Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nashville Outdoors

We love to be outside. Nashville has a lot to offer for the outdoor enthusiast. There are two large lakes, Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake, and the Cumberland River for boating and fishing. The Harpeth River is a popular place for fishing and canoeing.

In recent years the city has made a concerted effort to complete a greenway system which is accessible from many areas around town. When completed within Davidson County, this would create 57 miles of paved trail for biking, walking, and jogging. It is my understanding that they eventually intend for the Clarksville/Ashland City Greenway, Nashville Greenway and the Murfreesboro Greenway to all be connected. That may be many years in coming.
Jack in the Pulpit

We are interested in the hiking, of course, and there are many miles of maintained hiking trails in several City and State Parks. Perhaps our favorite is the Percy Warner/Edwin Warner Parks (2 parks which sit side-by-side). By connecting 3 different loop trails a hiker can get a 12 mile hike on a moderately difficult trail. It is a fantastic resource within city limits. Another very popular place for hiking is Radnor Lake State Park. There are about 4 short trails in this park, but by far the most popular is the trail around the lake. Beaman Park is the newest of Nashville parks. We went there yesterday to hike the Ridgetop trail.

For runners and bicyclists, these parks offer many miles of paved road. Of course, most of the road system is open to motorized vehicles, however there is a loop in Edwin Warner Park which is closed to traffic. Percy Warner Park also offers several miles of horse riding trails separate from the hiking trail.
The bell towers at Bicentennial Mall State Park

The Bicentennial Mall State Park is located downtown at the foot of the State Capitol. It was built to commemorate Tennessee’s 200th birthday. The park is a history lesson with a timeline of major events which have occurred over centuries and its memorials to Tennessee’s military. The park is landscaped with plants, shrubs, and trees native to Tennessee. At one end there are bell towers which play The Tennessee Waltz on the hour. The walkways within the park offer a wonderful oasis in the heart of downtown for walkers and joggers.
WWII Memorial

Other parks in the area include Shelby Bottoms, Long Hunter State Park, Montgomery Bell State Park, Bledsoe Creek State Park, Cedars of Lebanon State Park, and Centennial Park.

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