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The 5 Best Hiking Spots to Check Out Near Nashville

Living up to its name of Music City, you can hear music just about everywhere you go in Nashville. Nashville also offers a host of close by hiking trails. If you want to ditch the sights and sounds to seek out peace and solitude, it has you covered.

Check out these five hiking spots just a short drive from the downtown Nashville!

Percy Warner Park

Percy Warner Park is loaded with trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Nestled on the west edge of Nashville, this park is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Trails of varying lengths allow for both short and long hikes. In addition, Percy Warner Park is best known for the grand and picturesque steps at the park’s Belle Meade entrance. With multiple entrances into the park, there are trails stemming from each. This park is beloved by runners for its longer 5.8 mile and 11.2 mile trails that wind through the woods.  Be sure to check out the Luke Lea Heights overlook for a panoramic view of downtown Nashville. If you have extra time, head over to the adjacent Edwin Warner Park, which boasts over 10 trails, too.

Radnor Lake State Park

Just 20 minutes from downtown Nashville is beautiful Radnor Lake State Park. With a variety of hiking trails of differing elevations that circle the lake—including ADA accessible trails—Radnor Lake State Park truly has something for everyone. From the green of spring and summer to the changing colors of the fall, this area is beautiful at any time of the year. Wildlife is plentiful in this park and hikers are likely to catch glimpses of deer, wild turkeys, and more.

The trails at Radnor Lake are on the shorter side. They are ranging from 0.2 to 1.65 miles, but many of the trails intersect. It allows hikers to customize their route and do several in one visit. If you’re looking for longer, more difficult trails, be sure to check out South Cove Trail or Ganier Ridge Trail. For those wanting a leisurely walk with stunning views of the lake, the Lake Trail is ideal.

Narrows of the Harpeth

If you’re looking for a day trip into the country, take a scenic drive out to Narrows of the Harpeth. Roughly 25 miles from downtown, Narrows of the Harpeth is located within Harpeth River State Park. It is just outside of Nashville in Kingston Springs. Hikers don’t need to go far within this park to take in some fantastic views. With the 0.25 mile Bluff Trail starting right by the parking lot, the trail ends at a majestic vista overlooking the Harpeth River. You’ll be high above the treetops and have views for days. Be sure to also walk the quick 0.2 mile Tunnel Trail, which leads to a small tunnel waterfall close by.

Hidden Lake

About a 15-minute drive from Narrows of the Harpeth is Hidden Lake. Hidden Lake is still within Harpeth River State Park. It also provides a completely different experience than Narrows of the Harpeth. In the warmer months the relatively flat one-mile trail into the woods is filled with beautiful wildflowers and plants.

After a walk through the forest, hikers are rewarded with a view of Hidden Lake, which was an old quarry. If you’re up for a little more of a trek, you can hike up an elevated trail circling the lake. It provides a an amazing view from the overlooks above. This area is also home to a lot of history with remnants of old structures around the trail to explore. It even has a dance floor from a resort that was on the property in the 1940s. Dig into both the history and nature of this area and check it out for yourself.  

Shelby Bottoms Greenway

For those that want a stroll without having to go too far from the city, Shelby Bottoms Greenway is it. Shelby Bottoms Greenway is located in East Nashville. It not only provides trails, it also offers the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. That is where visitors can learn more about the history and natural environment of the area. Shelby Bottoms has views of the Cumberland River and is great for birdwatching. It also has a wide variety of different types of trees and plants. Much of the trail in this area is paved, with over five miles of the trail ADA accessible. If you want to add a little side trip to your nature walk, head over to Cornelia Fort Airpark. The former airport has since been converted into a park that is great for skateboarding, rollerblading, and scootering.

All a relatively quick drive from the lively streets of downtown Nashville, these parks and hiking spots provide a retreat into nature, while still be close enough to the action. No matter what season, these trails are a great escape from city life.

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