A Nashville Park for Every Mood

David Hatef

A big part of Nashville’s charm is its bustling entertainment scene - from live music to street festivals - there is always a reason to get out and soak up Music City’s energy. But this city is more than honkey tonks and hot chicken, there are dozens of wonderful parks and natural areas spread throughout the area that offer many ways to enjoy nature. 

Check out some of Nashville's favorite green spaces!

Shelby Park and Bottoms
East Nashville
This park is a 950-acre “oasis in the city” that has something for everyone. Shelby is home to a diverse ecosystem with a beautiful forest rich with streams, wetlands, and wildlife. There are five miles of paved trails for you to enjoy a walk by the Cumberland River, give your dog a good workout, or take your bike out for a ride. For the extra adventurous, there are also five miles of primitive trails where you can embark on a peaceful stroll that truly transports you away from city life. This park also has a nature center and hosts fun events throughout the year, such as Cornelia Air Fort Pickin’ Parties and the Full Belly 5k during Thanksgiving. 

Sevier Park
12 South 
Located near all the favorites of 12 South, Sevier Park is perfect for those days when you want a mix of city and nature. Take a walk around the paved path or break out a picnic blanket after you find a shaded spot among the beautiful green spaces. This park is also a great one for families with a playground located right next to a big picnic shelter. And dog owners will love the big fields where their active pets can stretch their legs. 

Centennial Park
Centennial Park draws over 3 million visitors a year and is Nashville’s central, urban park. It’s home to the famous Parthenon but there is so much more to do after you’re done snapping some shots in front of the Greek replica. This 132-acre park was established in 1903 and has just finished up some gorgeous upgrades. The one-mile walking loop is ideal for walks with friends or for breaking in those running shoes. Metro Parks also hosts events like yoga in the park, Musicians Corner, Opera in the Park, and more. Plus, the 19-acre great lawn is the ultimate spot for setting up your own game of ultimate frisbee or slamball. 

Riverfront Park
For those who love a city park, Riverfront Park is steps away from Broadway and is often the location for open-air concerts and events. When not bustling with event happenings, this park offers an opportunity for a scenic walk that gives you a great view of the Cumberland River, Nissan Stadium (home to the Tennessee Titans), historic 1st avenue buildings, and the iconic Main Avenue bridge. So if you ever need a breather from the Honky Tonks, try taking a walk in this lovely park.

Warner Parks - Percy Warner Park
Belle Meade 
Even if you’re not close to this park, it’s well worth the travel time. This huge park, spanning more than 3,100 acres offers a stunning backdrop to whatever activity you’re up for. Reserve a picnic shelter (with fireplaces for the cooler months) for birthdays, graduations, and reunions. Come for a Full Moon Pickin’ Party. Even play some golf. But this park is especially beloved by outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking the park trails makes you feel like you are miles away from everything - and it’s great for trail running too! Plus, there are eight miles of professionally-constructed mountain biking trails.

Bicentennial Park 
This park is in the heart of it all! After enjoying brunch in Germantown, walk through this park - modeled after Washington D.C.’s National Mall - to not only soak in some sun but to also get a healthy dose of Tennessee history. Monuments, memorials, and the “Pathway of History” give you a walkable history lesson - specifically, look out for the 200-foot granite map of the state and 11 flower pots along the Pathways of Counties that display flowers from each part of the state (those of you who know me know that I love landscape architecture and container design!). After you’ve walked around, be sure to check out the Farmer’s Market and the always fun Gardens of Babylon. 

No matter the time of year or your disposition - Nashville has a park for that! 


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