The Brentwood Park system began under Tom Bain’s term as mayor, and it has continued to grow, providing the community with phenomenal recreation, historical, and entertainment facilities.
It all began with the purchase of River Park, which has led to an interconnection of parks with walking and bike trails, historical sites, athletic fields, an amphitheater, indoor soccer facilities, and much more. There are 14 parks in all.
Here are seven of the parks in the system that have historical significance to Brentwood. And they are great places for everyone from athletes, to nature lovers, to history buffs, to bikers and walkers to explore.
1. River Park
River Park offers 46-acres with bike and walking trails along the Little Harpeth, a basketball court, children’s play area, and picnic pavilions. It is connected to both Crockett and Concord Park.
2. Granny White Park
In 1986, the City of Brentwood purchased the 32 acres of property for the park from the State of Tennessee. There is a Rotary-sponsored pavilion, an athletic field, four tennis courts, and a children’s playground.
The park is named after Granny White. She opened the only tavern/inn between Nashville and Franklin. Andrew Jackson supposedly slept there once upon a time.
3. Crockett Park
Named after one of the early settlers/leaders in the community, Andrew Crockett, it is the second largest park with 164 acres. Besides bike and walking trails, athletic fields, and picnic pavilions, the park houses the Williamson County Indoor Soccer Facility and the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater.
Cool Springs House was moved here in 1993 with the retail development of the Cool Springs area. The original house was built in the 1830s by the Carrothers and Barfield families. It was added to and restored over the years by various owners. Currently, it can be rented for weddings and events.
4. Concord Park
The Brentwood Library is surrounded by Concord Park. It offers walking trails, practice fields, and picnic areas along one side of the river. It encompasses 40 acres, which are connected to Brentwood via an extensive bike trail system.
Also located in the area are the remains of an ancient Native American town that dates from 1375 BCE. It was built by members of what was known as the Mississippian culture. They lived in Middle Tennessee between 900 CE and 1450 CE.
5. Marcella Vivrette Smith Park
This is the largest park in the system. It is comprised of 400 acres of farmland and woods purchased by the city from Ravenswood Farm, part of the Marcella and Reece Smith estate.
Opened in 2014, the park offers rolling hills, extensive hiking trails, multi-purpose athletic fields, picnic facilities, and a playground.
Ravenswood Mansion, which sits on the grounds, is available for event rentals. Built in 1825 by James Hazard Wilson II for his bride Emeiline, the mansion was named after their best man, Sam Houston. Houston was called “The Raven” by local American Indians.
6. Margaret Hayes Powell Park
Margaret Hayes Powell grew up on the property that comprises the park. She is the daughter of Lysander Hayes, who built Midway Plantation (now the Brentwood Country Club). The Hayes are direct decedents of the McGavocks, one of the original families in Middle Tennessee.
The park named after Powell comprises 22 acres at the corner of Granny White and Virginia Way. It connects to Meadowlake, one of the original subdivisions in Brentwoood, and Maryland Farms via a paved hiking trail.
7. Primm Park
Primm Park is full of history. It is the site of mounds left by Native Americans who lived in the area in 900 CE. This was a time when Europe fell under the power of the Holy Roman Emperor and Vikings ruled the land and seas.
The park also houses Boiling Springs Academy which opened for classes in 1833. For one week every spring the school, which has no heat or cooling system or electricity, is opened to third graders to give them an understanding of what it was like to go to school in pre-Civil War South.