Guide To The Best Nashville Hiking Trails (From A Local)

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Looking for the best hiking trails in Nashville? Well, we’re locals and we love hiking so we’ve put together this guide for the best Nashville hiking trails to make it easy for you. 

Nashville Hiking Trails

We’ve got miles of trails, everything from easy to challenging, as well as trails in Nashville but also some outside of the Nashville area that have reasonable drives. 

Nashville Hiking Trails

Parks In Or Near Nashville With Hiking Trails

  • Long Hunter State Park
  • Edwin Warner Park
  • Percy Warner Park
  • Harpeth River State Park
  • Radnor Lake State Park
  • Rock Island State Park
  • Burgess Falls State Park
  • Cummins Falls State Park
  • South Cumberland State Park
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park
  • Bells Bend Park
  • Beaman Park

Easy Nashville Hiking Trails

1. Shelby Bottoms Greenway Trail (8.1 miles)

Located in East Nashville, the Shelby Bottoms Greenway begins at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and runs parallel to the Cumberland River.

The pathway is paved, making the greenway great for anyone. It’s also home to plenty of wildlife. 

This is a great way to spend some time in nature without really leaving the city. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Shelby Bottoms Greenway

2. Radnor Lake Trail (2.7 miles)

Radnor Lake State Park is one of the most popular Nashville hiking spots and a local favorite! Just a short drive from downtown Nashville and you’ll be there!

Make sure to get there early because the parking lot fills up quickly.

The Radnor Lake Trail is a 2.7-mile short hike rated easy and only has minor inclines throughout. It circles the lake as the name suggests. This is one of the best spots in Nashville to observe wildlife, including deer, turkeys, bald eagles, turtles, snakes, and more. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Radnor Lake Trail

3. Hidden Lake Trail (1.3 miles)

This 1.3-mile out-and-back trail is a favorite and is great for families with kids too. Leashed dogs are welcome as well. 

The hike begins in an open field, passes through woods, and leads to Hidden Lake. 

4. Stones River Greenway of Nashville Trail (5.7 miles)

Located at the Hermitage Public Use Area, this 5.7-mile out-and-back trail is considered easy. 

The walkway runs alongside the river and is popular for bikers, runners, and walkers. Leashed dogs are welcome and the trail even has a dog park at the end of it!

5. Centennial Park Loop (1.2 miles)

Another great spot to do some hiking without leaving the city is Centennial Park. The loop is an easy hike that circles the lake. 

6. Narrows of the Harpeth (1 mile)

The Narrows of the Harpeth is a short out-and-back trail near Kingston Springs. It is considered an easy route and it’s short, but do know it does experience rocky bits and elevation changes so may not be for everyone. 

At the top, you’ll get to experience a beautiful overlook of the Harpeth Valley and the “Narrows” – a narrow gap in the limestone where the river has carved a path. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Narrows of the Harpeth

7. Twin Falls and Downstream Trail (1.2 miles)

In Rock Island State Park, you should check out this easy trail with one of the best waterfalls in middle Tennessee. 

The park is located at the confluence of the Collins and Caney Fork rivers and has gorgeous views.

Nashville Hiking Trails – Twin Falls

Moderate Nashville Hiking Trails

8. Day Loop Trail (4.5 miles)

A short drive away from downtown, you’ll arrive at Long Hunter State Park for one of the best hikes. 

The first part of the hike follows the Volunteer Trail, but then it breaks off to form its own loop.

It loops around the shoreline of Percy Priest Lake with highlights including hardwood forests and rocky bluffs. It’s rated as easy/moderate. 

9. Garnier Ridge And South Cove Trail (5.4 miles)

This 5.4 mile loop trail takes around 2.5 hours to complete. It’s popular amongst birders, runners, and hikers

10. Harpeth Woods Trail (2.5 miles)

This moderate hike begins at three different access points, any of the three trailheads. 

Hikers can enjoy a variety of trees, cross a 1930s rock quarry, and even follow along part of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. 

Also the Warner Park Nature Center is worth checking out! They have fabulous programs for outdoor enthusiasts and it’s also a great place to take kids. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Harpeth Woods Trail

11. Mossy Ridge Trail (5.3 miles)

Located in Percy Warner Park, the Mossy Ridge Trail is a great moderate hike. 

This is also a great spot for dogs as they’re allowed on the trails. Just make sure to keep them on a leash! (It’s the law.)

This hike is moderately difficult with terrain changes but is doable for most skill levels. 

12. Burgess Falls Trail (1.2 miles)

Near Baxter, Tennessee, this 1.2-mile out-and-back trail (also called The River Trail) is considered moderately challenging (moderate on AllTrails).

The Burgess Falls Trail features viewpoints of other waterfalls, beautiful forest scenery, and, of course, an overlook of Burgess Falls. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Burgess Falls

13. Montgomery Bell Trail (10.4 miles)

Most of the hike takes you through the beautiful forest, but there are some locations near the water. 

There are challenging sections with rocks, roots, and elevation gain. 

14. Base of Falls Trail, Cane Creek Falls, and Gorge Overlook Trail (2.4 miles)

This 2.4-mile loop is located in Fall Creek Falls State Park and is considered a moderately challenging hike. 

Difficult Nashville Hiking Trails

14. Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven’s Point (9.6 miles)

Looking for a day hike outside of Nashville? Fiery Gizzard Trail in South Cumberland State Park may be the thing for you! 

This trail is regularly named one of the best in the United States, but please know it is not remotely easy. 

Nashville Hiking Trails – Fiery Gizzard Trail

15. Cummins Falls (1.5 miles)

The Downstream Trail at Cummins Falls is beautiful but challenging. 

Trails and rocks at the waterfall and gorge area are slippery so make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots. Sudden rainfalls can result in flash floods. 

This is a very difficult (and even dangerous) trail and is not at all suitable for children. It also requires a permit

16. Laurel Woods Outer Loop (12.3 miles)

Near Ashland City in Beaman Park, this 12.3-mile loop trail is a challenging hike. This is a great way to see hilltop views and low-valley creeks. 

Most of the trail passes through forested areas and during the springtime, it’s lined with beautiful species of wildflowers.

Nashville Hiking Trails FAQs

Does Nashville have good hiking trails?

Yes! Nashville may not be known for hiking, but there are plenty of fabulous hiking trails in and around Nashville, including Radnor Lake Trail and Shelby Bottoms Greenway.  

Are there any mountains near Nashville Tennessee?

Nashville dos not have any mountains, but we do have plenty of hills that will feel like mountains! The nearest mountains to Nashville are the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee. 

Does Nashville have waterfalls?

While there aren’t any waterfalls in Nashville city limits, there are plenty of beautiful waterfalls within driving distance, including Fall Creek Falls, Cummins Falls, Burgess Falls, and Rock Island. 

Other Nashville Hiking Trails

There are plenty of other trails that didn’t make our short list. These include Ridgetop Trail, Henry Hollow Loop, Ozone Falls Trail, Sedge Hill Trail, Bryant Grove Trail, Foster Falls Climbers Loop Trail, Virgin Falls Trail, Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail, and Gorge Overlook Trail. 

Ashley Hubbard

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