Find Fall Foliage In And Near Nashville

Dated: 11/03/2014

Views: 996

by TJ Anderson

We’re right around the time of peak fall foliage right now in Nashville, and even though it’s not exactly hard to find places to enjoy the changing leaves, if autumn colors are really something you love, there are ways to really make the most of this time.

The short version is always, “Hit a State Park.” And I’m not about to argue with that logic. But let’s get a little more specific, with particular spots and activities that’ll let you really take it all in. A few ideal ways to enjoy the fall foliage in and around Nashville:

Hike along the Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail from the Garrison Creek Trailhead

The natural beauty along the entirety of the Natchez Trace — 444 miles running from Nashville to Natchez, Miss. — is immense. But the Natural Park Service (which probably has a good handle on natural beauty) recommends that fall foliage hunters in Middle Tennessee head toward the Garrison Creek Trailhead (milepost 427.6, south of Leiper’s Fork) for some hiking and ideal views.

Explore the Couchville Lake Arboreturum at Long Hunter State Park

This is for those of you who don’t want to just look at foliage, but learn about it too. The Friends of Long Hunter State Park created the Couchville Lake Arboretum in 2008 to give visitors a chance to get educated about our native trees. Print out the Arboretum brochure and take yourself on a self-guided tour, checking out and learning about 40-plus difference species of trees, from feathery Black Walnut leaves to more substantial oaks. 

Visit the falls at Old Stone Fort 

Enjoy the fall sights with a soundtrack: If you follow the main hiking trail at Manchester’s Old Stone Fort State Park, you’ll move through beautiful scenery and come up on some beautiful, burbling waterfalls.

Grab a view from the top of Harris Ridge at Radnor Lake 

A 2011 partnership between the State of Tennessee and Friends of Radnor Lake made the 37-acre Harris Ridge state-protected land, and before and since, Radnor rangers have been hosting Harris Ridge hikes to give folks a full view of that land’s beauty. This is one for pretty serious hikers, lasting about two hours, but the views will be a strong payoff.

Explore the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail at Cheekwood

There’s a ton to see at Cheekwood in Belle Meade on the whole, but the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail is special, as it relates to the topic at hand. Along with being able to walk among beautiful native trees (from red cedar to oak and hickory), you’ll stop and take in contemporary sculptures that dot the almost-mile walk, from Frank Fleming’s Turtle, Two Hares, Frog and Hawk to Siah Armajani’s Glass Bridge.

Cruise Old Hickory Lake

You can stroll around Old Hickory Lake and enjoy it plenty, but there’s some added enjoyment when you’re taking in the scenery from a boat. Several companies offer lake cruises, including Cumberland River Cruises, which does a Fall Color Cruise September through November.

What are you favorite places around town (and nearby) to enjoy the autumn colors? Love to hear some more ideas.
If you're hunting for a home with space and land to have your own woodland wonderland, I'd love to help. Reach out and tell me about what you're looking for.
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TJ Anderson

TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....

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