Best Hikes Near Nashville  by Keith Stelter

Best Hikes Near Nashville Guide Book

by Keith Stelter (Falcon Guides)
Best Hikes Near Nashville  by Keith Stelter
Who says you have to travel far from home to go on a great hike? Here are thirty-six of the best hikes within an hour’s drive of metropolitan Nashville that explore a variety of natural areas in Antioch, Burns, Clarksville, Franklin, Brentwood, Hermitage, Murfreesboro, and Lebanon. Whether you’re in the mood for an easy nature walk, a day hike, or a longer trek, this guide offers plenty to choose from—including Long Hunter State Park, Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Barfield Crescent Park, and Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park. Each hike features: • Full-color photos • A brief route description • Thorough directions to the trailhead (GPS coordinates included) • A trail map • At-a-glance information on distance and difficulty level, hiking time, canine compatibility, and fees and permits.

© 2011 Keith Stelter/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes Near Nashville" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 36.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 36.

This single-track trail leads through rugged karst topography with limestone outcrops and boulders, crevasses, and large sinkholes. Large blocks of limestone make up part of the trail. A vernal pool is nearly hidden in the woods, and wildflowers and birds are abundant in the springtime. This may be the most difficult hike in this guide, but its well worth the effort.
Overall, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
This may be the most interesting hike in this guide. It starts out in typical karst topography, with limestone outcrops and sinkholes, and passes a stone wall about 600 feet long and of undetermined origin. The trail weaves through limestone blocks and then reaches the West Fork of the Stones River, where an overlook provides views of the rapids.
Overall, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
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This is a great hike for bird-watchers and those who enjoy the sight of woods and limestone walls bordering creeks. The trail goes through rugged landscapes, including ridgetops nearly 1,000 feet high. Follow an edge of the western Highland Rim and watch for mountain laurel, wild azalea, and blueberries. Steep slopes, narrow hollows, woods, and streams create a constantly changing view.
Bordeaux, TN - Birding,Hiking - Trail Length: 3
This is a great hike for bird-watchers and sun lovers. The trail is unique in that the surface is a mowed path, about 15 feet wide. You wind through large meadows and woods and nearly reach the Cumberland River, but it stays out of view. Bluebirds and red-winged blackbirds are common. Take time to visit the nature center, which features some excellent exhibits.
Bordeaux, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
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This hike is for lovers of small lakes, woods, birds, and wildlife. The trail passes fives lakes as it meanders up and down through mixed forests that include loblolly pine, oak, and hickory. Deer are frequently seen near the edge of the woods. Look for shorebirds near the edges of the lakes. See the amazing job the Bowie sisters did in reclaiming this land!
Fairview, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
This hike offers woods, a meandering stream, bridges, and open areas to hold your interest. Several wooden bridges span meanders of the Little Harpeth River and lead to woods or open clearings. Tall hardwood trees, including oak and maple edge the trail. Covered benches are placed conveniently along the route.
Brentwood, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.8
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This in-city hike offers a variety of changing scenes to pique your interest. Cross over wooden bridges and follow the Little Harpeth River, with its shallow, crystal clear water and gurgling rapids. Sometimes woods and wild honeysuckle edge the trail; other times, soccer fields or tennis courts. This is an excellent hike for families with young children.
Brentwood, TN - Hiking,Road Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.7
This is an excellent hike for families with young children or folks who are curious about cedar glades. Illustrated information signs along the edge of the trail explain the various features and creatures of a cedar glade. Several short bridges cross over wet areas containing a variety of birds and small mammals.
Lebanon, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
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This is a great hike for those interested in karst topography, with the numerous limestone outcrops and sinkholes adding a sense of adventure. In the spring the areas along the trail are ablaze with wildflowers. Several varieties of moss grow along the trail and even on the limestone. Limestone steps lead past a small seasonal pond. Watch for a 4-foot-high limestone wall.
Lebanon, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
This self-guided trail through a limestone sink area is an interesting and educational look at karst topography. It is a good hike for families with young children. Sinkholes and small crevasses provide great photo ops. Some of the sinkholes are large enough to climb down into and explore. Several varieties of ferns and wildflowers can be seen, and be sure to check out the large warts (burls) on the tree at station 10.
Lebanon, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.6
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People who enjoy jogging, biking, pushing a stroller, or walking their dog on a paved trail will like this hike. The shaded trail passes by limestone outcrops and boulders, some of which have taken on different colors instead of the usual gray. Watch for birds flying across the trail.
Ashland City, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.5
This hike will especially appeal to those who enjoy the rare flowers and other plant life found only in cedar glades. The trail passes through small woodland patches and into the barrens, followed by a solid limestone surface leading to a bridge and a small seasonal pool. This is typical karst topography. After a heavy rain, this normally dry and barren area can produce temporary streamlets, allowing a few amphibians, including frogs, to survive.
Lebanon, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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This is a great hike for those who love nostalgia, woods, and lakes. The trail takes you up and down through the woods and around twenty-acre Swan Lake. Near the mouth of Dunbar Cave, go up the stairs to a concrete dance floor that in the late 1940s was filled with people dancing to the music of famous bands, including Tommy Dorseys and Benny Goodmans.
Saint Bethlehem, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.4
This is a great hike for Civil War buffs. Walk the fields where the historic Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864, and follow Saw Mill Creek, which harbors a beaver lodge. The trail leads past Carnton Plantation, which was used as a Confederate field hospital and later gained fame in the novel Widow of the South.
Franklin, TN - Birding,Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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The Geology Trail combines portions of the Little Acorn, Nature Loop, and Harpeth Woods Trails so you can experience the best of Edwin Warner Park. A bridge behind the nature center leads to woods filled with a variety of hardwood trees, and another bridge over Vaughns Creek offers good photo ops. Climb up the limestone outcrops to the high point of the hike, an abandoned quarry that is the turnaround point.
Bellevue, TN - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.3
The Scenic Road Trail takes you back to the days when Edwin Warner Park opened in 1927, when touring cars and bus trips were popular ways to see the park. Wind up and down through wooded areas and valleys, and to the parks boundary at Old Hickory Boulevard. A portion of the trail overlaps the Tree Trail, which has informational signs describing various trees. The low stone wall that borders part of the trail was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.
Bellevue, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 3.3
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Flower lovers will want to spend time in the Bicentennial Iris Garden that greets them at the end of the Eagle Trail. Circle a ten-acre meadow, whose eastern portion borders Seven Mile Creek, which is a year-round haven for birds. After leaving the meadow and entering heavy woods, notice some of the very large trees, including black walnut, hackberry, and sugar maple. The center is listed as an Official Arboretum by the Nashville Tree Foundation.
Oak Hill, TN - Birding,Hiking - Trail Length: 1.7
This is a great trail for creek lovers and bird-watchers, as well as families with young children. Bridges, woods, a small wetlands, and Spencer Creek add special interest. Only by passing some office buildings and a shopping mall are you reminded that this is an in-city hike.
Franklin, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.1
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This is a great hike for geology and nature lovers. The self-guiding Nature Loop goes through karst terrain, with its abundance of limestone outcrops and sinkholes. Some of the sinkholes have short paths leading to them, allowing closer observation. The oak/hickory woods furnish habitat for deer and many species of birds.
Holtland, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.4
Those who enjoy history, woods, and rivers will especially like this hike. Explore the remains of the Wilhoite Mill, including a driveshaft attached to a large wheel, before continuing along the Duck River into the woods. Short, narrow paths lead to the rivers edge, where youll likely find a fisherman or two.
Holtland, TN - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.9
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