Nashville, the capital city of Tennessee, is a runner's paradise with a plethora of trails that cater to all levels of runners.
From scenic routes along the Cumberland River to hilly trails in the lush forests, there is something for everyone.
Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, Nashville has a trail that will suit your needs. The city's diverse topography offers a variety of terrains, including flat and paved paths, steep and rocky inclines, and everything in between.
The trails are perfect for those looking to get a quick workout in, train for a marathon, or simply enjoy nature while staying active.
One of the best things about running in Nashville is the stunning scenery. The city is surrounded by rolling green hills, sparkling lakes, and winding rivers that provide a picturesque backdrop for your run.
The trails take you through lush forests, past historic landmarks, and along peaceful waterways. The sights and sounds of nature help you forget you're in the heart of a bustling city.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best running trails in Nashville. We'll cover trails that are ideal for beginners, intermediate runners, and seasoned athletes.
We'll also highlight some of the unique features of each trail, such as scenic views, challenging terrain, and historical significance. So, whether you're a local or visiting Nashville for the first time, get ready to lace up your running shoes and hit the trails!
1. Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway
Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.
It has a variety of trails, including paved and unpaved ones, perfect for walking, jogging, and biking. The park is pet and kid-friendly and has a play area for children.
It also features an exhibit of indigenous wildlife and an environmental education facility with natural history exhibits, gardens, and trails.
The greenway is wide and well-maintained, with several areas of shade and photo opportunities. The incline can be challenging for some, but the view is worth it. Don't forget to bring a picnic for a relaxing day out in nature.
2. Percy Warner Hiking Trailhead
Percy Warner Hiking Trailhead is a beautiful running trail with well-marked paths of varying lengths and difficulties.
The 4.5-mile trail offers breathtaking views and challenging terrain with plenty of elevation changes. The area is picturesque, making it easy to forget that you're in the city.
Although parking is limited at the trailhead, there is ample parking along the road leading to it. There are also porta potties available for public use.
The trails are perfect for both hiking and running, with cool paths on warmer days. The park is worth visiting for its great trails, beautiful scenery, and easy access.
3. Deep Well Trailhead – Warner Park
Deep Well Trailhead – Warner Park offers a variety of well-maintained trails for runners and hikers to explore. The white trail is a 2.5-mile loop, while the red trail is a 4.5-mile loop with challenging inclines.
The trails are shaded, with plenty of elevation changes, and offer beautiful views of the surrounding area. During the winter months, expect some muddy spots on the trails.
There is ample parking and access to the park, including a picnic area and a small creek. The park is a great place to walk or bike ride, with options for all skill levels.
The trails are clearly marked, making it easy to navigate. If you're looking for a beautiful place to get some exercise in Nashville, Deep Well Trailhead – Warner Park is definitely worth a visit.
4. Greenway Trailhead
The Greenway Trailhead is a beautiful and well-maintained trail perfect for running, walking, or biking. The paved pathway winds through lush greenery and offers stunning views of the river.
Mileage markers make it easy to keep track of distance. While some sections may be a bit spooky when empty, encounters with friendly people along the way help to make up for it.
The trail is stroller-friendly and has occasional hills to provide a bit of a challenge. Wildlife sightings are common, including deer, hawks, herons, and even pileated woodpeckers.
The trail is a great way to get out and enjoy nature, and also offers fishing and kayaking/canoeing entry points.
5. Shelby Bottoms – Forrest Green Trailhead
Shelby Bottoms – Forrest Green Trailhead is a great running trail for those who want to get a good cardio workout.
The trail offers a mix of paved tracks and boggy trails, making it perfect for both novice and experienced runners.
Along the way, runners may spot some wildlife and enjoy the peaceful scenery. The trail can also be used for cycling and walking.
However, it may not be suitable for avid cyclists as it can get congested. Despite this, the trail is a local gem and a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
6. Percy Warner
Percy Warner offers a great running trail for those looking for a moderate challenge.
With both on and off-road trails, runners can enjoy a variety of terrain and elevation changes. The park also offers scenic views and is great for family outings.
It's a popular spot, so arriving early is recommended to secure a parking spot.
All in all, Percy Warner is a must-visit for those seeking an urban park with great hiking and running trails.
7. Percy Warner Ridgeline Trail
Percy Warner Ridgeline Trail is a fantastic trail for runners looking for a challenge.
With plenty of ups and downs, it provides a great workout for anyone looking to push their limits. The trail also features a creek to cool off in and nice trails to run on.
It's not just for runners either – it's a great spot for hiking and walking, and dogs are welcome too. The trail is well-marked and offers different starting points, making it easy to fit into any schedule.
All in all, Percy Warner Ridgeline Trail is worth checking out if you're looking for a great outdoor workout.
8. Stones River Greenway Trailhead
Stones River Greenway Trailhead is an excellent paved running trail that offers a great mix of sun and shade. The trail is well-maintained and offers a good challenge with its hills.
While there are detours due to sections of bridges and boardwalks being out, the trail is still accessible and safe.
The trail is pet-friendly and wheelchair accessible, with benches and water refill stations available at trailheads. Stones River Greenway Trailhead is a great place for families, hikers, and kayaking enthusiasts.
It's also a great starting point for group bike rides, with a B-Cycle rental station available. The trail connects to the larger Nashville Greenway and offers nice views of the river.
9. Richland Creek Greenway – McCabe Trailhead
Richland Creek Greenway – McCabe Trailhead is a great trail for runners, walkers, and cyclists.
The loop is about three miles long and offers a fun section through the woods and over the creek. The roads are well-maintained and perfect for outdoor activities.
The trail also has water fountains for pets and plenty of parking near the golf course. The scenic trail runs along a golf course and a clear stream with herons and deer along the way.
The trail is pet-friendly and has access to an outdoor gym. It's a peaceful and serene trail that's perfect for a quick workout or a leisurely stroll.
10. Burch Reserve Trailhead
Burch Reserve Trailhead is a 3-mile loop trail that offers a unique running experience for those seeking a challenge. The trail is well-maintained with moderately steep inclines, packed dirt, small gravel, and leaf-covered forest floor.
The trail has a little bit of everything, including beautiful scenery, steep hills, awkward trail zig-zags, and muddy spots.
The beginning of the trail takes you under a tunnel below train tracks, providing a cool experience. The trail is lightly trafficked, so you can enjoy your run in peace. The counter-clockwise direction of the loop is slightly less inclined than the clockwise.
There is one porta-potty in the parking lot. If you're looking for a new adventure and a heart-pumping cardio workout, Burch Reserve Trailhead is worth checking out.
11. Harpeth River Greenway Parking
Harpeth River Greenway Parking offers a beautiful and flat path for a walk, bike ride, or run.
The trail is filled with wildlife, including deer that can be seen in the afternoons. It's a great place to take the family for a picnic or to cool off in the river.
The park is also dog-friendly, making it a perfect spot for a walk with your furry friend.
If you're looking for a peaceful escape to enjoy nature, Harpeth River Greenway Parking is definitely worth a visit.
12. Cumberland River Greenway
The Cumberland River Greenway is a serene running trail that's perfect for those who love a quiet and peaceful environment.
The trail offers a great opportunity for biking, walking, and rollerblading with scenic views of the river.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of grazing sheep and a herd dog while enjoying their run. However, there's not much shade along the trail, so it's recommended to come prepared with sunscreen and a hat.
All in all, the Cumberland River Greenway is a great place to get some exercise and soak up some nature.
13. Edwin Warner Park Parking
Edwin Warner Park Parking is a great place for running and walking. The trails are well-maintained and marked, making it easy to navigate.
The park is beautiful and has something for everyone, including hiking and picnic areas.
It's a perfect spot for a quick lunch break hike or a longer workout session. The nature center also offers great programs for those interested in learning more about the area.
If you're looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Edwin Warner Park Parking is definitely worth a visit.
14. McCabe Park
McCabe Park is a great spot for runners in search of a scenic and varied route. The greenway trail is perfect for those who enjoy running with their furry friends.
The park also has a community center with low-cost exercise classes for all ages, a weight room, and an indoor track.
The golf course at McCabe Park is an added bonus, with a driving range, putting and chipping green, and a clubhouse with lockers, showers, and a snack bar.
The park is a popular spot for walkers, bikers, and skaters, so be prepared to share the trail. All in all, McCabe Park is a great destination for runners looking for a variety of terrain and amenities.
15. Shelby Walk Park
Shelby Walk Park is a beautiful and serene park that is perfect for runners looking for a peaceful place to exercise.
The park has several picnic tables with covered shelters, making it an ideal spot for a quick break or snack.
Despite being listed as having barbecue grills on their website, there are none in the park.
One of the best things about Shelby Walk Park is how clean and calm it is, making it a great place to unwind and enjoy nature.
If you're looking for a peaceful place to run or just relax, Shelby Walk Park is definitely worth checking out.
16. Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park is a nature lover's paradise. With six hiking trails, visitors can enjoy a variety of terrain and wildlife.
The park features a visitor center and is home to a range of native plants and animals.
The trails are well-marked and maintained, making it easy for runners to navigate. The park is perfect for those looking for a peaceful and scenic running experience.
Be sure to arrive early to secure a parking spot, as it can get crowded on weekends.