As a mountain girl at heart (S/O to Swannanoa, NC), trying to fulfill my NEED to get outside and climb a mountain every now and then gets frustrating when what people call “hikes” around Nashville are not much more than glorified walks. Check out these places to get your hiking fix while still calling Music City home!
5) Percy Warner
Although these trails are short, make no mistake about them being easy. There are some definite inclines. And even though the length of one trail might not get you the fix you’re looking for, taking a day to conquer several surely will. You can cover miles without ever crossing your own path here.
4) Montgomery Bell State Park
Nineteen miles of trails will give ANY hiker plenty of satisfaction. With multiple campgrounds, Montgomery Bell provides adventure for both the day and overnight adventurists. The park also has a mountain bike trail, several shelters and lakes. If you’re looking to be totally secluded from civilization, though, this isn’t your place (the park includes a conference center, restaurant and golf shop).
3) Harpeth River State Park
Harpeth River State Park is, in my humble opinion, one of the most underated parks in middle Tennessee. Most of the trails are fairly short, but they truly vary in difficulty. If you’re not feeling one of the longer trails, the quick (but steep) trek up to the bluff overlook will do it for you. Views for days! (pro tip: bring binoculars if you have them!)
2) Cummins Falls State Park
I love love loveeeee Cummins Falls on a hot summer day (and seriously, it has to be HOT out to go here because the water is pretty dang cold but oh so refreshing). Keep in mind that since you are going to a swimming hole at the bottom of a water fall, you’ll be trekking along a downward slope before swimming your heart out and having to hike back up when you’re exhausted. Snacks are a must! Wear tennis shoes or Chacos even while swimming so you can climb rocks without busting your butt.
1) Cumberland Caverns
I have to admit I’ve never been here. But it’s top of my list, which is why I’m literally putting it at the top of this list. How many of you can say you’ve hiked underground?! Although the caverns are about 85 miles outside of Nashville, I will definitely be conquering these caves this summer.