Nashville’s BEST Family-Friendly Hiking Trails


One of my favorite sounds is the sharp crunch of leaves beneath my feet. The only way to enhance the experience? Put me on a trail surrounded by an assortment of trees, flowers, wildlife — and maybe a lake or two. Now that the temperature will soon be dropping here in middle Tennessee (please, Lord!), I can hear those trails calling my name. Read on for some gorgeous hiking opportunities in the Nashville area. And if we’ve missed one of your favorites, leave us a comment! Happy hiking!

Nashville's BEST Family-Friendly Hiking Trails
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Click on the links below for more information about the trails. All skill levels represented, so be sure to research the trail thoroughly beforehand.  

Long Hunter State Park, Volunteer Loop

Nashville’s BEST Family-Friendly Hiking Trails

Beaman Park Nature Center Ashland City

Bledsoe Creek State Park Gallatin

Burch Reserve Trail Nashville

Cedars of Lebanon State Park Lebanon

Edgar Evins State Park Lancaster

Edwin Warner Park Nashville

Fall Creek Falls State Park Fall Creek Falls (roughly 2 hours SE of Nashville)

Harpeth River State Park Kingston Springs

Henry Horton State Park Chapel Hill

Long Hunter State Park  Hermitage

Montgomery Bell State Park Burns, TN (roughly 45 minutes west of Nashville)

Percy Warner Park Nashville

Radnor Lake State Park Nashville

Ridgetop Trail Nashville

Rock Island State Park Rock Island, TN (1 hr 45 mins SE of Nashville)

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and East Loop Trail Nashville

Virgin Falls Trail Sparta, TN

Warner Woods Trail Nashville

Wilderness Station in Murfreesboro Murfreesboro

Hiking Tips:

  • Be sure to plan ahead and choose your trail wisely — especially if you have littles. Bring plenty of snacks and water no matter the weather. Keep extra water in the car.
  • Great choices for trail snacks are nuts, protein bars, fresh/dried fruit, and sandwiches.
  • Scavenger hunts are a great way to engage younger children along the trail! Keep in mind that it is generally frowned upon to bring items from the trail home with you.
  • Assign roles to kids such as marker finder, line leader, animal-spotter, etc.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Toilet paper is never a bad idea, unless you’re feeling—ahem—adventurous. Just stay away from the poison ivy!
  • Leave the phone in your pocket and fully engage with your family and your surroundings.
  • Keep extra clothes or towels in the car if there is water on the trail or it has recently rained.
  • Don’t rush your kids! Allow them to explore and develop a love for the outdoors. Increasing the pace will come with time and repeated exposure.
Long Hunter State Park, Volunteer Loop
Long Hunter State Park
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Jessica Smith
Jessica is a self-professed "hot mess mama" who resides in Old Hickory with a wily black cat, her easy-going husband, and their tiny dictator, Tucker (4 years old.) Having spent many years of her life battling serious eating disorders and a complicated relationship with exercise, she is now passionate about sharing the messages of hope, recovery, and freedom found in body positivity, intuitive eating, and in the Health at Every Size movement. Jessica is an alumnus of the Belmont University School of Nursing, and after graduating spent many joyful years working in pediatrics and intensive care. In 2014, she did what she deemed unimaginable and temporarily left her career to became a stay-at-home mom. She spends her days managing all the things while trying not to take life too seriously. Her hobbies include reading, photography, pretending to be a gardener, and avoiding writing in the third person.


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