Jim Warren Park Path
Jim Warren Park is a 58-acre active park in Franklin, TN. It is a beautiful park with a ton of great amenities! It is the home of the Franklin Baseball Club and Franklin Cowboys youth organizations, has 2 pavilions (1 enclosed) with electric outlets and overhead lights, 12 lighted baseball fields, 4 football fields, 2 multi-purpose fields, 2 playgrounds, 8 tennis courts, 16,000 sq ft skatepark, 1 basketball court, catch and release pond, multiple restrooms and water fountains (even a vending machine and concession stands) and a great walking/running path where you can get in about 2.7 miles without repeating anything.
The path is mainly flat with a total ascent of 44 ft. The path takes you around and through the entire park. Most of the path takes you on the border of the park underneath a great treeline which is great for shade and the other part takes you through some of the parking areas by and around the different fields, and a small section even takes you around a 1/4 mile track!
There are several different areas where you can park but if you want to avoid game day parking, the main entrance to the park by the front playground off of 96 is located at 705 Boyd Mill Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064. You can park by the pavilion and will have a great view of the pond! Follow the path around the pond and by the treeline, around the skate park and across Boyd Mill Ave. Then you can continue down Boyd Mill Ave and turn left on Twin Oaks Drive. You will enter back into the park by the track and can do a loop if you desire! You will now follow the treeline around the back of the park and behind the fields before looping around in front of the enclosed pavilion and through a small portion of a parking lot before getting back on the path. You will pass by a few more fields before crossing back over Boyd Mill Ave and through the field to get back to the parking lot.
You can add on a lot more mileage if the parking lots are empty and you want to explore around the fields a little bit more. You can also add on by running through any of the connecting neighborhoods or the Williamson County Soccer Outdoor Complex.
This is a great place to run or walk and take your kids or your dogs or just yourself!
Find more paths, trails and places to hike/run/walk in Williamson County, TN here!
I first joined my local run club about 2 years ago. I was a little nervous about it because I didn't really know what to expect. Best. Decision. Ever. My husband has a dart night every Thursday night and I decided since he was gone I wanted to do something I enjoyed during that time as well. I found the Franklin Road Runners and was excited to see they had a Thursday night group that met close to my house. The first time I joined in, everyone was so nice and welcoming. They told me how the group worked, what to expect and helped me figure out who I could run with that would be around my pace. It was a great experience! *Note. You might have to try different run groups or even just try a different day before finding the right one for you (or just give it a few chances). The group dynamic is important and you will eventually find one that fits best with you! I could go on and on about why you should join a running group, but I will narrow it down to the top 10.
1. You will meet so many new people. Meeting new people can be hard - especially if you are new to the area. You will meet so many different people from all walks of life who you might not have met otherwise. Coming together over a common hobby makes it a little easier to bond with others. It might just be that you enjoy the company of the group and only see them during your runs or you develop friendships or even relationships with them (two people who met in my run group got married this last year)!
2. Sense of community. It is so nice to have a place where you feel like you belong. Knowing that everyone there will help encourage and motivate each other helps provide a sense of team camaraderie. It's fun and rewarding to be connected to like-minded people and to be a part of something bigger than you. You will always at least have a group of friends to look forward to seeing on running days (and after for food or drinks or just hanging out)!
3. You will never have to run alone again (if you don't want). Running is generally seen as a solo sport. It can be amazing to be by yourself and have that experience and strength to run on your own. It can also get a little lonely. As long as you have a running group, you will always have a running buddy. It might require you to speed up or slow down, but if you want to run with someone else, all you have to do is show up!
4. Time passes so much faster with a companion. Speaking of running with someone else - one of the biggest benefits is that time seems to fly by! If you are talking and not paying attention to the act of running, it will be over before you know it. There is also more variety in a group and you might run new routes which keeps it fresh and exciting.
5. You will push yourself harder. People tend to perform better in the presence of others so you will likely run faster and further than you would alone. When you run with a group you normally have the option to speed up or slow down to be with a different pack of runners. You don't always have to push yourself hard, but if you choose to, doing so in a group will help you along even more.
6. You will learn a lot. From fitness pros, to seasoned athletes, to coaches or beginners - you will hear all about what works and what doesn't. Getting different opinions, facts and advice from others will help you to be a better runner and figure things out as you move through your running journey. You will also learn a lot more about life in general from the wide variety of people you will be exposed to.
7. Free therapy. Running helps relieve stress and anxiety on its own but coupled with social running it can take these benefits to the next level. By running with friends who you trust you end up talking about anything and everything. What's said on the run stays on the run.
8. There is safety in numbers. There is always safety in numbers but it especially comes into play when you are in a new area that you aren't familiar with, it is dark (early morning or later at night), you are in the city or even in the countryside! If you aren't running with a group always make sure someone knows where you are going and when you will be back.
9. Accountability. You are less prone to skipping out on workouts when you have someone waiting on you. Knowing that the group (or just one running buddy) is there and expecting you to show up, you are more likely to hold up a consistent exercise routine.
10. You will gain self-esteem. While you might feel a little shy, anxious or intimidated in the beginning, once you fall into step with the group and keep showing up you will see what you are capable of, both mentally and physically.
Personally, I have made so many friends with the running group and have pushed myself to be way faster than I ever imagined. I encourage everyone to try out their local running groups, you will never know how amazing it could be for you if you don't try!
When I mention the running group to beginner runners I tend to hear the same response often that they are intimidated and - "I'm not good enough/can't run far enough/can't run fast enough to join a running group yet." They all think they need to be able to run fast or far before they can join. That isn't the point though! While some people in the group are really fast, there are also people who come just for the sense of community. Some people walk, others run slow, some do longer distances, some just do one mile. Whatever you can do, come on out! It can only get better from here. If it is a little rough for you right now, just wait and see what you can do when you begin with the group!
I will be hosting a newbie running group event at the beginning of fall with the Franklin Road Runners at Mountain High Outfitters on a Thursday so be on the lookout. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram so you don't miss out! Check out the event here! No matter what your pace is, if you are a walker or a runner, you won't be left alone!
Planning Ahead for a Healthy Week
Every Sunday do you tell yourself you will be "healthier" this week? That you will eat better? Exercise more? Go to bed on time? Stress less?
Good intentions only last so long without a plan.
One of the biggest obstacles I see with my clients is a failure to plan. Without thinking ahead to how your week is going to look or how you WANT it to look, it leaves too much room for anything to happen (or not happen). If you normally wing it and it works for you and you are right where you want to be, then great! But if you need a little help in getting your health on track, read the tips below to get started planning ahead! With time, it becomes autonomous and you won't even have to put that much thought, time or effort into doing it - it will just become part of who you are.
1. Think about what you have going on during the week ahead. What does your schedule look like? Take your work hours, commute and any other activities into account. Do you HAVE to do ALL of those other activities? What is flexible? What is fixed? Plan around the things you can't really change. Prioritize self-care.
2. Pick 1-2 specific goals. Choose goals that you believe you can do and will help you the most during the week. Do you want to exercise 3 times and make dinner 4 times this week? Pick one or two things to focus on so you don't get too overwhelmed. Don't try to do it ALL. Especially during super busy weeks, maintenance is okay too. Start small but commit! Decide what it is exactly you want to do and what days and times work best according to your schedule and pencil it in. Treat it like you would any other appointment and don't cancel!
3. Figure out what needs to be done to make it work. Do you need to assign duties to others in your household and recruit help? Cut out a TV show or two? Go to bed earlier? Wake up earlier? Find easy recipes and go to the grocery store? Prep any food ahead of time? Wash your workout clothes and lay them out the night before? Think of what will make the biggest impact to make sure you reach your goals for the week and then do them!
4. Come up with back-up plans for emergencies, unexpected events or plan changes. Life is rarely ever neat and orderly. Things come up, plans change and excuses creep in. It is how you handle those things that matter. It is not IF something comes up, it is WHEN, WHAT and HOW. If you were planning on working out in the morning but the electricity went out and your alarm didn't go off - you can workout at lunch, after work, or maybe even the next day. If you wanted to make dinner but you forgot to defrost the chicken and you need to hurry to make an appointment, maybe you make a grilled cheese with a salad and a piece of fruit instead. Don't feel defeated, work around what life throws at you.
5. Don't give up. There will always be ups and downs. Be happy with the positive changes you made this week. If things didn't happen as you wanted them to, learn from that and use it to your advantage so you know how to do better next week. Never give up and think that you can't do it. If you spill some water on the ground, you don't just say "oh, I already made a mess, I might as well pour the entire glass on the floor". You wipe it up and move on. Nobody is perfect, don't expect to be.
I'm going to give you an example of what planning ahead for a healthy week looks like for me.
Sunday morning I usually look at my work schedule and plans for the next week. Using this week as an example I knew my week would look something like this:
Monday: 9-5 Work
Tuesday: 9-5 Work
Wednesday: 8-5 Work + 6:30-7:30 Work
Thursday: 9-1 Appointment 1-5 Work
Friday: 8-1 Bike Meeting 1-5 Work
My goals for the week are to run 3x and do yoga/strength 2x plus make dinner 2x (to eat twice each). I decided to run Monday/Tuesday/Thursday since I had a little more time in the mornings and I know running in this heat has been taking a lot out of me so I move a little slower getting ready after. I am doing yoga/strength on Wednesday and Friday because I can get it done a little quicker since I don't have to leave my house to do it and I need to be ready a little earlier those days. I made dinner Monday to eat again on Tuesday and recruited the help of my husband to make dinner Wednesday while I am training my client later in the evening and we will eat the same dinner again on Thursday.
To make sure I get up early enough to do my morning workouts, I aim to be in bed 8 hours before my alarm goes off so I get enough sleep and have energy to do my workouts and make it through the day. On Sunday, I also decided on a few recipes that looked good and simple for the week (pulled pork tacos with rice using the pork we had leftover in the freezer and salmon with potatoes and asparagus). Since I am used to doing this and it isn't overwhelming for me (normally), I also planned my breakfast and lunches out like I usually do so I could grab what I needed from the store. I try to keep it easy. Smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast, chicken sandwiches with crackers and fruit for lunch, granola bars and popcorn for snacks and chocolate chips and chamomile tea for a sweet after dinner treat.
The food helps fuel my body for activity and planning it ahead of time keeps it super simple so I don't have to think about it during the week - I just have to eat it! This weekend is a little different than others because it is going to be our "staycation weekend". That is why I didn't plan anything out for Friday-Sunday as I normally would. Instead, we are planning fun food and activities once we are out of work Friday...again - planning.
So stop trying to do it ALL. A positive change is a positive change no matter how big or small. They key is just to plan ahead! If you still need help with this part of your health journey - please contact me today!
You can also download the map here.
I love spending time outside. During the warmer months if I am outside, I prefer to be in water to help cool down a little. Luckily, the Harpeth River flows right through Franklin, TN and provides a great place to enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, wading or swimming. When we first moved here we didn't even know we could access the river. We thought it was just something that was there and could be looked at from a distance but never truly enjoyed. One day, we discovered there were several different canoe access points along the river and we have been enjoying the river ever since! It kind of reminds us of being back in college in San Marcos where the river runs right through where we lived!
Over time we have mentioned these spots to others and realized a lot of people don't realize these access points are here (just like we didn't for years). I want everyone that lives or visits here to be able to partake in the beauty of the Harpeth River and use it as an excuse to get outside and be in nature more. There are currently 6 canoe access points with more proposed to come. In order of river flow direction, the sites are: Ladd Park, Eastern Flank, Pinkerton Park, Harlinsdale Farm, Williamson/Franklin Rec Center, and Rizer Point. I will describe each of the access points below and include pictures so you know what to expect. There are no bathrooms or water fountains located right next to any of these access points. The closest will be if you are by a park. At this point, at all of the access points when the river is low you have to travel down quite a few stairs to get into the river and might be challenging for some. I am also including the City of Franklin link here to provide more information.
If you plan on navigating the river, there are mile markers on the river to help you determine where you are entering and where you need to exit. Please use the river responsibly, know your abilities and float/swim at your own risk. Sometimes the water is really high (and brown after it rains like you can see in some of the pictures) and sometimes it is really low, so make sure to take that into consideration when you go. There also are snakes, animals and bugs like any other river - so again, just be aware. You will need your own canoe or kayak or rent them from somewhere around Nashville to actually float this area of the river. There is only one business that I know of that will actually take you on the river (in a drift boat) and that is Franklin Fly Fishing Co. If you don't want to mess with any equipment, just come on down and wade around. Time to start exploring!
If you want to float from the first access point to the last, you would start at Ladd Park (mile marker 95.7) and take out at Rizer Point (mile marker 83.7). You drive through the Ladd Park subdivision to get here and park in the grass under the bridge. This is one of our favorite spots for fishing. When the water is lower you can wade pretty far along the river bank.
This access point (mile marker 89.3) is located off of 431 across from Eastern Flank Battlefield and the Carriage Park neighborhood. There is a paved area for parking. When the water is a little lower, you can also wade pretty far downstream.
Pinkerton Park (mile marker 88.1) has access to the river as soon as you enter the park on the left hand side. You will see a driveway veering left down to a gravel parking area. This is a popular spot and also has great wading when the water is lower.
This is my favorite canoe access point (mile marker 86.3). I feel like not as many people know about this one and it is the most peaceful and quiet. To get here, you drive into the main entrance of the park, bypass the normal parking lot and turn onto the gravel road by the little house where there is a canoe sign. You take a left down the gravel road and keep driving back until you reach the gravel parking area. You can wade along the river bank and throughout a lot of this part of the river when the water is lower. There are a lot of big rocks to sit on and it is a great place to bring kids to play in the water as well!
Williamson/Franklin Rec Center
To get to the Rec Center access point (mile marker 84.7) you drive as if you are going to the Rec Center but then instead of turning right into the parking lot, you turn left down a little road and can either park in the grass field where it says canoe access or you can park on the side of the road by the entrance of the river. The stairs here are a little more steep, harder to climb and it creates more of a challenge to get in and out of the water. It seems like this would be the hardest place to get a canoe or kayak in and out of the water, compared to the others but we do see people do it still!
The TSRA (Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association) and REI partnered to create a new canoe access point here! My husband and I helped build it out and this one is fantastic! The old one is still there too. But I definitely recommend using the new one :) It is just a little further down the path but in the same area and it comes down in the water in a better place so it should be easier to get canoes in and out from, as well as easier to wade/fish from! See the new pictures below.
Rizer Point (closed)
To get to this access point (mile marker 83.7) you have to drive through the Rizer Point subdivision. There are a few parking spots along the street but are often full. You might have to find another spot along the street in the neighborhood depending on how busy it is. This spot has the longest walk from where you park to where you enter the water - you have to walk down a wooded trail a bit before you get to the stairs that take you down to the water. This is the last spot to get out of the river. There is not any shoreline here to walk along or much room to wade (at least when we went here).
I am always down for a good cookie. Since I always have peanut butter on hand and it seems to make a good cookie base, I decided to create a new peanut butter cookie recipe. Instead of being flourless like some of my other cookies, I used a new gluten-free flour that I recently bought. I don't love it on its own because it does have a unique flavor BUT with the maple syrup, peanut butter and chocolate chips in this recipe, it is absolutely perfect! I initially bought the flour because it was a little healthier than some other gluten-free flour mixes - it is made out of beans so it has more fiber and protein than most other mixes, less calories and less carbs. It also doesn't taste grainy like I have found other mixes to be. These cookies are AMAZING. You can't tell they are gluten-free cookies (made out of beans nonetheless) AND they are super pillowy and soft. They are easy to whip up and I have already made them several times. If you want to try out a new healthy cookie recipe - you need to give this one a whirl!
Prep/Total Time: 20 minutes
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I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.