Creek Wading, Featuring Jonas Stein 

Summer Guide 2011: Hidden Gems

Summer Guide 2011: Hidden Gems
click to enlarge Frontman for local garage rockers Turbo Fruits and head honcho of his own record label, Turbo Time, Jonas Stein likes to motor away to a choice swimming hole on a hot Nashville afternoon. Nights are strictly reserved for rock 'n' roll.

Swimsuit: model's own.

Photographed at River Park.

Photo:Eric England, Photo assistant: Sawyer Richardson

Frontman for local garage rockers Turbo Fruits and head honcho of his own record label, Turbo Time, Jonas Stein likes to motor away to a choice swimming hole on a hot Nashville afternoon. Nights are strictly reserved for rock 'n' roll.

Swimsuit: model's own.

Photographed at River Park.

Nothing cools off feet scorched by hot city pavement like a quick wade through one of the many streams crisscrossing Middle Tennessee — a rural summer tradition that's only a short ride away for urban dwellers. If you've done the Little Harpeth River winding by Edwin Warner Park, head south toward Brentwood and keep your eyes peeled for River Park, a shaded oasis hidden beside the Brentwood YMCA on Concord Road.

A small parking lot and a smaller wooden sign are pretty much the only markers, but maybe 10 yards away you'll find a shallow creek perfect for stalking the elusive crawfish. (Attention newbies: When you spot one, remember to hold your net behind it, as the ornery freshwater crustaceans make their getaway by scooting backward.) A remarkably long stretch of the creek bed is smooth flat rock from bank to bank — easy on feet, but slick as glass thanks to nearly invisible algae. Beach shoes suggested.

A rockier, deeper bed, that's just as fun a wade, sits on the grounds at The Farm at Fontanel located northwest of town in Whites Creek. You can park near the restaurant and gift-shop complex up front, then walk a gravel road back to the creek. The biggest danger is passing Fontanel's barbecue smoker — an enticement that'll have you U-turning back to the restaurant for pulled pork, fried chicken and kids meals served in Frisbees. (The place is run by TomKats, the folks behind the rebooted Loveless Cafe.) At least there's a picnic table beside the creek, making lunch only a temporary distraction.

The best thing about creek wading this summer: Cicadas don't swim.

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