Best Trails in Nashville: Walk, Hike, Run, Kids, Pets, Wildlife, Views & More

by Jim Casey

Nashville may be known as Music City, but don’t let the music-loving moniker lull you into inactivity. Nashville boasts some of the best trails and outdoor scenery of any major metropolitan area in the country. So get outside with Outsider. Sure, sure, come visit Nashville for the music and food (brunch, outdoor patios, farmers markets, and more), but also be sure to take advantage of our miles and miles of hiking trails that are perfect for scenic solitude, family adventures, and fresh-air exercise.

Here are some of the best trails in Nashville and the surrounding area.

Radnor Lake State Park

  • Website
  • Location: 1160 Otter Creek Road, Nashville
  • Pet Friendly: Otter Creek Trail only, leashed

If it’s solitude you seek, keep scrolling, because the beauty of Radnor Lake State Park is Nashville’s worst kept secret. It’s always crawling with folks. And for good reason. The sprawling 1,300-acre park is a protected Class II Nature Area . . . and it lives up to its designation. In addition to a number of different hiking options (easy, moderate, and difficult) over 7 miles of trails, the flora and fauna are abundant. From wildflowers and ferns to otters and owls, this park is an Instagram gold mine.

Beaman Park

  • Website
  • Location: 5911 Old Hickory Blvd., Ashland City
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed

If Radnor Lake is Nashville’s worst kept secret, Beaman Park is its best, even though it’s technically located 15 miles northwest in Ashland City. The park’s hardwoods provide plenty of summer shade, while the babbling creek and songbirds supply a natural soundtrack to more than 14 miles of trails across 2,100 acres. And, unlike Radnor, your leashed dog can take part in your entire adventure at the Class II Nature Area.

Long Hunter State Park

  • Website
  • Location: 2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage
  • Pet Friendly: Some trails, leashed

Long Hunter features about 25 miles of hiking across a dozen different trails, ranging between easy and moderate. The 2,600-acre park borders the massive Percy Priest Lake, and the 5-mile Volunteer Trail follows its shore for plenty of waterfowl viewing opportunities. However, the 2-mile paved Couchville Lake Trail is a favorite of stroller-pushing parents needing an outdoor reprieve. And if you want to grow your tree knowledge, the trail identifies 42 species for your deciduous and evergreen edification.

Ellington Agricultural Center

  • Website
  • Location: 400 Hogan Rd.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed

The Ellington Ag Center will never be the first place Nashville hiking enthusiasts flock to, but don’t sleep on the scenic surroundings of the 207-acre area. Not only does Ellington feature a few miles of trails—including alongside Seven Mile Creek—but also the area boasts a number of eye-catching adornments, including historical log cabins, an iris garden, and horse stables for the Mounted Patrol Unit (they love visitors). If you’re pulling daddy duty (or mommy duty), Ellington is a great place to keep the kids engaged while everyone gets some fresh air and exercise.

Harpeth River State Park

  • Website
  • Location: 1640 Cedar Hill Rd., Kingston Springs
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed

Harpeth River State Park is a linear park that manages 40 miles of river, so there are lots of access points and addresses associated with it. Stop in your tracks because the Hidden Lake Trail (7851 McCrory Lane, Nashville) may be our favorite single trail in the Nashville area. The moderate 2-mile hike has something for everyone. Forests, wildflowers, wildlife, limestone bluffs, stunning views, fossils, and, yes, a “hidden lake” payoff. There’s also a marble dance floor where the Hidden Lake Resort of the 1940s once stood.

Warner Parks

  • Website
  • Location: 50 Vaughn Rd.
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed

Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, known collectively as The Warner Parks, have trails for every “walk” of life. Walkers, hikers, joggers, and runners can enjoy 12 miles of primitive trails, 3 miles of paved trails, 9 miles of multi-use paved trails, and two cross-country running courses. Warner also has 10 miles of horse trails. The 150-yard Little Acorn Trail is great for kids under six (it has 5 stops and a self-guiding booklet), while the 2.5-mile Warner Woods Trail boasts an outstanding overlook at Luke Lea Heights.

Henry Horton State Park

  • Website
  • Location: 4209 Nashville Highway, Chapel Hill
  • Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed

Load up the family and the pets. With more than 10 miles of trails, 1,500-acre Henry Horton State offers plenty of family-friendly hikes along the Duck River. The easygoing 1.45-mile Adeline Wilhoite River Trail meanders beside the Duck and features a 20-foot observation tower, while the 1.5-mile Hickory Loop Trail showcase the parks Cedar Glades and some cool sinkholes.