Nashville is known as much for its beauty as it is for its thriving music scene. Residents love the Tennessee landscape and ample greenspace that make for a unique urban experience. There are countless parks and running trails within the city limits, in addition to some pretty fantastic hiking opportunities at places like Radnor Lake State Park in Oak Hill and the Warner Parks in Belle Meade.

When the ravenous outdoor adventurer has combed every hiking trail within the metro area, the only choice that remains is to venture beyond the Davidson County limits. Here are some of the best places to go hiking near Nashville.

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Harpeth River State Park - Kingston Springs

A river runs through a circular hole in a rock face surrounded by trees
Harpeth River State Park has trails that run along 40 miles of river.

About 30 minutes west of town in Kingston Springs sits Harpeth River State Park. With more than nine water access points along 40 miles of river, this park is well known among canoe and kayak enthusiasts. But it has more than just a lazy day on the river to offer.

The Hidden Lake trail is a favorite among area hikers for its scenic bluff and overlook views as well as some smooth paths through a wildflower meadow. The trail offers moderate to easy hiking, with one trail in particular that climbs to the top of a ridge. There, hikers can find the remains of a 1940s resort in the form of an old marble dance floor. Did I mention the hidden lake yet? Well, you’ll just have to see it for yourself.

Beaman Park - Whites Creek

The beauty of Nashville is that residents can experience the glamour of the urban core, and then travel just 10 miles outside of the city limits and find only green on the map. This is the case with Beaman Park in Whites Creek.

This 1,700-acre park is an accessible option for Nashvillians who want to get out of the city for a hike but who might not have the time to commit an hour drive on either side. Without traffic, the drive should take only 20 minutes, and the vast greenspace this trip northward yields is astounding. An idyllic Tennessee landscape, just on the edge of the Nashville Basin, Beaman park offers hollows, streams, and ridgetop forests along five miles of trail. The perfect place for an afternoon trip into the wild. 

Montgomery Bell State Park - Burns

A river runs over a stone overflow area surrounded by dense forest
Montgomery Bell State Park offers visitors close quarters with many natural features.

Montgomery Bell State Park is 45 minutes west of Burns, Tennessee near Dickson. Among all the hiking and outdoor options within an hour of the city, this one has the most to offer for outdoor enthusiasts of every skill level and interest.

There are nearly 100 available campsites, and the park includes eight hiking trails, including a 10-mile overnight trail ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate. The park also offers birding, mountain biking, and water activities. For visitors who aren’t interested in roughing it, the park has a 120-room lodge and offers eight eco-friendly cabins on the property. In other words, this natural area is fit for a weekend getaway.

Long Hunter State Park - Mt. Juliet

A hiking trail runs through dense forest and trees
At Long Hunter State Park, hikers can traverse 2,600 acres of dense forest.

Long Hunter State Park awaits on the other side of a 30-minute drive southeast of town near Mt. Juliet. On a map, one can find the park as a dot on a peninsula in the middle of the vast expanse of Percy Priest Lake.

In the park, 2,600 acres of forest and wildlife give way to 20 miles of hiking trails and campsites with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Trails carve their way along the shoreline and waterfront bluffs, making for a breathtaking and serene hiking experience. Visitors love the volunteer trail that offers 5.5 miles of lakeside views and easy hiking. For those who want to mix and match outdoor activities, the park offers boating, swimming, biking, and camping opportunities for the whole family.

Marcella Vivrette Smith Park - Brentwood

A trail sits next to a steep drop-off where there are hills rising up in the distance under blue sky
Marcella Vivrette Smith Park has miles-long views of the Tennessee countryside.

Half an hour south of town, Marcella Vivrette Smith Park offers six miles of trails amid pastoral Tennessee countryside. Situated right in the middle of Brentwood, Nashville’s premier suburb, this park is an unlikely site for adventure.

The seven hiking trails vary in difficulty and include a loop trail that circles the whole park as well as more rugged, shorter paths throughout. Unlike other natural areas, this one doesn’t have water features or rocky ridges, so it's likely the most accessible park on this list.