A fairly new addition to the Murfreesboro Greenway System is the Gateway Island, pond and trail; located behind the Middle Tennessee Medical Center, just around the corner and down the road from the Labyrinth that I wrote about in the last blog. I learned of the pond’s existence while looking out the window from a doctor’s office in the Murfreesboro Medical Center. From there it looked like a small pond with ducks playing in it.
I was curious so I drove around the area until I found the ducks’ playground. I also wanted to take photos; ducks, geese and birds of all kinds fascinate me. When I found what I was looking for, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a huge pond, with a trail around it and an island that looked like a park. There are flowers, bushes and trees scattered everywhere. Even the unofficial parking lot has wildflowers blooming around the edges. It’s so beautiful there that I have been back there several times at different times of the day.
There are several small waterfalls, two large pond areas one on the west side and the other on the east with small channel areas on the north and south side. By the way the bridges are on the north and south sides of the pond. I asked around and found that there is not an official name for the pond but its unofficial name is Gateway Pond. There are lampposts on the island and the around the trail.
The Gateway Trail, which loops around the Gateway Pond is part of the Murfreesboro Greenway System. It is completely paved which benches placed around it if you want to rest a bit and watch the birds. The trail is a 2.2 miles long. There isn’t much in the way of shade, because this area is new to being beautiful; it used to be a landfill.
The two bridges that link the Gateway Island to the Gateway Trail are both beautiful and great viewing areas. Once you are on the island, there is a lookout area to view the birds, the pond and the three fountains in the middle. Yesterday, I saw a turtle while taking photos from the overlook. There are metal picnic tables, gazebos, and reception building along with the beautiful flowers, plants and newly planted trees on the island. The Gateway Island is rented out by the city of Murfreesboro, click here for more information about that.
The unofficial parking area is off Gateway Blvd; doesn’t matter if you come in through Thompson Ln or Murfreesboro Medical Pkwy. Turn on Kennedy Dr. away from the hospital, then turn right on Williams Dr. This leads you to a gravel road which leads you to a dirt/gravel parking area. You have arrived. The official parking area is at the College Street Trailhead at 1902 West College St.