Expansion of Warner Parks
Friends of Warner Parks acquired a total of 500 acres as a part of our land acquisition campaign in 2009; 324 of which from the H.G. Hill Realty Company. Approximately half of the acquired land would come to be known as the Burch Reserve (accessible off of Highway 100), and the other half, The Hill Forest. Both are part of Edwin Warner Park, ownership being transferred to Metro Parks.
Protected Natural Area
The Burch Reserve plays an important role as a buffer, protecting the undisturbed ecosystem of the adjacent Hill Forest. The Burch Reserve is managed for passive recreational use with restrictions on activities such as trail running, cycling, and dogs to limit visitor impacts and preserve animal habitats, creating a more naturally peaceful environment for outdoor recreation and connection.
Exploring the Burch Reserve
There is only one trail which provides access to the Burch Reserve, approximately two miles in length. Meandering through picturesque fields and climbing through hollows to ridge tops, this trail is more narrow and primitively designed than the ever widening scope of our more heavily used trails.
By design, we are trying to prevent this forest from being loved to death. We encourage people to stay on the trail as much for their own safety as well as to limit trampling of native flora and unnecessary disruption to the fauna.
The fields and lower elevations of the Burch contain remnants of old homesites and have been maintained to include grasslands, a few small ponds, and a wetland area that serves as an important watering hole for wildlife and habitat for amphibians. There is also a small family cemetery maintained on the property. Persons interested in the cemeteries throughout Warner Parks can contact the Warner Park Nature Center for more information.
As you climb the ridges, the forest gently transitions from a disturbed site infested with non-native plants to a forest more resemblant of the Hill Forest and several of our iconic ridge tops. Large trees span over largely open, chert covered ridges. While vista points and overlooks are few, it is possible in the winter months to view the rolling Harpeth Hills, spot the Nature Center, align your view withHighway 100 and the Harpeth River, and beyond.
Explore for yourself the peaceful retreat of the Burch Reserve, and please remember to leave dogs and bikes behind! Love the Burch Reserve and want to help us #ProtectWarnerParks? Adopt-A-Park, become a Park Ambassador, and/or sign up to become a member today!