Nashville's Most Beautiful Parks

Photo of Sarah Lantz
24 November 2016

Nashville, Tennessee is known for its music, but it’s also a historically rich and beautiful city, full of forested parks and trails to ride bikes and walk along. Here are five of the most beautiful.

Autumn woods in Warner Parks | © robcampe/Flickr

Warner Parks

A beautiful, sprawling 3,100 acres of forest and field, Warner Parks, or Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, is a lovely way to spend time in Nashville. With scenic roadways, outlooks, and bike, horse, and foot trails, you’ll escape from the city and enter raw and stunning woods. You’ll find oak-hickory and beech-maple temperate forests and cedar glades, in particular. Hidden springs, creeks, and wetlands add diversity to the ecology of Warner Parks, and the park also includes two golf courses and a variety of sports fields.

Warner Parks, 7311 TN-100 Nashville, TN USA +1 615-352-6299

Monument at Shelby Park | © Melanie Meadows/Flickr

Shelby Park

A large, urban park along the Cumberland River, Shelby Park is three miles east of downtown Nashville. It’s a pet friendly park that includes an off leash dog park. The park is over 361 acres and includes several baseball fields, two golf courses, and a nature center. There’s also a train bridge that goes over Shelby Park, and you can walk along the scenic Greenway, a path cloistered by trees, or bike and walk any of the numerous trails around the park. It’s a great way to get some exercise and fresh air in urban Nashville.

Shelby Park, Shelby Ave & S 20th St Nashville, TN USA +1 615-862-8467

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is two miles west of downtown Nashville and sprawls across the area known as the West End, located close to Vanderbilt University and the Hospital Corporation of America. Its crowning glory is the Parthenon, a full-scale model of the Athenian Parthenon, complete with a statue of Pallas Athena. The Parthenon is the only remaining exhibit of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition that celebrated the 100 years that had passed since Tennessee entered the Union, and today it is used primarily as an art gallery. The park is 132 acres, complete with man-made Lake Watauga. On a typical day you’ll see college students playing sports on the lawns, Shakespeare being performed outdoors in the park in the summers, and plenty of gallery visitors all year round.

Centennial Park, 2500 West End Ave Nashville, TN USA +1 615-862-8400

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park | © terrierin/Flickr

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

An urban state park in downtown Nashville, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is 19 acres and features carillon pillars that play music, the Tennessee Amphitheater, and design elements that are meant to educate the public about Tennessee history. Be sure to visit the Walkway of Counties, where each of the 95 counties in Tennessee has buried a time capsule to be opened on the state’s 300th birthday on July 1, 2096.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, 600 James Robertson Pkwy Nashville, TN USA +1 615-741-5280

Riverfront Park

Built in the 1980s to commemorate Nashville’s river history and the settlers in the 1780s who explored Nashville’s Cumberland River, Riverfront Park is an urban park that stretches right along the bank of the Cumberland River and offers beautiful views of the river. The Riverfront Park is a popular venue for concerts and events; it has its own amphitheater for outdoor music concerts.

Riverfront Park, 100 1st Ave N Nashville, TN USA +1 615-862-8750

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