Shoals Region

Nashville's Big Back Yard, an economic and tourism initiative focused on a natural watershed region wending through the Natchez Trace National Parkway, features 12 rural communities. Leiper's Fork is the northern anchor, not far from Nashville. The Big Back Yard journey traverses Tennessee's southwest Quarter down to Alabama's legendary Shoals region--the mother ship of American Music.

Joe Hendricks Elephants

Correspondent Tom Wilmer visits with outreach manager Todd Montgomery at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Rescued elephants from circuses and zoos across America find peace at the Elephant Sanctuary. Founded in 1995, the sanctuary is not open to the public to ensure a tranquil retirement environment for the elephants.

Fortunately there’s a wonderful educational visitors' center located in downtown Hohenwald. Video displays include the EleCam, providing live-streaming video feed from the elephants’ 2,700-acre habitat—the largest safe haven in North America.

The Elephant Sanctuary podcast show is the seventh in a series showcasing Nashville’s Big Back Yard, an economic and tourism initiative encompassing the Natchez Trace National Parkway in Tennessee’s southwest quarter down to the Shoals Region in Northern Alabama. The town of Hohenwald is located 80 miles southwest from Nashville.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer in Florence, Alabama for a conversation with two key players in the Shoals’ regional economic development. Afterwards we’ll visit with Rodney Hall, the son of Rick Hall, founder of the legendary Fame Studios. We'll also meet up with Spencer Coats, Hall’s studio manager.