Field Trip Ideas in Nashville, Tennessee

Field Trip Ideas in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry and country music studios, but the geographic region where these attractions are located is also home to noted archaeological formations. Two well-known rock exposures are located adjacent to major state roadways. Over one-half million people live in the Nashville area, but the surrounding area is filled with forests, state parks and wildlife areas.

Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake was originally constructed in the Overton hills in 1913 as a water source for the steam engines of the L&N Railroad Company. It also provided water for the animals on the farms in southern Nashville. The lake quickly became a venue for wildlife and naturists and in 1923, the L&N established a wildlife sanctuary under the direction of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. The area today, part of a 747-acre site, is Tennessee's first protected eco-system with trails for the exclusive use of wildlife observers and hikers. Special programs are offered throughout the year for bird watching, cave ecology, snake observation, night astronomy walks and wildflower observation. Telephone for times and reservation details.

Radnor Lake State Park
1160 Otter Creek Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220-1700
(615) 373-3467

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Tennessee's Capitol Mall, located in the French Lick area, includes a 19-acre park that displays the massive capitol structure, as well as the natural features of the city. The architecture of the mall is based on the U.S. Capitol Mall with various monuments and statutes offering tribute to important landmarks in the state's history. Park rangers offer regular, free tours presenting the state history and information about Tennessee's nature offerings. Telephone for specific history and nature walks and times.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
600 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-3081
(615) 741-5280

Warner Parks

The Warner Parks are a component of the Nashville and Davidson counties parks and recreation system. The parks include 2684 acres of forest, lakes and trails. An equestrian center, running course for cross country athletes and numerous golf courses are also available in the complex. The Warner Park Center, located at the walking and hiking trail head, offers maps, education programs and classes, in addition to natural history and garden displays. The Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Visitors may enter the parks at sunrise and must exit by 11:00 p.m. The park facilities are open every day of the year, but the Center is closed on major holidays.

Edwin Warner Park
Warner Park Nature Center
7311 Highway 100
Nashville, Tennessee
(615) 352-6299

Maysville Group

The Maysville Group is the popular name of this rock exposure in Nashville. The technical name of the formation is the Upper Ordovician Leipers . A field trip to the location allows a short hike to the limestone and rock exposure that is home to gypsum nodules, fossilized coral, mollusks, bryozoans and brachiopods. Hiking directions to the exact site are listed in the first resource of this article.

Dickerson Pike off I-65
Briley Parkway Exit

Plus Park

This field trip explores the limestone layers of the Upper Carters in the Nashville area. The formation is a member of the Carters Limestone and Hermitage Formation that runs through the geographic region. In addition to observations of local limestone formations in the Stone River and Nashville Groups, there are numerous opportunities to view fossils, including brachiopods, bryozoans and mollusks, during this field experience. Hiking directions to the site are available on the second resource listed for this article.

East Side of Murfreesboro Pike
Plus Park Boulevard Exit

Article Written By Lee Grayson

Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.

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