Come to Nashville for the food, music, and dance. Stay for the gorgeous parks that are mere minutes away from most happening spots in town. Within the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city lie some pristine green areas, with something to offer for every kind of visitor. Here are four parks that are a must-visit when in Nashville. (Tip: Book your stay in a hotel close to these magnificent Nashville parks to enable easy access.)
Image via Flickr by theogeo
This expansive park is located on West End Avenue, close to downtown, and is 132 acres in size. An exercise and jogging trail, grassy knolls perfect for picnic spots, and the serene Lake Watauga make it a dream destination within the city. The shining attraction of the park is its full-scale replica of the Parthenon, which sits right in the middle.
The park has a 1-mile walking trail, the Centennial Art Center, an arts activity center, historical monuments, an events shelter, sand volleyball courts, and a dog park. While entry to the park is free, history buffs can pay a $6 entry fee to see Athena’s sculpture inside the Parthenon.
Visitor’s tip: Entry to the Parthenon is closed on Mondays.
The Warner Parks
Situated 9 miles southwest of downtown Nashville are Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park, popularly known as The Warner Parks. These parks stretch over a stunning 3,180 acres of green space, including forests, trails, parks (including a dog park), golf courses, and equestrian centers.
This park is a treasure trove for the activity enthusiasts, whether they are hikers, mountain bikers, or cyclists. Over a million people visit the parks each year, making them two of the most popular parks in Nashville.
Visitor’s tip: While there is no entry fee, consider “BeFriending” the parks to do your bit to maintain this beautiful space.
Radnor Lake is a 1,332-acre haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Once you enter the 6 miles of trails within the park, you’re liable to be besotted by a variety of wildlife that call the park their home. There are otters, beavers, deer, turtles, and over 240 species of birds in this quiet and peaceful space, with the magically still lake at the heart of it.
The park is located south of downtown Nashville and is a “Class II” State Natural Area. Because of that, there are some rules that hikers should keep in mind. No running or jogging on the trails, no food or picnicking, no pets, and no off-trail hiking is allowed.
Visitor’s tip: Pets, jogging, and bicycles are allowed on the Otter Creek Road trail next to the lake.
One of Nashville’s newest attractions, the recently renovated Cumberland Park is a 6.5-acre space with unique play and water areas for children, an outdoor amphitheater for live events, and a rock climbing wall.
The park is located on the east side of the eponymous river and offers some excellent views of downtown Nashville.
Visitor’s tip: The park also provides an entry to the Pedestrian Bridge, which takes you right into downtown.
Metro Nashville Parks oversees 15,114 acres of open space with a variety of trails, parks, programs, and classes within it. Visit their site for more information and for a handy Parks Finder to help you plan visits!