Spectacular Places To Cycle In Nashville

Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is a double arch structure at the near beginning of the Historical Route in Tennessee
Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge is a double arch structure at the near beginning of the Historical Route in Tennessee | © Dee Browning / Alamy
Leena Kollar

Nashville is a fitness-focused city. There are tons of places for both indoor and outdoor physical activities that are both fun and contribute to good health. One of the most popular recreational pastimes for Nashvillians is cycling. If you’re looking for somewhere to ride your bike while enjoying scenic views of Nashville, these are the places to do that.

1. Percy Warner Park

Dog Park, Park, Natural Feature, Hiking Trail

Fall trees in Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee USA.
© Percy Warner Park

As part of Nashville’s Warner Parks, this is an ideal place for hiking or mountain biking. There are 8 miles of trails that range in difficulty from beginner level to advanced. The two main trails are Mossy Ridge Trail and Warner Woods Trail, at 4.5 miles and 2.5 miles, respectively. Each offers paths that wind through wooded hills and meadows, giving visitors the chance to see a variety of plants and animals that are found in the area.

2. Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge


This National Scenic Byway stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, with more than 50 access points in both states, as well as Alabama. The 444-mile two-lane road has been designated a bicycle route by the National Park Service, although hikers and campers also frequent the area. There are bicycle-only campgrounds found along the parkway in addition to campgrounds that are open to all visitors. No commercial traffic is allowed on the parkway, allowing cyclists to enjoy views of forests, farmland, creeks, and vistas as they ride. Side trails also lead to antebellum homes and civil war battlefields. For cyclists who plan to make an overnight trip of their journey, there are numerous cycling-friendly bed and breakfasts along the parkway. Ideal times for riding are spring and fall, since southern summers can be hot and humid.

3. Radnor Lake State Park

Hiking Trail, Park, Natural Feature

Fall colored landscape on Radnor Lake
© Christina Emfinger / Alamy

This 1,332-acre park is a protected Class II Natural Area. With hundreds of species of plants and animals, the park is an ideal place for nature enthusiasts. There are over six miles of trails that are strictly used for hiking, photography, and wildlife observation. Those interested in jogging, cycling, or dog walking are only allowed to use the Otter Creek Road Trail. The park hosts several ranger-led programs throughout the year that include canoe floats, astronomy night hikes, wildflower walks, and nature hikes.

4. Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Forest, Park, Natural Feature, Hiking Trail

Located in East Nashville, this multi-use trail is part of five Natural Area Parks within Metro Parks. It covers 960 acres that feature forests, fields, wetlands, and streams. The trail runs along the Cumberland River and has over five miles of paved paths for hikers, bikers, runners, and skaters. There are also more than five miles of primitive trails that allow for wildlife exploration and more relaxed activities.

5. Stones River Greenway

Dog Park, Park, Natural Feature, Hiking Trail

This multi-use trail runs from the Cumberland River to the J. Percy Priest Lake and connects to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. It’s a 5.7-mile moderate trail that runs parallel to the Stones River. There are several access points along the trail leading to other parks, including a skate park at Two Rivers Park. Hikers, cyclists, runners, and dog walkers can all be accommodated at this trail.

6. Centennial Park

Dog Park, Museum, Park

Young Woman relaxing below statue of JW Thomas and Parthenon replica in Centennial Park, Nashville Tennessee USA. Image shot 2011. Exact date unknown.
© Brian Jannsen / Alamy
This 132-acre park features a one-mile walking trail, a band shell, volleyball courts, cycling paths, a playground, a dog park, and the Centennial Art Center. Several festivals and music events take place throughout the year at the park. It’s also the home of the Nashville Parthenon—a full-size replica of the original Parthenon in Greece—which is an art museum with a permanent collection of 63 paintings by 19th- and 20th-century American artists.

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