Timberland Park sign

Timberland Park offers a variety of hiking trails, from short to long distances.

With the holidays having ended for another year, it can be difficult for many people to get back in the groove of their normal routine. 

That seems especially true in the first week or so of January, when weather, job responsibilities or the doldrums get in the way of finding opportunities for leisure, not to mention the Omicron surge being in full swing.

But look hard enough, and a few nuggets of activities can be found to lighten the load.

Here are three suggestions for this week:

19 Miles to Music Row

Franklin First United Methodist Church will be holding another installment of its 19 Miles to Music Row Tuesday night at 6:30 at its Mack Hatcher campus, featuring singer-songwriter Dwayne O’Brien.

The event will also include a writers night with four up-and-comers performing three songs each. The church launched the program in 2019, which is held the first Tuesday of every month, and nearly 500 people fill the worship center to hear the pros and start-ups alike.

“19 Miles to Music Row is a true writers night that invites four great songwriters to the stage to perfect their craft and hone their skills in front of someone who’s been there,” said Jody Todd, marketing and communications director for Franklin First. “It’s a fantastic night out, and we’re delighted to be able to offer such a unique event to our community.”

O’Brien is noted for his songwriting with the multiplatinum-selling band Little Texas, penning such songs as “Kick a Little” “Promise Ain’t Enough” and “What Might Have Been,” among many others.

Tickets are not required to attend, but seating does fill up. Click here to learn more about 19 Miles. Franklin First UMC is located at 120 Aldersgate Way in Franklin.

Take a hike

Some would argue the best way to enjoy the woods is through a winter hike, and Williamson County isn’t short on trails.

From Brentwood to Leiper's Fork, from Spring Hill to Franklin, pathways abound. Tops among them are the hiking trails at Timberland Park off the Natchez Trace Parkway and Bowie Nature Park in Fairview. Both are ideal for January hikes, either leisurely strolls or longer treks. Each also includes various guided hikes and other programs.

Timberland Park sits on 72 acres just off the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 437.2, less than a mile south of the Highway 96 entrance to the parkway. The park, which is part of Williamson County Parks and Recreation, features a number of different options for hiking lengths, affording visitors a way for a short walk or a solid workout.

Bowie Nature Park sits within 722 acres and offers 17 miles of hiking trails that move the traveler through several ecosystems to include wetlands, grasslands, pine forest, oak/hickory forest, riparian and lowland bottomland wetlands. Trailheads are located at Lake Van, Upper Lake and along the Little Turnbull River, as well as around the Treehouse Playground. 

The entrance to Bowie Park is located in the city of Fairview on Highway 100, approximately 1 mile west of the Highway 96/100 exchange in Williamson County.

Art Scene a snow scene?

If the early-week weather forecast holds true, then visitors to Friday night’s Franklin Art Scene will want to dress warmly.

Daytime temperature is expected in the low 30s on the first Friday of 2022, with nighttime dropping to around 20 or colder. That’s plenty cold for sure, but it should make the venues hosting artists that night all the cozier. 

Regardless of how hot or cold it gets or how much rain or snow falls, the Franklin Art Scene has consistently held true to its place in downtown Franklin on the first Friday of every month, from 6-9 p.m. Under the care of the Arts Council of Williamson County, the Art Scene resumed last July after shutting down for several months from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Franklin Art Scene is an excellent way to support area artists and downtown merchants alike. Visit the Arts Council's Facebook page for updates.