Nashville, Tennessee is a city known for its rich history and vibrant music scene, but it's also home to a diverse array of wildlife. From majestic birds of prey to elusive mammals, there are plenty of opportunities to observe these creatures in their natural habitats.
Whether you're a seasoned nature enthusiast or just looking for a fun family activity, Nashville has a variety of spots where you can see wildlife up close and personal.
One of the best places to see wildlife in Nashville is in the city's parks and green spaces. These areas offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and are home to a variety of animals, including deer, rabbits, and squirrels.
If you're lucky, you might even spot a coyote or fox. Many of these parks also have designated trails and birdwatching areas, making it easy to observe the local wildlife.
Another great spot to see wildlife is along the city's waterways. The Cumberland River and its tributaries are home to a variety of fish, turtles, and waterfowl.
You might even catch a glimpse of a beaver or river otter if you're lucky. There are several parks and nature preserves located along these waterways that offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing.
No matter where you go in Nashville, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife.
From the city's parks and green spaces to its waterways, there's something for everyone. So pack your binoculars and head out to explore the natural beauty of Music City.
1. The Parthenon
The Parthenon is a unique spot to see wildlife. The surrounding park offers great walking paths and a nice pond. The size of the Parthenon is awe-inspiring, and the details of the replica are impressive.
Visitors can enjoy the bronze doors and the big Athena statue on the second floor. The permanent art collection is also outstanding.
The entrance fee is $10, but it's worth it for a quick walk around a historic museum. The Parthenon is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator to the second level.
It's a great stop for families with smaller children who might get tired from long walks. The Parthenon is definitely worth the visit if you're in the area.
2. Warner Park Nature Center
Warner Park Nature Center is a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to countless trails and outdoor areas that are perfect for exploring all year round.
The knowledgeable staff is incredibly friendly and always happy to help visitors with any questions they may have. The park features a variety of trails that vary in surface, elevation gain, and length to please runners, cyclists, hikers, and horses.
Visitors can enjoy the beautiful woods and stunning scenery while taking a gentle hike or challenging themselves with more difficult trails. The nature center offers plenty of educational activities for kids, making it a great place for families to explore.
The park is also a dog-friendly area, so visitors can bring their furry friends along for a walk. With so much to see and do, Warner Park Nature Center is a perfect destination for anyone who loves nature and wildlife.
3. Percy Warner Park Allee
Percy Warner Park Allee is a great spot to see wildlife in Nashville. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding while taking in the beautiful scenery.
The park is home to streams and a variety of wildlife, including deer and chipmunks.
It's a popular spot for locals to exercise and enjoy nature. The trails can be a bit confusing without a map, but the park is well worth the visit.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for beautiful birds in the trees!
4. Shelby Bottoms – Forrest Green Trailhead
Shelby Bottoms – Forrest Green Trailhead is a perfect spot to see wildlife in its natural habitat. The park offers a mix of paved and boggy trails, ideal for walking or cycling.
Visitors can spot deer, turkeys, and a variety of birds. The park is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The trailhead is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it accessible for novice or low-key riders. However, avid cyclists may find it too congested for speed riding.
Whether visitors are looking for a relaxing stroll or an adventure, Shelby Bottoms – Forrest Green Trailhead is a great choice for a day out in nature.
5. Shelby Bottoms Nature Play Area
Shelby Bottoms Nature Play Area is a must-visit spot for wildlife enthusiasts. This park offers a variety of walking trails that provide visitors with stunning views of the surrounding nature.
The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and squirrels.
Visitors can also explore the park on bikes and enjoy the scenery. The nature center is small but offers a room for children's books and other activities.
This park is perfect for those looking for a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
6. Burch Reserve Trailhead
Burch Reserve Trailhead is a fantastic spot to see wildlife. The 3-mile loop trail is well-maintained and has moderately steep inclines.
The trail is packed with dirt, small gravel, and leaf-covered forest floor, making it a perfect place to hike. The loop trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a smooth hiking experience.
The trail is not crowded, making it an ideal place to enjoy nature. The beginning of the trail is unique as hikers go under a tunnel below train tracks. Hikers can see a train pass above shortly after exiting the tunnel.
Burch Reserve Trailhead is a great place to enjoy beautiful scenery, steep hills, and muddy spots. Hikers can enjoy 3 miles of adventure and heart-pumping cardio.
7. Noble Park
Noble Park is a great spot for wildlife enthusiasts. It offers a serene environment to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The park has a waterfall that creates a soothing sound, adding to the peaceful ambiance. The park is also home to various types of wildlife, making it a great spot for nature lovers.
The area is well-maintained, and visitors can enjoy a picnic or snack while taking in the scenery.
The park has a cool vibe with soft jazz music playing in the background, making it a perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you're looking for a peaceful spot to see wildlife, Noble Park is definitely worth checking out.
8. Hidden Lake Entrance
Hidden Lake Entrance is a beautiful spot to see wildlife. The easy trail from the parking lot leads to a hidden lake, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or a walk.
The entrance has plenty of parking in a remote location, making it a peaceful and serene setting. The area has a lot of unique spaces and trails, making it stand out from other parks.
The short trail has a lot of history and is perfect for families or inexperienced hikers. While mainly an easy trek, the Ridge Trail has a few areas that could be difficult for some.
The history of the area as a resort adds an interesting element to the walk. Hidden Lake Entrance is definitely worth checking out and recommending to others.
9. Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere offers a great wildlife viewing experience with well-maintained habitats and a variety of animals.
The zoo is family-friendly and has a popular playground for kids. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and visitors can enjoy hands-on interactions with some of the animals.
With ample seating and lots of shade, the zoo is accessible for all ages. The gift shop has reasonable prices and a variety of options.
It's a great way to spend an afternoon and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.