Nashville's Great Outdoors

Go hiking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding and more in Nashville.
Within minutes of downtown Nashville, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether your outdoor sport of choice is biking, hiking or horseback riding, the rolling hills, long trails and majestic lakes of the Nashville area will not disappoint. Fish in a calm, beautiful lake, canoe on a lazy river, or get your thrills in a state-of-the-art wave action pool. Check out our picks for the Nashville area’s top outdoor attractions. 

Photo by: Michael Brown, Flickr

Michael Brown, Flickr

Just 9 miles from downtown Nashville, you’ll find Tennessee’s largest municipal park. Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, known as “The Warner Parks,” span 2,684 acres. Get your bearings at the Warner Park Nature Center, which offers public nature programs tailored for all ages. Then explore away. The parks offer hiking trails with abundant wildlife and natural conservation areas, as well as equestrian trails, 2 golf courses, a dog park and an 11-mile winding road that’s popular with cyclists. Another popular attraction is the “Full Moon Pickin’ Parties.” Held from May to October, these family-friendly fundraisers feature bluegrass music under the light of the moon.

Photo by: Denise Mattox, Flickr

Denise Mattox, Flickr

Only 15 minutes from downtown Nashville is the area’s largest lake. Percy Priest spans 14,400 square acres, with 265 miles of shoreline. Visitors can choose from a variety of activities including boating, camping and picnicking on this pristine lake. Fishing opportunities also abound; the most popular fish are largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, striped bass and catfish. After all that outdoor activity, you’ll have ample ways to relax. The lake has 4 marinas that provide visitors with floating restaurants and snack bars. And on the lake’s western shore the Hamilton Creek Park provides a recreation area and a nice sandy beach for swimmers.

Photo by: Jai Sanders, Flickr

Jai Sanders, Flickr

Paddle, swim or float the day away on the historic Harpeth River, a class-1 river just 15 miles from Nashville. From March to October, you can rent a canoe and float the Harpeth. If you didn’t come with paddle gear, don’t fret. Canoe outfitters are located on Highway 70, near Kingston Springs, and equip you with the canoes and gear. They also shuttle you back to your car.


Photo by: Thinkstock


While you’re in Nashville, get in a day of horseback riding. About 40 minutes from downtown Nashville is the Cedars of Lebanon State Park’s riding stables. Enjoy a 2.5-mile guided trail ride through this state park on a gentle horse. On your trail ride, you may spot deer, turkeys and even an occasional fox. If you would like to stay the night and camp out under the stars, the 1,000-acre park has cabins and campsites.

Photo by: Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile path known for its beauty, history and dramatic landscapes. If you are looking for a fairly short, but picturesque ride, enter Natchez Trace at Highway 100 (Bellevue), then head north and exit at Highway 96 (Franklin). This route is a little over 5 miles one way, and the bridge over Highway 96 is an awesome sight. For the super-hearty, enjoy a longer ride of 25 miles on the Trace.


Photo by: Thinkstock


Since Nashville doesn’t have an ocean, the folks at Wave Country decided to bring some wave motion to Music City. The popular water park generates waves that can be ridden, courtesy of 3 water flumes and 2 speed slides. The speed slides drop the victims (I mean, visitors) from a 40-foot tower and travel 80 feet! Floats are included in your admission price. If you have children, or if you’re a child at heart, you will enjoy the waves while getting some rays! Wave Country is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Next Up

3 Must-Do Outdoor Activities in the Great Smoky Mountains

There's nothing like a challenging hike with a rewarding view.

National Dive Bar Day: Is There a Portal To Hell In Memphis?

National Dive Bar Day is July 7, and a small Memphis joint may be pulling double duty as a dive bar and a portal for dark energy.

Underground Music City: Nashville Venues Only Locals Know

From pop to Motown, there's a place for every music genre in Music City. But not all venues may come up on the map. Escape the tourist traps and see live music like a local at these underground spots.

Our Favorite Memphis Eats

Our staff talk about some of their favorite restaurants, bars, barbecue and sweet treats in Memphis.

Memphis: An Insider's Guide to This Funky Southern City

Experience the city's lesser known wonders.

11 Twin Peaks Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

Where to find a damn fine cup of coffee and more.Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.

5 Family Adventures in Hawaii

Put the phones down and make memories to last a lifetime with these thrilling activities on the island of Hawaii.

10 Wild West Family Adventures

Discover how Buffalo Bill, U.S. soldiers, railroaders and Pony Express riders opened the west.

4 Must-Try Portland Brunch Spots

Dishing up a lot more than just bacon and eggs.

Cuba, a Country of Contrasts

One writer reflects on her trips to Cuba, a country of contrasts.


UFO Witness

10am | 9c

UFO Witness

11am | 10c

UFO Witness

12pm | 11c

UFO Witness

1pm | 12c

UFO Witness

2pm | 1c

UFO Witness

3pm | 2c

UFO Witness

4pm | 3c

UFO Witness

5pm | 4c
6pm | 5c
7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c
9pm | 8c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c
12am | 11c
1am | 12c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c

Trending Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.