Get out of your house or hotel room to enjoy the great outdoors of the midstate. And I do mean great. With options including hiking, biking, boating, golf, disc golf and more, you’re sure to find reasons to get out and about.
And if you’re looking for something more heart-pounding, investigate Adventure Sports Around Nashville.
HIKING and BIKING
From paved paths to hilly treks, there’s a lot of natural beauty to discover. Entire websites are devoted to the topic so I’m going to hit the highlights.
There are 190 miles of trails within Davidson County with a third of them paved. There’s something for everyone whether you want travel along the banks of the Cumberland River or alongside shady creeks, Some cross wide, open spaces while others meandered through old forests. For a good overview of what types of adventure are near you, click the link above or try out this really cool interactive map.
This much-loved 1,332-acre protected area is among the most popular with a lovely 1.35 loop around the lake as well as more challenging trails. Rangers offer occasional canoe excursions and the Nature Center includes an aviary with eagles and other birds of prey. Wildlife and indigenous flora are abundant. Catch a glimpse of the turtles sunning themselves on logs or maybe a deer (or three–see top photo) that doesn’t seem to mind sharing the park with you.
Combined, Edwin Warner Park and Edwin Warner Park comprise 2,684 acres of pristine woodlands. That’s a lot of outdoors to investigate. There are paved and unpaved trails, picnic pavilions, a dog park, equestrian center, nature center, mountain-biking, creeks and a golf course. An excellent getaway.
Like a little limited adventure? Try renting a coaster-style bike from Bcycle. A one-day membership is $5; the first hour is free and you’re charged $1.50 for each additional 30 minutes. There’s even an app to make it all the easier. Return it where you got it or at dozens of locations around town. Of course you can also check with local bike shops.
Currently the epicenter of ofo activity is the Vanderbilt campus but it has plans for expansion. Using ofo is simple: nab any unclaimed bike, log in on their app to rent it, and leave it anywhere you like. Rates start at $1 per ride.
Bike the Greenway
Details and the link for the Greenway are listed above but allow me to add a note: you can rent a bike from the Two Rivers Trailhead, not far from Opryland Hotel. You’re very near a pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland where you’ll usually find a nice breeze. Rates are $30 for 2 hrs.; $45 for four hrs. Reservations can be made online or by calling 615-920-1388.
Green Fleet Bicycle Shop
A full-service bike shop, Green Fleet is in easy location for people in the Germantown/Bicentennial Mall/Buena Vista area. Day rates start at $35 for hybrids and $65 for road bikes. Not all places rent kid-sized bikes; they do–plus e-bikes. They also offer several tours around the neighborhood as well as venturing downtown and to The Gulch.
Shelby Avenue Bicycle Co.
The sister shop to Green Fleet, Shelby Avenue Bikes is near Shelby Park. It’s a nice ride within itself but you can follow a paved trail all the way across the Cumberland River to Wave Country, our city-owned wave pool, at Two Rivers Park. There’s also a guided tour package, complete with food/drink stops.
Metro Parks operates five disc golf courses around the county. Each is a little different. For example, Two Rivers is like an open fairway with a few giant trees while Cedar Hill is a crazy quilt of terrain changes and very dense growth in the roughs.
It may have become too popular for its own good, meaning that there’s not much grass along the pathways. Still, it’s a beautiful place to roam around.
The course is shared with traditional golfers so heads up. Never been there but it appears that they charge a $4 greens fee. For a review, click here.
My friend Mike was kind enough to write his personal reflections on area golf courses that are open to the public.
Mention the outdoors to any longtime Nashvillian and you’ll soon hear about our lakes. The closest are Old Hickory and Percy Priest. Here are four companies that rent a variety of craft including pontoons and fishing boats. All are located on Percy Priest Lake, east of Nashville proper.
Want more options?