and you don't want them reading some possible naughty words, you may want to skip it. Totally your call.
We always end with the Raptor Center on the way back. There is a Bald Eagle, a Golden Eagle, various hawks, and the owls are always my favorite. There is also another covered pavilion here with seating if you'd like to rest before heading back.
For operating hours, tour info, or class info, contact Cypress Grove Nature Park directly.
So if you live in the area or are passing through, give it a go. It's absolutely free, and you'll be glad you did.
Have you ever been to Cypress Grove? Do you know of any "hidden gems" in your area? Let me know in the comments!