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April 25, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Let’s Hike, Baby!

Take an adventure together on an easy local trail.

Whether you work too much, are stuck at home too much, or both, you’re probably tired of all the stay-at-homing. Meanwhile cooler temps are on the way. Clear your schedule (and your mind) with an easy hike, kids in-tow. Read on for gorgeous hiking opportunities in the Middle Tennessee area. Happy hiking!

Beaman Park Nature Center
5911 Old Hickory Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37015

The Henry Hollow Loop (2.5 miles) can be followed nice and slowly or even at a fast pace. Part of the loop runs along Henry creek. Trails are designed in a web so you can decide what you want to do, as hard or as easy as you wish, and it’s pet-friendly, too.

Bledsoe Creek State Park
400 Zieglers Fort Road
Gallatin, TN 37066

The Shoreline trail is the easiest for you and Baby and walking with little ones. This is 2.1 miles in natural environs. It links up to the High Ridge Trail and Mayo Wix Trail and forms a loop around the park. Don’t overlook the Reading Ranger Story Trail, which is a half-mile paved loop accessed from the Visitor Center. Enlarged pages from children’s books are placed along the stroller-friendly walk so children can read and explore. 

Bowie Nature Park
7211 Bowie Lake Road
Fairview, TN 37062

Open Mon – Sat from 9 a.m – 4 p.m. The Bowie Park Permiter Trail is very easy but 4.7 miles long; the Lakes of Bowie Loop Trail is 2.6 easy miles and features a lake; Horeshoe Trail is 1.5 mile of loop trail good for all. Dogs must be leashed.

Harpeth River State Park
1640 Cedar Hill Road
Kingston Springs, TN 37082

Three trails begin at a common trailhead near the park’s entrance. Stick to the Gossett Tract Trail — one is a one-mile trail circling a meadow and the other winds along the river. Hidden Lake Trail also has a one-mile hike through a meadow and another trail that’s a half-mile through a forest and along bluffs to a small lake.

Long Hunter State Park 
2910 Hobson Pike
Hermitage, TN 37076

The lovely state park just east of Nashville has trails for young ones including the paved two-mile Couchville Lake Loop Trail which goes around the lake amid scenary and more. Special events are offered at Long Hunter including periodic storybook hikes.

Montgomery Bell State Park
1000 Hotel Ave.
Burns, TN 37029

The popular camping destination has numerous trails, all either easy or moderate. A family favorite is Creech Hollow Trail, a back trail coming in at just under three miles and featuring a lake. Access the trail from the Montgomery Bell trailhead. Other trails good for kids include Jim Bailey Nature Trail (half-mile) and Creech Hollow Lake (not to be confused with Creech Hollow Trail).

Radnor Lake State Park
1160 Otter Creek Road
Nashville, TN 37220

A popular hiking area in Nashville, it can get very busy in the fall. Radnor Lake Trail (partly paved, partly wooded) is terrific. Kids will love grabbing a peek of turtles sunning on exposed lake branches, wildlife and shade. More difficult but beautiful trails are also accessible.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway
1900 Davidson St.
Nashville, TN 37216

The East Loop Trail is a paved and popular trail with flat shady spots, but it CAN get busy with bicyclists. Venture a little off trail onto other day trails and back amid wildlife and wildflowers.
Part of the city’s Greenway system.

The Warner Parks’ Nature Center
7311 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221

Edwin and Percy Warner Parks are known as “The Warner Parks,” and between them there are plenty of friendly trails for families to explore. Stop at the Nature Center (open Tue – Sat  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) to pick up a map of the assorted trails. Trails are open from daybreak until the parks close at 11 p.m. The main trailhead for Edwin Warner Park is located on the Nature Center grounds. The Hungry Hawk Trail is a third of a mile and rated easy. Little Acorn Trail is a 150-yard loop including five stops just for children ages 6 and under. Percy Warner’s two trails (Warner Woods Trail and Mossy Ridge Trail) are located at the Deep Well picnic area off Highway 100. Both are moderate, so you may want to work your way up to that. 

Wilderness Station
697 Veteran’s Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37128

Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 8 p.m. Wilderness Station has five miles of hiking trails which start from the station and include the TreeMendous Tree Trail (the first half-mile of the paved trail with stations marked by numbers. And the Sensory Trail, a one-mile loop known as Rocky Path Trail including three stations for simply engaging your senses.

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.