Enjoy the Great Outdoors of Middle Tennessee
With options including hiking, biking, golf, disc golf and more, you’re sure to find reasons to get out and about.
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.
With a pedal-assist Bcycle, you can cover a lot of ground quickly. And with 30+ charging stations around town, a ton of destinations are within reach. Most visitors opt for the $5 Single Ride Pass good for 30 minutes or the $25 Guest Pass which buys you 120 minutes of rental time over a three-day period.
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.
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.
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.
My friend Mike the Avid Golfer was kind enough to write his personal reflections on area golf courses that are open to the public. Read his thoughts: Area Golf Courses Reviewed.