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4 Easy Day Hikes For You, the Kids & the Dog

Some hikes are just right for little legs and the ones keeping up with them! Go for it.

Gorgeous Middle Tennessee is loaded with rivers, streams, ridge tops and hiking trails, but with little ones you probably want an easier hike. No prob! Here are 5 beautiful hiking trails meant for easy strolling, oohing and aahing. Enjoy.

  • Little Acorn Trail, Percy Warner & Edwin Warner Parks
    7311 Hwy 100, Nashville | 352-6299
     A 150-yard loop, rated easy, begins 200 yards from the Main Trail Head located on the Nature Center grounds. Other “Easy” trails here include the Hungry Hawk, the Cane Connector Trail and the Harpeth River Greenway.
  • Otter Creek Road Trail at Radnor Lake
    1160 Otter Creek Road, Nashville | 615-373-3467
    This is the only trail at Radnor Lake that allows leashed pets while offering beautiful views of the lake and surrounding hills. Hike on Otter Creek Road Trail, a 2.5 trail along Radnor Lake, extremely popular with dog owners, so keep that in mind.
  • Day Loop Trail at Long Hunter State Park
    2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage, 37037 | 615-885-2422
    (Baker Grove Trailhead)If you love water, the Day Loop Trail is a great place to visit for a healthy hike with kids and the dog. The 4-mile trail courses along the J. Percy Priest Reservoir with frequent scenic views, and only a few steep grades.
  • Hidden Lake Trail at Harpeth River State Park
    1640 Cedar Hill Road, Kingston Springs | 615-952-2099
    Hidden Lake Trail is surprisingly delightful and nearly 2 miles long, winding to a small lake overlook. It’s easy but unpaved. Several stops along the way allow breaks for little feet.

& Don’t Overlook these Faves

Fall Creek Falls State Park
10821 Park Road, Spencer
423-881-5298 | tnstateparks.com/parks/about/fall-creek-falls
Tennessee’s largest state park (which is actually in East Tennessee) that has more than 34 miles of trails to explore. Some trails are very rugged, so check out the easy ones including Turkey Pen Ridge or the Campground Trail.

Montgomery Bell State Park
1000 Hotel Ave., Burns
797-9052 | tnstateparks.com/parks/about/montgomery-bell
There are nearly 19 miles of trails throughout this park that are mostly easy/moderate and are all on natural surface. The trails include Baker’s Cemetery Trail, Campground Trail, Jim Bailey Nature Trail, Ore Pit Loop Trail, Creech Hollow Trail, Wildcat Trail, Montgomery Bell Overnight Trail and Spillway Trail.

Mousetail Landing
Rt. 3 Box 280B, Linden
731-847-0841 | tnstateparks.com/parks/about/mousetail-landing
This park only has one, three-mile trail. There’s also an overnight trail that’s eight miles long.

Natchez Trace State Park
24845 Natchez Trace Road, Wildersville
731-968-374 | tnstateparks.com/parks/about/natchez-trace
There are 13.5 miles of hiking trails — ranging from a one-half mile up to 4.5 miles — winding through the forest and fields and along the lakeshores and streams of Natchez Park. Trails are natural, unpaved surfaces and include these easy ones: Pin Oak, Twin Ridge, Fern Trail and Oak Ridge.


About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.