Barfield Crescent Park
Barfield Crescent Park transports you back to a time long before the first humans began to settle in the Middle Tennessee area. It will introduce you to prehistoric underwater trenches as well as entice you to solve a modern mystery. In 2001, this property was bought by the City of Murfreesboro and turned into a beautiful park complete with hiking trails, a playground, and a wilderness station. But long before it was a site for family fun, it was a hostile and unfamiliar place.
This location takes us back to the Cretaceous period (approximately 144 to 65 million years ago) of our planet’s history. North America, during the Cretaceous period, began to move northwest separating itself from the massive continent Pangaea and eventually settled into its current position. 94 million years ago, a massive amount of land in North America, now populated by millions of people, was completely submerged in water. The area once submerged by this prehistoric sea included Texas, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, and even parts of Middle Tennessee.
As you work your way to the GPS location on your scavenger hunt, take time to notice the magnificent rock formations around you. Primarily made of limestone, a soft rock easily weathered by the flow of water, these formations appear to be caves darting across the forest floor. These formations, however, are not caves, but evidence of an ancient sea floor that once existed. Imagine them, as you stand next to these open trenches, as the bottom of our modern oceans and the trenches that lay at its deepest and darkest depths.
This location’s history also has an element of mystery. As you get to your first GPS position at the top of the hill, you will see a rock wall. What is most fascinating about this particular wall is how little we know about its creation. Walls like this in Middle Tennessee are far from unusual. Similar rock structures exist in areas such as Williamson, Davidson, and Rutherford counties. Many of these walls are associated with the Antebellum South and the old plantations that made up its agricultural economy. These walls during the antebellum period were often used to mark the boundaries of property, but during the Civil War they were often used for their defensive qualities.
This particular wall still remains a mystery. There are many theories about its creation, but the identities of its builders are still unknown. One theory is that it might have been the location of a Union battery strategically positioned on a hill overlooking the railroad and Stones River. These theories still remain a mystery to this day, and the origins of the wall remain unknown.
Wilderness Station at Barfield Crescent Park
697 Veterans Pkwy | Murfreesboro, TN 37128
- The Wilderness Station is located in Barfield Crescent Park at 697 Veterans Pkwy.
- The Wilderness Station is the city’s unique outdoor awareness and adventure facility. It is nestled along the edge of the woods, just a short drive past the disc golf area.
- Adventurous families, scouts and youth groups can camp in the primitive Backcountry Campground.
- The summer hours are:
- Sunday: 12 pm - 8 pm
- Mon - Sat: 8 am – 8 pm
- Some of the amenities are:
- Two educational classrooms
- Gift/snack shop
- Paved and unpaved trails
- Education animals
- Programs run all year – check the Rec Connection to see what’s happening in the outdoors!
- The retreat room is available for rental.
- Evening rentals and programs are based on staff availability.
For more information about the Wilderness Station at Barfield Crescent Park, contact Rachel Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org.