Nashville to Nature: Great State Park Trips

Nashville is a hop, skip and a jump away from some incredible green spaces
Nashville is a hop, skip and a jump away from some incredible green spaces | © Dennis Hardley / Alamy Stock Photo
Stephanie Andrews

With world-class music, incredible nightlife and a mouthwatering culinary scene, Nashville is the siren call of all city lovers. However, even the biggest city slickers need time to escape the bustling metropolitan lifestyle and relax, unwind and recharge. Culture Trip’s local insiders recommend their favorite spots for getting back to nature.

1. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park


State capitol building from the Bicentennial Mall, Nashville
© Dennis Hardley / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re not ready to take head out of the city, let nature come to you – at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Downtown Nashville. Enjoy a sunny stroll through this 11-acre (4.5ha) urban park, while surrounded by gorgeous city views. Bicentennial Capitol Mall is also home to a World War II Memorial, a 200ft (61m) map of Tennessee and other historical sites that attract travelers looking to soak up some Tennessee history, as well as some warm Southern rays. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

2. Booker T Washington State Park


Summer in the south
© ThunderString / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo

For a quick getawa with jaw-dropping scenery and outdoor activities for all ages, visit the shores of Chickamauga Lake, where you’ll find the 353-acre (143ha) Booker T Washington State Park. A water enthusiast’s dream, this state park offers boat rentals and year-round fishing, as well as challenging bike trails and leisurely hiking paths. The mountain bike trails, which wind around 6mi (10km) of sparkling lakes and unspoiled nature, are some of the area’s top under-the-radar attractions. Recommended by local insider Chaney Curd

3. Montgomery Bell State Park

Natural Feature

Dam and Waterfall at Montgomery Bell State Park, Dickson, Tennessee - a short drive west of Nashville. White rushing water and peak fall foliage.
© Robert Elder/Artifact Photography LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

If you long for a day traversing the great outdoors but want to be back in the city for supper, Montgomery Bell State Park is the perfect spot. It’s close enough to Nashville that you don’t have to change accommodations, and the park offers serene biking and hiking trails, as well as fishing, kayaking and an 18-hole golf course. If you do want to spend the weekend tackling the park’s 19mi (31km) of trails, you’ll find a campground, modern cabins and hotel-style accommodations onsite. Recommended by local insider Erica Commisso

4. Beaman Park

Natural Feature

Forest trail
© Richard Burlton / Unsplash

Just 15mi (24km) from Downtown Nashville lies a unique 1,700-acre (688ha) natural sanctuary of protected rugged wilderness that is far enough away to drown out any sounds of traffic. Wind around stunning waterfalls, steep ridges and canyons until you reach the top of the Western Highland Rim, where you can snap some envious Instagram-worthy pics. After hiking the 5mi (8km) of steep trails, through peaceful forests and diverse flora and fauna, you’ve definitely earned that hearty helping of Southern eats at your favorite Nashville joint. Recommended by local insider Erica Commisso

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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