A Complete Guide to the Parks In and Around Nashville

Nashville's parks are great places for recreation, photography, and wildlife

Date Posted: July 1, 2024



Otter Creek Road at Radnor Lake State Park

Otter Creek Road at Radnor Lake State Park

Nashville's parks are cherished green spaces that offer respite from urban life and opportunities for outdoor recreation. These parks range from expansive urban oases to smaller neighborhood green spaces, each providing a place for residents and visitors to relax, exercise, and connect with nature. Many of Nashville's parks feature well-maintained trails suitable for jogging, walking, and cycling, winding through scenic landscapes and offering glimpses of local flora and fauna. In addition to serving as recreational hubs, Nashville's parks often host community events and gatherings that bring people together. These events range from outdoor concerts and festivals to farmers' markets and cultural celebrations, transforming parks into social spaces where locals and tourists alike can enjoy live music, delicious food, and arts and crafts. Here's a list of parks to see in and around Nashville.

Parks displayed in geographic order from west to east

  • 1. Natchez Trace Parkway
  • 2. Warner Parks
  • 3. Radnor Lake
  • 4. Centennial Park
  • 5. Bicentennial Park
  • 6. Shelby Park
  • 7. Cummins Falls
The Natchez Trace Parkway in the fall
1. Natchez Trace Parkway
Neighborhood: Bellevue

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history stretching from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. Completed in 1994, the double-arched Trace bridge that spans Birdsong Hollow received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1995 for its innovative design that rises 155 feet above the valley below. The bridge is just a short drive from downtown Nashville and makes for a cool spot to explore. The Natchez Trace is the only national park in the Nashville area.

Bench overlook at Warner Parks
2. Warner Parks
Neighborhood: Belle Meade

Warner Parks in Nashville encompass Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, collectively offering over 3,100 acres of scenic natural beauty and recreational opportunities. These parks are cherished for their extensive hiking trails, serene forests, and picturesque vistas that provide a peaceful escape from city life.

Radnor Lake in the fall
3. Radnor Lake
Neighborhood: Brentwood

Radnor Lake State Park in Nashville is a haven cherished for its tranquil beauty and diverse ecosystem. Located just a short drive from downtown Nashville, this 1,368-acre park offers visitors a peaceful retreat into nature, featuring a scenic lake surrounded by rolling hills and dense forests. Radnor Lake is renowned for its clear waters and stunning reflections of the surrounding landscape, making it a favorite spot for photography and wildlife observation.

Centennial Park on a beautiful day
4. Centennial Park
Neighborhood: West End

Centennial Park is an urban park that serves as a cultural and recreational centerpiece in Nashville. Established in 1897 to commemorate Tennessee's centennial, the park spans 132 acres and is situated just west of downtown Nashville. Centennial Park's focal point is the iconic Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, Greece. Beyond that, the park offers a variety of attractions including walking paths, gardens, sports facilities, and a tranquil lake that attracts picnickers, joggers, and families year-round.

Bicentennial Park
5. Bicentennial Park
Neighborhood: Germantown

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville is a vibrant tribute to Tennessee's rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Established in 1996 to commemorate the state's 200th anniversary, this 19-acre urban park serves as both a recreational space and an educational hub.

The train at Shelby Park
6. Shelby Park
Neighborhood: East Nashville

Shelby Park in Nashville is a retreat for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to connect with nature amidst the urban landscape. Located along the Cumberland River, this expansive 300-acre park offers a diverse range of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and grasslands, providing habitats for a variety of wildlife. The greenway features over 5 miles of paved trails ideal for walking, running, and biking.

The waterfall at Cummins Falls
7. Cummins Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park, located near Cookeville, Tennessee, is renowned for its stunning waterfall and rugged natural beauty. The centerpiece of the park is Cummins Falls, a 75-foot waterfall cascading into a scenic gorge and pool below. Visitors can access the waterfall via a moderately challenging hike along the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, which offers opportunities for swimming, wading, and exploring the rocky terrain.

Know of a park we missed? Email [email protected] and give us a tip! ❤️

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