It’s an exciting prospect, and it underlines a noteworthy aspect of Davidson County living: Our growing greenway system deserves attention and applause, for connecting neighborhoods, conserving plant and wildlife and giving Nashvillians the opportunity to exercise or walk/bike-commute surrounded by natural beauty.
Davidson already includes almost 200 miles of trails, including 80 miles of multi-use greenway space. Even as our city grows more and more… city-like, we have all of these natural spectacles to counter the concrete and cranes.
No matter where you live in Nashville, you’ll be close to greenway space, which is something I love sharing with newcomers. Also worth noting: Many of our parks and greenways have something unique to offer, whether it’s room for your horse to roam or challenging mountain bike trails.
This elevated greenway idea is really fun, and it’ll fit right in. But whether or not that space comes to pass, we still have plenty to brag about.
So, on that note, here are just a few of our team’s favorite Nashville greenway spaces, all of which offer something special.
Nashville greenway spaces with something special to offer
For when you want to: roll along the river, close to downtown
Cumberland River Greenway: Downtown
170 1st Avenue N.
Dotted with public art, scenic overlooks and a location that hugs the west bank of the river, the multi-use Cumberland River Greenway gives you a scenic and interesting way to traverse downtown. If you wanted, you could wander from 1st Avenue across from the stadium all the way up through MetroCenter, then loop around to the other side of town, with the water in your periphery the whole time.
For when you want to: explore one of the city’s coolest nature centers
East Nashville residents are proud of their neighborhood park, as they should be — it’s a conveniently located natural treasure, with more than three miles of river frontage, five miles of trails for strolling, biking and lots of dog walking. The crown of this park, though: The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center at the main trailhead, which offers tons of free programming and educational offerings, from nature and sustainability workshops to art shows and guided hikes, with knowledgeable pros helping you learn about the plants and animals you come across while wandering the greenway. Another lovable aspect for people like me: The park’s also home to the first municipal golf course in Nashville.
For when you want to: get in touch with Nashville history
You get more blood pumping on the short the loop trail here than you’d expect, since it’s hilly, and you get a lot more education than you’d get on any old walk, since the path is flanked with plaques that tell you more about this historic Civil War site — the largest inland stone fort built during that time. It’s fallen into ruins, so the information is a bit more impressive than the fort itself (the Visitors Center there is even more impressive), but for your short stroll, you’re also rewarded with a great view of the city.
East of the airport and right up on Percy Priest Lake, Hamilton Creek Park is a special spot for the greenway-goers who prefer to spend their time on two wheels. There’s a BMX track, which is cool, but the mountain bike trails are what make Hamilton Creek really special. Its two trails total a little over 11 miles, and aren’t so much for newbies as experienced riders (there are intermediate and advanced loops).
For when you want to: enjoy your greenway time on horseback
The Warner Parks are huge — more than 2600 acres — so there’s just about everything you could want from a park contained within, from hiking trails and a resource-rich Nature Center to overlooks and picnic spaces. Percy Warner Park is special, in particular, for having one of the two public equestrian trails owned and maintained by the city — specifically, 10 miles of trail to enjoy from atop your horse. (The Warner horse trailhead is at 2500 Old Hickory Blvd., and it’s a BYOH situation.)
For when you want to: take your remote-controlled plane for a spin
In a peaceful and beautiful farmland setting, with 650 acres of park land, Peeler Park has miles of walking and hiking greenway trails right along the Cumberland River in Neely’s Bend. Added unique feature: a remote control airfield, so you can give your drone a little exercise too.
Anything to add? Do you have a favorite Nashville greenway that fulfills a particular need/passion? Weigh in!
by TJ AndersonI’ve shared studies before that showed “top” schoo
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