Be sure to take advantage of some of the amazing hikes near Nashville during your visit. With beautiful natural scenery surrounding Music City and pleasant weather most of the year, hiking is one of the best things to do in Nashville.
There are a lot of great hikes near Nashville. I’ve narrowed the list down for you to include just local and visitor favorites. Pack your hiking shoes and get ready to enjoy outdoor adventures in Nashville.
Table of Contents
- 13 Best Hikes Near Nashville
- FAQs About Hikes Near Nashville
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13 Best Hikes Near Nashville
Radnor Lake Trail
Local favorite located in Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake is one of the most popular hiking spots for Nashville locals. A short drive from Nashville, this waterfront trail offers beautiful views. There’s also lots of local wildlife to observe. The trail is flat and relatively easy. It’s the perfect choice for families with children or for people who want to bring their dogs on a walk.
This Nashville hiking trail’s popularity means that it’s sometimes hard to get a parking spot. Either get there first thing in the morning or wait until the early morning crowd is leaving to try to snag a spot.
👉 My Favorite Gear: Even if you only plan on going for short hikes, don’t forget to pack sunscreen. Even just a morning hike and an afternoon of sightseeing can result in waking up to a painful sunburn the next day.
Burgess Falls Trail
Scenic hike by four spectacular waterfalls in Burgess Falls State Park
While this hike is fairly short and requires over an hour’s drive out of Nashville, it’s worth the effort. The River Trail takes visitors past four waterfalls. Each is more impressive than the one before. The final remarkable falls plunge down over 135 feet in height.
There are multiple waterfall hikes near Nashville, but this is the only one with a view of four waterfalls. The area is especially popular in the summer and on the weekends. Plan to hike in the morning if you want the trail and Burgess Falls to yourself.
Narrows of the Harpeth
Easy hike in Harpeth River State Park featuring a historical tunnel waterfall
Located just a short drive from Nashville, this hike combines a beautiful natural landscape with history. Take the Narrows Trails to walk along the Harpeth River. The major site along this trail is a waterfall emerging from a man-made tunnel. The tunnel was created to harness water power for an ironworks operation in 1819. The iron forge is long gone, but the waterfall and pool area created by the tunnel is a popular spot.
👉 Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more than just hiking, this area of the Harpeth is a favorite for canoeing and kayaking. You can easily spend an entire day in the park.
Shelby Bottoms Greenway
An easy, relatively long hike near Downtown Nashville
Located in East Nashville, the Shelby Bottoms Greenway begins at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and runs along the Cumberland River. The paved pathway makes this hike perfect for all abilities. The shady area is home to wildlife (which you’re likely to see, especially if you step off the main trail and go a little way down the primitive paths).
This hike is a great option if you want to spend time in nature without leaving the city. The Nature Center is also worth visiting, and there’s a great nature play area for kids. In fact, it makes our list of the best things to do with children in Nashville.
📚 Related Reading: Since this hike is located in East Nashville, you can easily be back at Nashville’s city center in minutes. Take a look at our guide to the best places to eat in Nashville to plan for lunch or dinner after hiking.
Rugged trail to a beautiful waterfall and pool in Cummins Falls State Park
If you’re up for an adventurous hike through beautiful terrain, head to Cummins Falls park in Cookeville. Take the Downstream Trail to the base of a beautiful waterfall. The terrain changes often, and you’ll need to cross rocky riverbeds, boulders, and other obstacles.
The Cummins Falls trail isn’t a hike for children, and you’ll definitely need sturdy shoes that can get wet. This slightly treacherous hike with rocky terrain is completely worth the view from the bottom of the waterfall though. The park recommends wearing a life jacket if you plan to swim in the deep pools at the base of the waterfall.
👉 My Favorite Gear: For hiking trails where my feet will get wet, I like these KEEN sandals. They dry out quickly, are closed-toed to protect your feet, and are very comfortable when worn all day.
Mossy Ridge Trail
Scenic hike at the Warner Parks in Nashville
For a full-fledged hike within the city, try the Mossy Ridge Trail at Percy Warner Park. As you trek through the hardwood forest and over hills, you’ll hardly believe that you’re still in Nashville. Expect the hike to be moderately challenging with some changes in terrain.
It’s a doable hike for most skill levels. Plus, it’s a great way to take a break from the busyness of the city during your visit to Nashville.
🐶 Pro Tip: Dogs are allowed on the trails at Percy Warner Park. If you’re traveling with a pet, this is the perfect place to take your dog along with you.
Twin Falls and Down River Trail
A moderate hike in Rock Island State Park with stunning twin waterfalls
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s no shortage of beautiful waterfall hikes in the area surrounding Nashville, but each offers an incredibly unique experience. The Downstream Trail at Rock Island State Park leads over easy terrain to a set of twin waterfalls.
Twin Falls is the biggest draw at the park, but there’s more to enjoy than just the hiking trails. It’s the perfect place to take a short hike to the falls in the morning, and then spend the afternoon swimming, kayaking, or fishing.
Volunteer Trail Day Loop
A perfect day hike less than 30 minutes from Nashville
Make the short drive to Long Hunter State Park for this moderately easy hike around the shoreline of Percy Priest Lake. The scenery includes hardwood forests, rocky bluffs, and a quiet cove. This is one of the best hikes less than an hour from Nashville.
This fairly easy hike is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon outdoors. Just make sure that you follow the signs for the day loop trail. Otherwise, you might find yourself at the overnight campsite with a 5.5-mile hike back to the beginning.
Fiery Gizzard Trail
An adventurous hike in South Cumberland State Park
For the adventurous hiker, take the Fiery Gizzard Trail to Raven Loop in South Cumberland State Park. This trail was named one of the best 25 hikes in the United States by Backpacker magazine. The incredibly scenic hike runs along a creek. Throughout the hike, you’ll enjoy all kinds of natural beauty.
This full-day hike is best for experienced hikers. Expect to crawl over boulders and encounter a bit of a natural obstacle course as you make your way along the trail. For patient, dedicated hikers, the trail is completely worth the effort.
👉 Pro Tip: Consider turning this hike into a day trip or weekend trip to Chattanooga. Check out our suggestions for the best day trips from Nashville.
Foster Falls Climber’s Loop
A less difficult, but equally beautiful hike in South Cumberland State Park
You aen’t quite up for the Fiery Gizzard Trail? Try the Foster Falls Climber’s Loop instead. This shorter hike is still moderately difficult, but much easier in comparison. The trail begins at a viewing platform overlooking Foster Falls and continues down to the base of the falls. The plunge pool at the bottom makes a beautiful swimming hole on warm, sunny days.
👉 Pro Tip: This hike is moderately difficult, but it can be done with small children if you are able to help them over some of the terrains.
Fall Creek Falls Trail
Hike to the tallest free-fall waterfall east of the Mississippi River
Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most visited parks in Tennessee. Take the Fall Creek Falls Viewpoint trail to enjoy the views of one of the most incredible free-fall waterfalls in the state. The park also has multiple hiking trails including one to Cane Creek Falls as well as camping spots. It’s the perfect day trip or overnight trip from Nashville for outdoor enthusiasts.
📚 Related Reading: While hiking near Nashville is possible year-round, you’ll want to be aware of the weather to have a good experience. Read our guide to the best time to visit Nashville to know what to expect in each season.
FAQs About Hikes Near Nashville
What are the closest mountains to Nashville Tennessee?
The closest mountains to Nashville Tennessee are the Great Smoky Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located about a 3.5-hour drive from Nashville.
Are there mountains to hike in Nashville?
Nashville does not have any mountains. The nearest mountains to Nashville are the Smoky Mountains. However, Nashville does have hills and landscapes with elevation changes to hike.
Does Nashville have good hiking?
Nashville has multiple great hiking spots located within the city limits. There are also plenty of good hiking options within driving distance of the city.
Music City isn’t exactly well-known for its hikes, but thanks to Tennessee’s natural wonders, there are plenty of options for hiking near Nashville. Hopefully, you’ve found a hike to try during your visit to Nashville.
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