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December 05, 2021

Where Every Family Matters

Keep Kids Moving This Winter — Outdoor Guide

Bundle up, put on your boots, and get ready to enjoy everything outdoors with your kids.

Writing Prescriptions to Play Outdoors - The New York Times

 

SKIING & SNOWBOARDING

Ober Gatlinburg
1339 Ski Mountain Rd, Gatlinburg
865-436-5423

3 hours, 45 minutes east of Nashville.

Paoli Peaks
2798 W County Rd 25 S, Paoli, IN
812-723-4696

3 hours, 20 minutes northwest of Nashville.

Sugar Mountain
1009 Sugar Mountain Dr, Sugar Mountain, NC
828-898-4521

5 hours northeast of Nashville.

 

NATURE CENTERS

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary
545 Beech Creek Rd S, Brentwood
615-370-4672

The Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is a 160-acre wildlife facility in Williamson County.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center
1900 Shelby Bottoms Greenway, Nashville
615-862-8539

Environmental education facility with natural history exhibits, gardens, trails & free bike rentals.

Timberland Park
Mile Marker, 437.2 Natchez Trace Pkwy, Franklin
615-232-4154

Feaatures hiking trails, picnic areas & a butterfly garden.

Warner Park Nature Center
7311 TN-100, Nashville
615-862-8555

Warner Park Nature Center is a Metro Parks of Nashville-Davidson County-operated environmental education center.

Wilderness Station at Barfield Crescent
401 Volunteer Road, Murfreesboro
615-217-3017

Home to education animals  and more. Outdoor Murfreesboro also offers educational programs on the surrounding trails.

 

HORSE RIDING

Creekside Riding Academy & Stables
2359 Lewisburg Pike, Franklin, TN
615-595-7547

Schedule a ride on a weekend between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. for up to 11 riders ages 6 years and older (and 220 pounds or less). An online scheduling system makes it easy.

Harris Riding Academy
6331 Franklin Rd, Murfreesboro
615-556-7370

30 minutes southeast of Nashville.

Juro Stables
735 Carver Ln, Mt. Juliet
615-773-7433

30 minutes east of Nashville.

Triple A Ranch
4408 N Chapel Rd, Franklin
615-457-6345

40 minutes south of Nashville.

 

BEST PLACES FOR A WINTER STROLL

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
600 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville
615-741-5280

Located in the heart of downtown, this park is a great place to enjoy the beauty and history of Tennessee. There is a .9 mile paved trail around the park that takes visitors past monuments honoring aspects of Tennessee’s history. 

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
1200 Forrest Park Dr, Nashville
615-356-8000

If you are looking for a beautiful escape from the city, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is one of the best options Nashville has to offer. From the breathtaking floral displays to the ever changing exhibits, this place is a must if you love the outdoors and historic homes.  

Long Hunter State Park
2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage
615-885-2422

Located just south of Mt. Juliet, the Couchville Lake Trail at Long Hunter State Park is perfect for strollers. The two-mile paved route wraps around the 110-acre lake. It’s popular due to its accessibility, lakeshore scenery and abundant wildlife.

Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville
615-833-1534

The layout of Nashville Zoo is gorgeous, and it’s such a great place to explore as your little ones take in animals from all over the world. It’s a long walk if you hit every exhibit, but there are lots of shady spots to rest, as well as indoor buildings if you need a break from the outdoors. 

Radnor Lake
1160 Otter Creek Rd, Nashville
615-373-3467

Radnor Lake State Natural Area, located in Brentwood, is a great place to take in some fresh air. The 1.1 mile paved Otter Creek Road Trail is great for strollers. The path leads visitors past the lake and several observation decks.

The Park at Harlinsdale Farm
239 Franklin Rd, Franklin
615-794-2103

This area is steeped in history, and you can take in some of Franklin’s past while enjoying a walk, a hike or even a few minutes at the dog park. With a horse stable as its centerpiece, you may even get to see a few “neighing” friends in the pasture.

Tennessee State Parks
The online portal for all of Tennessee’s state parks makes it easy to find trails for all ability levels.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 18-month-old Ezra.