NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Edwin Warner Park expanded into a second 250-acre wing that has opened to the public.
The Burch Reserve is a place for wildlife and quiet hikes, according to Edwin Warner Park Nature Center Director Vera Roberts.
"It adds another 3 miles of primitive trails to Warner Parks, lots of habitat for wildlife and just increased green space for the city of Nashville," Roberts said Friday, a day before the grand opening of the park.
Hikers this weekend wil have difficulty with two rounds of expected severe storms. But the park is already open to the public and almost guarantees sightings of a wide array of Tennessee wildlife.
"This is a really special place," said Roberts. "It's not as heavily trafficked as traditional Warner Park. We don't have roads going through it or picnic areas. So, I think it's more of a wildlife sanctuary, definitely."
Walkers can already be spotted hoofing through the gradual slopes of the serene hike. The hike has several moderate grade hills, but can be completed in roughly an hour and a half with the right pace.
"You get a lot of woodland views surrounding hills, but you get away from the street noise. You can't hear highway 100 when you get up there," said Nathan Epting.
Creation of the park has taken more than a decade. The group Friends of Warner Park began efforts to purchase the land in 2006, when a potential developer expressed interest in building condominiums there.
"Friends of Warner Parks raised the money, purchased the land and donated it to the city," said Roberts. "Then in partnership with the city its been developed into usable park land that will be protected and enjoyed in perpetuity by all of Nashville."
The primitive path of the hiking loop was created by Eagle Scout James Kyne. Roberts says she believes it's one of the nicest parks in Metro Nashville.
To keep it that way, bikers, runners and dogs are not permitted on the trail. It is a natural perserve and has a higher level of protection compared to other Nashville trails.