Take a break from the loud, lively Broadway scene for a more serene environment. Not far from Nashville, there are tons of natural areas just waiting to be explored.
The Best Hikes in Nashville
Bells Bend Park
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city of Nashville and trade it for the serene sights and sounds of nature. Bells Bend Park is a loop trail near Music City that’s open year-round for hiking and exploring.
This trail is just over 5 miles and is considered pretty easy. All members of the family are welcome to join on this hike, including dogs who can even be off-leash in some designated areas.
It’s a kid-friendly trail and somewhat popular, so you’re likely to see others walking, running, and hiking. There are some areas that can get muddy, so be sure to dress accordingly.
Bells Bend Park is an easy escape to nature without too much strain.
- Location: 4187 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37218
Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail
A bit outside Nashville in Ashland City, this out-and-back trail is a pretty long trek. Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail is definitely a hike for those who aren’t afraid of a long trip, as it’s a full 13.3 miles and takes, on average, 4 hours to complete.
This is a pretty easy route with an elevation gain of 190 ft, but it’s a straightforward trail to follow. It’s a popular trail for biking, hiking, and birding, so you’re likely to see others there during peak hours.
This beautiful trail is open year-round to visit, and you can even bring your dog, but they have to stay on a leash while on the trail. It’s partially paved, too, so this is accessible for lots of individuals.
Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail is the perfect way to spend a few hours with nature.
- Location: 177 Chapmansboro Rd, Ashland City, TN 37015
Cummin’s Falls Base Route
In Cummin’s Falls state park, you’ll find this out-and-back style route. Cummin’s Falls Base Route is a moderately challenging trail that’s open year-round for people to enjoy.
This trail is roughly 2.4 miles and is very popular for others to hike, bike, bird watch, and explore, so you’re likely to see others when you visit.
The best part of this hike is the overlook area, where you can have a beautiful view of Cummin’s Falls.
In the summer, you can even walk right up into the river and enjoy a swim on a hot day; it’s a popular area for just that. Cummin’s Falls Base Route is the perfect hike for a summer day.
- Location: 390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501
Foster Falls Climber’s Loop
In South Cumberland State Park, you’ll find even more waterfalls and trails to experience.
Foster Falls Climber’s Loop is a relatively short 2-mile loop that’s considered mildly challenging.
This trail is open for use year-round, and even your dog can join as long as they’re on a leash. You’ll often see individuals rock climbing and running in this area, as it’s a great escape from city life.
Most of the trail is pretty flat, a typical wooded run, but as you get closer to the falls, it becomes rocky and harder to traverse.
Foster Falls Climber’s Loop is a fun way to switch up your typical hiking route.
- Location: Climbers Loop, Tennessee, 37374
Greeter Falls Loop
In another state park not too far from Nashville, you’ll find this moderate hiking route.
Greeter Falls Loop is within Savage Gulf State Park and is a relatively short trail at only 1.1 miles.
This loop-type trail takes less than an hour to complete, and you’re likely to see others hiking and exploring right along with you.
There is an elevation gain of 262 ft, so while the trail is pretty short, it can be very challenging.
Dogs are welcome to join your adventure on a leash, and the best times to visit this area are between March and October.
Greeter Falls Loop is a short trek that’s a good way to challenge yourself.
- Location: Overlook, Altamont, TN 37301
Mossy Ridge Trail
This loop route has a major elevation gain of over 900 ft, and it’s a relatively long hike at over 5 miles.
Mossy Ridge Trail is not for the faint of heart and includes quite a series of gradual inclines and declines.
Near Brentwood, this hike takes, on average, 2.5 hours, and because it’s such a popular area, you’ll likely see others walking, running, and hiking along the trail.
Open year-round, you’ll be able to explore the area, which changes from a classic trail route to a more rocky base, so you’ll want to wear proper footwear and definitely bring water.
Mossy Ridge Trail is a good workout for any hiker.
- Location: Mossy Ridge Trail, Tennessee, 37221
Narrows of the Harpeth Trail
Named after the state park this trail resides in, it’s not the only trail to hike within Narrows of the Harpeth State Park.
This particular hike, Narrows Of The Harpeth Trail, is an out-and-back style trail that’s only 1.1 miles in length.
This is considered an easy route to take with only a slight elevation gain, and it takes less than half an hour on average to complete the trek.
This makes the perfect place to get away from busy city life, even if just for a small portion of the day.
It’s great for people of all ages, and there’s plenty to be seen from the limestone bluffs.
Narrows of the Harpeth Trail is one short hike in the Nashville area you won’t want to miss out on.
- Location: Narrows of the Harpeth Road, Tennessee, 37082
Ozone Falls State Natural Area
The shortest hike on this list, this one is more about the destination than the journey.
Ozone Falls State Natural Area is an out-and-back style trail only .3 miles in length.
While it’s very short, it’s important to know it’s considered a moderate hike due to the steep elevation gain in such a short distance.
The best time to visit this park is from April to October, and your dog is welcome to join while on a leash; however, it may be too challenging for some animals.
Lots of people come to this trail for bird watching, but the views from the top are also a big draw.
Ozone Falls State Natural Area is a perfect little hike to escape into nature, even if for just a little while.
- Location: 14563 TN-1, Rockwood, TN 37854
Radnor Lake Trail
Generally considered another easy route, this hike is 2.7 miles near Brentwood.
Radnor Lake Trail takes just about an hour to complete, and it’s a simple loop design with views of the lake from nearly every point.
This area is open for exploring year-round, and it’s a popular spot, so you’ll likely see others throughout the course of your trek.
While this trail is mostly flat and accessible for most, there is a portion of the paved trail that can be helpful for some hikers.
The dirt portions are likely to get muddy after rainy weather, too, so you’ll want to dress accordingly.
Radnor Lake Trail takes you away from the busy city to enjoy a stroll with beautiful views of the inland lake.
- Location: 1160 Otter Creek Rd, Nashville, TN 37220
Volunteer Trail Day Loop
You’ll need to plan a full day for this moderately challenging hike.
Volunteer Trail Day Loop is located within Long Hunter State Park and is a coastal out-and-back trail lasting 13.3 miles.
This beautiful area is open year-round and is a very popular location for daily workouts, so you’re likely to see other people running, walking, and hiking along this path.
You can even bring your dog as a hiking buddy as long as they stay on a leash.
There is a large elevation gain of over 600 ft, and this trail has sections that may be muddy and rocky.
Volunteer Trail Day Loop is a good option for those seeking a more challenging hike in the Nashville area.
- Location: 1594 Bakers Grove Rd, Hermitage, TN 37076
See a new side of Tennessee you never knew existed with a hike along any of these trails not far from the city of Nashville.