Lock One Park: A Review

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In Short:

Location: Right next to the Baptist World Center

The view of the city from Lock One Park.
  • The view of the city from Lock One Park.

Crowds: None

Approximate Age of Patrons: My age

Topics of Conversation: "Ouch, my knee! What am I stuck to?"

Stray Dogs Seen: None

Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: No parking lots

Perceived Safety: Low, bring a friend

Number of Gunshots Heard: None

Dog Friendliness: My dog loved it. Lots to sniff and jump and climb on.

Number of pitbulls sighted: Just mine

Accessibility: Low

Incorporation of Local History: Good, wish it were better

Recommended Patrons: Fishermen, history buffs, people who like moss

Some of the many steps and building foundations.
  • Some of the many steps and building foundations.

If Lock Two Park is your eccentric neighbor, who always has a treat for the kids, Lock One Park is the haunted house where your eccentric neighbor's grandma lived.

Down at the end of a closed road just past the Baptist World Center is a stone wall, a historical marker, and a bunch of signs that tell you that you can't park there overnight. On the other side of the stone wall is ... I don't even know. Something kind of hauntingly awesome.

I'm honestly not sure I was even there legally. All of the entrances were chained off (though someone has busted one of the chains, which is how we got out). I parked on the side of the road, but it's not exactly a welcoming place to park.

But once you get in there, it's really, really cool. It would be even cooler if there were

Someone, years ago, probably used those steps. I'd recommend against it now.
  • Someone, years ago, probably used those steps. I'd recommend against it now.
more interpretive signs telling you what the heck you're seeing, but I'm planning on doing the next best thing, which is to write this and hope that Tom Wood knows something about it and can tell us.

The one sign that's there is very interesting. Apparently Lock One Park is where Heaton's Station was (one of three forts that withstood all Indian attacks and ensured there would be a Nashville). And there was a buffalo ford there, and a ferry, and then the lock.

And you can get very, very close to the river. I suspect that folks may fish in this park, but I didn't see anyone there this morning. And the view of downtown is really extraordinary.

The neighborhood seemed fine, but I just want to make clear that I felt very, very unsafe, not because I was afraid of people, but because I was there by myself and there are a lot of different levels to the park and slippery stones and things to trip over. If you are unsteady on your feet, it seemed to me that it would be very easy to twist an ankle and then very difficult to get out.

I would have to say, out of any park I've been to, you should not go to this one by

Yes, those are railroad tracks. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Yes, those are railroad tracks. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
yourself if you are the least bit unsteady on your feet.

But, dang, there are cool things to look at and wonder about. And the lower down you go, the deeper you feel like you go into Nashville's history.

It's not really a typical park. It's not easy to park, not easy to get into, There's nothing for kids to do there. It's completely inaccessible and it's not clear whether it's safe to walk in some places. One wonders whether you're even supposed to be there. (One also wonders, as one contemplates her busted knee, whether there's hazard pay available from SouthComm -- and if there is, whether she could take it in Dairy Queen coupons.)

But I really loved it. It's a bit like rummaging around in Nashville's basement, looking at cool old stuff our forebears left behind. You might not know what it all is, but it's a treat to poke around in it.

And there are daffodils. A sure sign a gardener has been there at some point in the past.

(More pictures at Tiny Cat Pants, or check out Mike Byrd for images from a sunnier day.)

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