If you’ve not heard of Leiper’s Fork, we couldn’t really blame you. This unincorporated village along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee flies mostly under the radar. That is unless you’ve been there. In that case, returning to Leiper’s Fork is nearly all that’s on your mind. Leiper’s casts a spell all its own. It is a bastion of simpler times where creek living and porch sitting are your only expectations, aside from a soul-satisfying meal with friends and seeing some live music on a warm starry night. Wander through Leiper’s Creek Gallery or congregate at the fire pit outside and roast yourself a marshmallow–they’ve left a jar for you. The warm hospitality is genuine and abundant here. Don’t be fooled by the size of the town, the boutiques clustered on Old Hillsboro reflect both a well-traveled, worldly panache and a rooted sense of place. From the cool clout of Serenite Maison to the tongue-in-cheek Hillbilly Half and Little Billy 5K, Leiper’s Fork beckons with a disarming charm. Follow the winding Tennessee roads to this gorgeous stretch of country and let your hair down for awhile. Leiper’s Fork is just the tonic you need.
D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop
Leiper’s Fork Distillery This small batch distillery sources its barley, corn, and rye in the Harpeth River Valley. Made with limestone filtered water and employing traditional techniques like filtering its Old Natchez Trace White Whiskey over sugar maple charcoal, Leiper’s Fork Distillery produces exceptional whiskeys worth a drive to Williamson County. Even if we weren’t smitten with their Pre-Prohibition-style spirits, we’d be itching to get a gander inside their tasting room housed in a 200-year old cabin. 3381 Southall Rd. (D)
Moonshine Hill Inn Less than two miles from the center of town sits Moonshine Hill Inn on more than 21 secluded acres. Staying here is sure to make you feel like Tennessee royalty. Touted as one of the best B&B’s in the country by Harper’s Bazaar, Goop, Garden & Gun, and most anyone that’s been there, Moonshine Hill Inn’s amenities include a rustically elegant main house that sleeps six, a log cabin affectionately named The Dog House, a Music Barn and a treehouse unlike any you’ve seen before. Forage from the grounds’ garden, recline pond-side in a cushy chaise lounge and contemplate the infinity of the universe nightly around the firepits. To learn more click here. 5456 Old State Hwy 96 (D)
David Arms Gallery is filled with David’s renowned nature-inspired art and gentlemanly goods of a well-raised Southerner like weathered leather suitcases and vintage fabric pocket squares. Browse their well-curated coffee table books or succumb to a dashing floral tie to suit the season. 4136 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
The Copper Fox Gallery “From ceramics, textiles, wood, glass and metal, to sculpture and paintings, furniture, and other unique handmade originals, The Copper Fox showcases the craftsmanship of a bygone era, as interpreted by today’s best talent.” We especially love the hand blown glass tumblers of Scott Hodes, Ben Caldwell’s exquisite copper ladles, and Alizah Greenberg’s jewelry. The Copper Fox is open Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5 pm. Allow enough time to browse the work of over sixty American artisans. 4136 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
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Country Boy Restaurant This traditional diner serves all the old-school vittles you’d expect like Minnie Pearl-esque country fried chicken (Fried Chicken Friday, ya’ll!) and delicious homemade milkshakes. The blue plate specials deserve serious consideration. Grab a spot by the windows if you can. Looking out at the street action with a decadent fried pie is half the fun. Breakfast starts at 6:30 most days because those biscuits aren’t going to come to you. 4141 Old Hillsboro Rd. (E)
The Original Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant is legendary in these parts. Opened in the early 50’s, Puckett’s now serves as a community gathering spot, live music venue, restaurant and grocery. Whether you are there for the cherry wood-smoked meat and three or Puckett’s Famous Burger, we suggest you grab your beverage of choice and stay for the music. Top names to up-and-coming songwriters have graced Puckett’s modest stage, so don’t miss your opportunity to say, “I saw ’em when…” Thursdays are Open Mic nights. 4142 Old Hillsboro Rd. (E)
Lawn Chair Theater is a sweet gathering spot behind Leiper’s Fork Gallery bringing family-friendly movie nights every Friday, June through August, complete with concessions (featuring locally farmed veggies) and plenty of jovial community spirit. Check out this summer’s line up here. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs. The rustic cedar log stage also hosts live music for an unforgettable night under the stars. 4144 Old Hillsboro Rd. (D)
Leiper’s Creek Gallery represents a wide range of styles from representational painting to contemporary multi-media and sculpture including local artists with a national or international reputation. Browse their chic furnishings and evocative art in the inviting, light-filled space or skate into new territory with a workshop like Australian artist Colley Whisson’s expressionist painting seminar this September. Open 10-5 Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-5 on Sunday. 4144 Old Hillsboro Rd. (D)
West & Company carries Bed Stu boots, Colonel Littleton leather goods, casual apparel, plus an eclectic array of home accents, vintage wares, and furniture with Americana flair. Join them “creekside” on Saturdays for Music on the Porch. Open daily 10-5. 4145 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
Serenite Maison Proprietress Alexandra Cirimelli’s incredible eye has made Serenite Maison a true destination mercantile. Serenite Maison is so brimming with panache and rock-star cool, Jason Isbell just did a photo shoot there for Garden and Gun. From acoustic guitars, European crystal chandeliers, and perfectly worn leather club chairs to Alex’s “house brand” Historic Leiper’s Fork Damn Home Damn Good trail mixes and marinated mushrooms, Serenite Maison beckons you to take your time combing through every inch. Be sure to check out the new line of groovy Peg and Awl rings. Open Wednesday through Saturday 10-5 p.m. 4149 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
Wanderlust Boutique Infuse your wardrobe with a bit of Southern edge. Wanderlust’s mod denim, ultra-light tees, sassy tops, and boho bags will keep your weekend game on point. Take home one of their pretty soy wax candles too and keep your pad lit. Shop Wednesday through Saturday 10-5 and Sundays 12-5. 4150 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
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Backyard Cafe returns to the Fork! Drop in for lunch or a cup of java to perk up your afternoon, and welcome back Laura Bien-Musgrave to the village. 4150 Old Hillsboro Rd. (E)
Kindred Nest Tucked behind Wanderlust, you’ll find Kindred Nest—a spunky, small boutique featuring affordable fashion, jewelry and home accessories. We are all about their Leiper’s Fork-centric tees and caps. We know some folks who’ll be living in that General Lee emblazoned shirt all summer. 4150 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop
Props Antiques One of our favorite stops in town, Props Antiques sells industrial and primitive pieces, architectural salvage and vintage goods. You’ll dig expert picker Klint Griffin’s great finds from vintage signs to farmhouse doors. Snag some local Poynor Farm honey while you’re there. Shop Wednesday through Saturday 10-5 and 11-5 on Sundays. 4208 Old Hillsboro Rd. in Leiper’s Corner (S)
Maxine 55 features upcycled handbags, handmade pillows, jewelry and clothing. Drop in frequently because you never know what fabric wizardry Linda Stowe will whip up next. 4208 Old Hillsboro Rd. in Leiper’s Corner (S)
Studio Bee Design At Betsy’s ingenious “charm bar,” you’ll be co-creators of a fabulous one-of-a-kind necklace. Book a jewelry party, bring a bottle of wine and your squad or stop by the store to be inspired by the vintage bits and pieces Betsy has acquired and see what speaks to you. Add something from your own treasure trove to personalize your necklace even further. Studio Bee even designs custom wedding jewelry. Let your muse run wild. Email email@example.com for an appointment. 4208 Old Hillsboro Rd. #4 (S)
Finds in the Fork is the place in the village to score some quality vinyl plus unique gifts and guitars. They even sell custom “cigar box” strings and very cool music memorabilia too. Open 10-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11-5 p.m. on Sundays. 4165 Old Hillsboro Rd. (S)
Leiper’s Fork Farmers Market Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30 is your chance to load up with the glorious bounty of neighboring farms. Once you’ve filled your basket with fresh fruit, veggies, artisan goat cheese and more, be sure to stop by Pinewood Sous Chef Dylan Morrison’s booth. You’ll want to get a plate of whatever he is cooking up like his Bear Creek Farm 1892 Burgers with caramelized balsamic onions and purple Cherokee tomato. Live music and merriment make this a weekly community event to start your weekend off right. 4348 Old Hillsboro Rd. (D)
The Red Byrd Coffee Shop 4348 Hillsboro Rd. (E)
Pot N’ Kettle Cottages Want to feel like a local? Rent one of Pot N’ Kettle’s spiffy “cottages” and immerse yourself in true Fork fashion. The company manages four distinct properties all a hop, skip and jump from the main drag: Tin Roof Cottage, Coda Cottage, Picker’s Cottage, and the Leiper’s Fork Inn. You’ll find homey amenities and a hip design vibe plus two convenient beach cruisers to hop on and explore life in Leiper’s. The cottages sleep anywhere from two to ten of your best mates. Check out the possibilities here. 5527 Joseph St. (D)
Fans of City Farmhouse will love the properties of Shelter + Roost. We are all about the outdoor showers of NEST-A Cabin in the Woods and Storybook Cottage. With plenty of room to roam in the woods and serene indoor space to beckon you for rest and relaxation, you’ll be happy to retreat to your home away from home. Find out more here. (D)
Middles Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, this kitchen and grocery is your source for local produce, farm eggs, raw honey, raw pet milk, homemade soups, tasty sandwiches, baked goods and more. If you make it there for Chorizo, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burritos or before the Triple L brats sell out, consider it a good day. 5999 Pinewood Rd. (S)
Millville is Justin Timberlake’s creative projects hub where he and partner Trace Ayala collaborate on their lifestyle clothing brand William Rast and run Villa 40, a music artist development company. While you may have heard that Timberlake owns property in Leiper’s Fork, your best bet to “run into” the busy star is to snag tickets for this year’s epic Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival to be held at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin Sept. 23rd and 24th. He’ll be headlining. Check out the music lineup here.
Not to Miss Events
The Hunt is the first annual antiques, artisan and mercantile fair to be held the weekend of September 13-15 at Pow Wow field. Admission is $5 to the event. Expect to see “one-of-a-kind items, unique antiques, vintage finds, repurposed and reclaimed goods for the home, hand-picked and hand-crafted art, fashion and jewelry.” Food trucks will be out in force. Proceeds of the fundraiser will benefit needy families in Leiper’s Fork and nearby communities. Tickets for Thursday’s Sneak Peek at Serenite Maison are $25 and include wine, beer, and light hors d’oeuvres. Pow Wow Field at Old Hillsboro and Floyd
Fork Fest Mark your calendars for August 31st. You won’t want to miss this one. Fork Fest is a free outdoor concert at Lawn Chair Theater. Always a blast, Fork Fest brings in top notch musicians to serenade the crowd under the stars. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs. Prepare for a memorable evening of great music, food and community spirit.
Grand Ol’ Chili Cookoff is a Leiper’s Fork autumn tradition. Don your plaid and your dancing shoes and head over to help them decide who gets this year’s bragging rights. Live music and so many crockpots of spicy goodness, we predict a few pant buttons might come undone. (event date to be decided) Pow Wow Field at Old Hillsboro and Floyd
The “Almost World-Famous” Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade is done-up in true quirky Fork fashion: famous grand marshal, antique cars, donkeys, tractors, elves, a beloved family pet or two, live music, The General Lee, Santa, and all manner of festive attire. December 15th at 2 p.m. 4151 Old Hillsboro Rd.
Out of Doors
Hillbilly Half and Little Billy 5K The yearly race brings a hearty crowd of runners to Leiper’s bucolic countryside to be heckled by costumed hilbillies and country bumkins at every turn. This challenging course boasts plenty of hills, banjos, and some good neighbored ribbing from volunteers. Good times. Find out more here.
Access Natchez Trace Parkway from the Garrison Creek trailhead. This section is 24 miles from downtown Nashville, but there are options for easier hikes. Try the moderate Old Trace Garrison Creek Loop (1.6 mile loop) or combine the Garrison Creek Trail and the Old Natchez Trace trail for a 6.3 mile loop. Dogs permitted on leash.
Natchez Trace Parkway Bike or drive a portion of the historic “Old Natchez Trace.” Learn more here.
Play in Leiper’s Fork of West Harpeth River This meandering creek is perfect to wade in on hot days. We’ve even heard tales of dinner parties held smack in the middle. Bring your waders, unless you like the sensation of minnows nipping at your toes, not to mention river snakes.
Pow Wow Field is prime for a cornhole tournament, an impromptu game of frisbee, or just a casual hang. corner of Floyd and Old Hillsboro© 2019