The city of Franklin, Tennessee, is a vibrant area conveniently located 21 miles from the city of Nashville and boasts endless entertainment options for kids and adults alike. One of the best parts about living in Franklin is skipping the bustling town and enjoying some relaxing downtime in one of its many beautiful parks. Whether you're looking to spend time alone without breaking the bank, have a picnic with friends, or even pop the famous "will you marry me" question, Franklin's parks make a superb venue. Read on to explore four of the best parks in Franklin, Tennessee.
Timberland Park is a densely wooded park less than a mile south of Highway 96's exit to the Natchez Trace Parkway. The park sits on a 72-acre piece of land formerly used for logging. The lumber would be felled and hauled with mules and wagons to Franklin to build historic homes. When logging shut down, the state procured the land and later resold it to Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department.
Timberland Park officially opened in 2014. The department then converted old logging roads into nine hiking trails of different lengths and skill levels, including an ADA-accessible option leading to a scenic overlook pavilion. These trails are an opportunity to enjoy a hike, bird watch, and spot the various wildlife available throughout the park, such as raccoons, wild turkeys, and foxes.
The hiking trails follow a loop system, so if anyone gets lost, they will end up where they began. Take a picture of the park's map at the interpretive center to avoid such a scenario.
Timberland Park features a butterfly garden, picnic tables, and restrooms, apart from trails and an interpretive center. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash throughout. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Aspen Grove Park
Are you planning a small outdoor hangout with a group in Franklin? Aspen Grove Park in the Cool Springs community is a perfect venue. The 14-acre park has a pavilion available for reservation with a built-in charcoal grill, electrical outlets, and overhead lights. Restrooms and a children's playground are also nearby, so those who visit as a group have everything they need for a pleasant and intimate outdoor hangout.
Like most parks in Franklin, Aspen Grove Park also features a hiking trail, a nicely paved 0.8-mile path with an elevation gain of seven meters. It loops around the park and runs along Spencer Creek at some point, treating hikers and joggers to a pleasant river atmosphere. Benches and water fountains are available along the trail.
Those looking to extend their walk can cross over to the Franklin Greenway-Harpeth River Project at the end of the loop. The path winds through the townhome community near Aspen Grove Park and leads to the famous Vanderbilt golf course.
Aspen Grove Park opens daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. except on Washington's Birthday, when opening and closing hours differ. While the park is free to access, contact the park's department at (615) 794-2103 if interested in reserving the pavilion.
Want to explore multiple parks in one go? Head over to Bicentennial Park. Perched between historic downtown Franklin and the Harpeth River along 3rd Avenue, Bicentennial Park is one of the city's most beautifully designed urban parks. It sits on 30 acres of land and was created to commemorate Franklin's bicentennial.
The famous Franklin Greenway path starts at the north margin of Bicentennial Park. It takes visitors past the Harpeth River Overlook, over the bridge to Harlinsdale Farm, and into the woods behind neighborhoods where they can enjoy unobstructed river views. One can also fish at the Harpeth River overlook.
The greenway also connects with the three-mile Ruby Lynch Riverwalk trail, meaning hikers can always extend their walk. It also connects with Joel Creek Park, featuring a dog park, multiple athletic fields, bathrooms, water fountains, and even a concession stand.
Bicentennial Park's greenway eventually ends at Judge Fulton Greer Park, which features tennis and volleyball courts, soccer fields, a play and picnic area, and a walking trail with a canoe access point to the river. The main entrance to Bicentennial Park is on 400 5th Avenue and has designated parking spots along the street.
The Park at Harlinsdale Farm
Those looking for a place with miles of trails and plenty of space to let Fido run free will love the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. This place isn't just appealing; it also holds a lot of historical significance. For the longest time, it was a horse farm and home to the Midnight Sun, the first-ever stallion to become a recurrent world grand champion prize winner. Today, the horse farm is now a passive park with expansive open spaces, picnic areas, and even a three-acre pond where visitors can freely enjoy catch-and-release fishing as long as they're licensed. Visitors can access the park either via the south or north entrance. Each leads visitors to different parts of the park.
The south entrance on 239 Franklin Road leads visitors down a gravel path to the main entrance, where there's plenty of parking, a water fountain, and the horse barn and tractor supply arena areas. Walking or driving down the south entrance further will take visitors to the canoe launch at the Harpeth River and into the fields. Stay on the trail, and visitors will eventually come across the pond and tree farm. The north entrance leads to 331 Franklin Road to the park's main parking lot, the Dog Park, and an RV trailer parking spot.
On top of hiking trails and horse barns, the Park at Harlinsdale regularly hosts polo matches, festivals, and even 4th of July activities at the Tractor Supply Arena.
Spend Time at One of Franklin's Best Parks
Franklin's historic downtown area is fascinating, but nothing beats relaxing at one of its many parks. They often feature amenities like pavilions, play areas, picnic tables, and water fountains, so everything needed for a comfortable afternoon is always at arm's reach. Most, if not all, of the best parks in Franklin feature moderately trafficked trails ideal for leisurely walks, hikes, bird watching, and even wildlife observation.
Some of these trails connect to other parks, trails, and even rivers along their length, providing hikers and adventure-lovers with even more opportunities to explore Franklin's beautiful outdoors. Some connect to walkable neighborhoods that feature townhomes, condos, and luxury homes, meaning anyone who leads an active lifestyle will certainly enjoy living in Franklin.
Does Franklin sound like the perfect place to live? Contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with Franklin real estate agents who can help you find the ideal Franklin home.
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