Nashville, TN's Natural Gems: Exploring the City's Top Parks

Nashville might be synonymous with country music and line dancing, but this southern gem offers a surprising abundance of green escapes. Craving a break from the electric energy of Broadway? Look no further than Nashville's fantastic parks, where you can unwind under the Tennessee sun, commune with nature, and discover hidden gems.

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Centennial Park: A Touch of Greece in Music City

Centennial Park is the crown jewel of Nashville's park system. Nicknamed "Athens of the South," the park's centerpiece is the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the Athenian temple.

Visit The Parthenon: A permanent structure was completed in 1931 and the statue of Athena was unveiled in 1990. The Nashville Parthenon serves as the city’s art museum and a cultural centerpiece of our community, but the Parthenon is just the beginning.


Centennial Park boasts walking paths that wind around a lake, lush public gardens brimming with seasonal blooms, and sprawling lawns perfect for picnics and frisbee throws. Whether you're seeking a quiet stroll or a lively gathering, Centennial Park offers a slice of serenity amidst the city's vibrant energy.


Whether you're seeking a quiet stroll or a lively gathering, Centennial Park offers a slice of serenity amidst the city's vibrant energy.


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Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park: History Meets Nature

Commemorating Tennessee's bicentennial, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park seamlessly blends historical landmarks with beautiful green spaces. Learn about the state's rich history by exploring the granite map of Tennessee or Tennessee's Outdoor History Museum, pay your respects at the World War II memorial, or marvel at the replica of the state Capitol building. Need a break from history lessons? Stroll along the park's walking paths, unwind by the water features, or immerse yourself in the beauty of the meticulously maintained gardens.


Percy Warner Park: An Outdoor Paradise for Adventurers

Adventure awaits at Percy Warner Park , part of the sprawling Warner Parks system. Encompassing over 2,600 acres, Percy Warner is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore a network of trails that weave through wooded hills, offering scenic overlooks and a chance to commune with nature. Feeling more energetic? The park is a popular spot for mountain biking, trail running, and horseback riding. Something to celebrate? You can also schedule birthday parties with the wilderness as your backdrop.

Prices:

  • All Day Adventure Pass: $89
  • Glow in the Park: $45
  • Individual memberships: $475
  • Monthly Pass: $75

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Radnor Lake State Park: A Tranquil Escape from the City

Just a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville, Radnor Lake State Park offers a peaceful retreat. The centerpiece of the park is the tranquil Radnor Lake, a haven for local wildlife and a popular spot for kayaking or canoeing. Miles of scenic hiking trails meander through the park, offering opportunities for nature photography and birdwatching. Escape the city noise and reconnect with nature at this hidden gem.

 


Shelby Park: A Recreational Hub on the Cumberland River

Nestled along the banks of the Cumberland River, Shelby Park is a one-stop shop for outdoor recreation. Whether you're a cycling enthusiast, an avid fisherman, or a casual picnicker, Shelby Park caters to all interests. Hit the trails for a scenic bike ride, cast a line and try your luck reeling in a catfish, or tee off on the park's public golf course. Shelby Park also boasts playgrounds for the little ones and a designated dog park for your furry companions. With its 300 acres, Shelby Park is a large park right outside the city center. Add in Shelby Bottom Natural Area, and it's even bigger - over 1200 acres! 

Here's what you'll find there:

  • *** Nice views of the river
  • *** Great for watching birds and other animals
  • *** Fun playgrounds
  • *** A safe place for dogs to run off-leash
  • *** Baseball fields for both adults and kids
  • *** Special baseball fields for older players
  • *** Golf courses with 9 or 18 holes
  • *** Sevier Lake, perfect for fishing
  • *** A place to launch your boat into the Cumberland River
  • *** Picnic shelters you can reserve
  • *** The Shelby Park Community Center, where you can join free programs and play basketball, tennis, and more

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens: Where Art Meets Nature

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens offers a unique experience that blends the beauty of nature with artistic expression. While not technically a park, Cheekwood's 55 acres encompass stunning botanical gardens, whimsical sculptures nestled amongst the woodlands, and historic buildings that whisper tales of the past. Throughout the year, Cheekwood comes alive with various art exhibitions, events, and festivals, making it a vibrant destination for all ages.



So, next time you find yourself in Nashville, don't just limit your exploration to the neon lights of Broadway. Venture out to one of these fantastic parks and discover Nashville's green side.



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