Maury County is Full of Outdoor Adventures
From hiking, biking and caving to golf, tennis and hunting, Maury County offers a trove of adventure and escape for outdoor lovers.
There is easy access to the Duck River, which is home to 100 species of fish. There is also Southport Saltpeter Cave in Culleoka – one of the largest caves in Tennessee for spelunking – as well as Stillhouse Hollow Falls, a cascading 75-foot waterfall hidden in a thickly wooded area of Mt. Pleasant.
Maury County is home the some of the most scenic hiking areas in the state, including a stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Fishing enthusiasts can choose from four lakes in Williamsport that are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
One of the lakes is Whippoorwill, which is specifically designated as a youth fishing lake.
“Also in Maury County are five beautiful parks that we manage – Chickasaw Trace, Hampshire, Jerry Erwin, Williams Spring and Maury County parks,” says Al Ray, director of Maury County Parks and Recreation. “Maury County Park itself spans 242 acres in Columbia and one of its central features is Kids Kingdom, a playground that attracts 600,000 to 800,000 people annually. And at Chickasaw Trace Park, there is an 8-mile mountain bike trail that is maintained by the county along with Columbia Cycling Club, which hosts a lot of events there.”
In all, the five parks total 525 acres with many trails and much greenspace situated throughout the massive landscapes. In Columbia, a new 78-acre sports park, Ridley Park, is expected to draw a multitude of regional tournaments with its 12 multipurpose athletic fields for softball, baseball, football and soccer.
The Club Scene
Golf courses in Maury County are as nice as a 100-yard chip shot sailing directly into the cup. Columbia is lucky enough to have two venues – the private membership Graymere Country Club and the public 18-hole Stoneybrook Golf Course. Mt. Pleasant is home to the semi-private Mt. Pleasant Country Club, and Spring Hill features the semi-private King’s Creek Golf Club designed by PGA champion Arnold Palmer.
Palmer was on hand to formally open the Spring Hill course in June 2006, and drove the ceremonial first ball about 275 yards off the first tee to the delight of throngs of admirers in attendance.
“King's Creek has three natural creeks and has actually been designated an Audubon sanctuary,” says Brenda Pierce, executive director of the Maury County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Take Your Best Shot
Maury County is also home to several public tennis courts, including more than a half dozen at Columbia State Community College. Other opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts include canoeing, bicycling and hunting.
“Maury County Gun Club has a skeet shooting range that is getting more popular all the time, and anyone who likes horseback riding can do so at Fiddlers Green and at the Yanahli Wildlife Management Area,” Pierce says. “As for hunting, it is a truly excellent experience thanks to Maury County's large agricultural base along with its abundant ponds, lakes and rivers. In fact, the Williamsport Lake Wildlife Management Area features 1,800 acres of hunting land that is open to the public, and the Tennessee Valley Authority also opens large tracts of land for public hunting.”