Marcella Vivrette Smith Park only allows hikers on its six miles of off-road trails.
A 400-acre, hiker-friendly park in Tennessee has a message to trail runners: no running allowed.
Located in Brentwood, Tenn., Marcella Vivrette Smith Park opened last month and features more than six miles of trails. Officials said runners must stick to the paved and gravel roads in the park, however. That means those off-road trails are off limits.
A city official said it’s really about safety.
“In theory, runners and hikers can coexist, but we’d just like to take time and get a good gauge with how trails can be utilized,” Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar told The Tennessean.
“Right now our No. 1 concern is the safety of the folks, especially when it comes to the hazards on the trails. Our position is that right now this is the first time we’ve had a park of this kind in terms of the natural types of running trails and the trip hazards associated with that, and we’re really trying to be conservative with the use of those trails with how widely used they’re going to be.”
Trail runners have launched a a Facebook group called “Runners for Ravenswood” to advocate for runners being allowed on the trails. The group has more than 600 likes.
The nearby Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park, known simply as Warner Parks, allow trail running but not in large groups—runners are encouraged to run in pairs only.
Bednar said the no-running policy at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park will be revisited next year.