Franklin Trails: Blaze Your Trail Walking, Biking & Hiking in Franklin TN
Posted by Gary Ashton on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022 at 7:39am.
Living near the best walking, hiking, and biking trails in the city of Franklin means excellent access to exercise, sightseeing, and recreation opportunities. The best trails in Franklin boast varying lengths and difficulties, beautiful views of Tennessee's natural beauty, and impressive amenities like exercise equipment, benches, campgrounds, and more. Anyone moving to Franklin will appreciate knowing where to find the best outdoor leisure areas in town. Keep reading to learn about the best trails in Franklin, Tennesee.
Table of Contents
Pinkerton Park Trail
The Pinkerton Park Trail is a 1-mile lighted, paved loop located in the 34-acre Pinkerton Park. The riverside trail is lightly trafficked, accessible, and offers unique trailside amenities.
This easy-rated trail features smooth, paved asphalt at least 8 feet wide in most places. With only 22 feet in elevation gain, most of Pinkerton Park Trail has a gentle grade navigable for wheelchairs, strollers, and more. Dogs are also welcome on the trail, provided they are on a leash.
The Pinkerton Park Trail also connects to other popular areas, making it easy to expand running and walking routes to mix things up. The steeper Fort Granger Trail is just a short hike away, and the Sue Douglas Berry Memorial pedestrian bridge leads to downtown Franklin.
Alongside the trail, there are various pieces of exercise equipment to use. Additionally, it features a Storybook Trail with an annually changing 20-panel book about forest animals to read aloud.
With such an impressive trail, it's no surprise Pinkerton Park is the most popular park in Franklin.
Pinkerton Park Additional Information
- Address: Pinkerton Park, 405 Murfreesboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064
- Hours: 6 a.m.–9 p.m.
Natchez Trace Parkway
The 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway stretches from Natchez in Mississippi to Nashville, passing through Franklin. This scenic paved road appears on many cycling bucket lists due to its impressive role in the history of Franklin and its beautiful scenery.
The Natchez Trace Parkway can trace its history back 10,000 years to when prehistoric hunters followed various animals along the Natchez Trace footpath. Today's Parkway closely follows the original trail, and numerous wildlife species still call the region home.
The ride is moderately challenging due to the route's beautiful rolling hills. The National Park Service encourages cyclists to call them at 662-680-4027 for a free biking packet. The Parkway has few signs indicating where to exit for amenities, so the maps in these packets can be helpful.
There are three free primitive campgrounds, several bicycle-only campgrounds, and more than a dozen other campgrounds along the trail. Natchez Trace Parkway features several scenic and historic spots in Franklin, including the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, Fall Hollow, and the Meriwether Lewis Death and Burial Site.
Bowie Nature Park
The pet-friendly Bowie Nature Park features over 700 acres of forest and over 17 miles of easygoing trails. The park offers more than 10 dirt trail options, with some limited to foot traffic and others open to bikes and horses. With routes offering varying lengths, elevation gains, and uses, the Bowie Nature Park has something for everyone.
The Bowie Nature Park Perimeter Trail traces the park's outskirts in a 4.7-mile loop with 419 feet of elevation gain. This loop connects to most of the park's other trails, including over 2.5 miles of scenic trails. Meanwhile, the Lakes of Bowie Loop Trail offers a closer view of the park's lakes, with 2.6 miles of trails alongside their shores. The 1.14-mile Horseshoe Trail allows horses and hikers to push the park's southeast boundary. The park also offers guided hikes through its Nature Strollers and Night Hikes programs.
Bowie Nature Park charges a $2 fee for each bicycle and horse on the trails. Sometimes, wet conditions force the park to close trails to bikes and horses. Bowie Nature Park officials advise riders to call 799-5544 Extension 1 to verify they are open.
Bowie Nature Park Additional Information
- Address: Bowie Nature Park, 7211 Bowie Lake Rd, Fairview, TN 37062
- Hours: 5 a.m.–10 p.m.
Aspen Grove Park Loop
The Aspen Grove Park Loop is 1.7 miles long, with a 0.8-mile creekside loop and an extended trail on the other side of Aspen Grove Drive. The paved path offers an accessible and scenic trek through Aspen Grove Park.
The moderately trafficked trail is spacious and easy to use due to its gentle grade throughout. Most of the Aspen Grove Park Loop is at least 8 feet wide, and the trail has only 22 feet in elevation gain, making it navigable for most wheelchairs and strollers.
While most of the trail consists of paved asphalt and concrete, a short wooden bridge passes over Spencer Creek.
Additionally, the Aspen Grove Park Loop offers plenty of benches and trash bags to clean up after pets. Leashed dogs are welcome on the trail.
The Aspen Grove Park Loop is an excellent spot for birdwatching. Spencer Creek and the Harpeth River attract beautiful water birds, like blue herons.
While many hikers stick to the main loop, the extended trail is worth checking out. Across Aspen Grove Drive, the trail continues alongside the Parkside at Aspen Grove condos in Franklin. This part of the trail reaches the Harpeth River and offers views of the Vanderbilt Legends Golf Course.
Aspen Grove Park Additional Information
- Address: Aspen Grove Park, 3200 Aspen Grove Dr, Franklin, TN 37067
- Hours: 6 a.m.–8 p.m.
Harpeth River Trail
The 4.2-mile Harpeth River Trail is a paved out-and-back trail tracing the Harpeth River and the Judge Fulton Greer Park. The easy, accessible path offers impressive views of the Harpeth River and plenty of shady, wooded spaces for walking, running, and biking.
The Harpeth River Trail starts off 3rd Avenue North, where it follows the river north for nearly a mile. Then, the path cuts northwest through a wooded area behind beautiful Franklin luxury homes. After the trail passes under the Mark C. Hatcher Parkway, it loops around Judge Fulton Greer Park before heading back to 3rd Avenue.
The smooth trail has a mostly gentle grade, but it does have some steep areas that can be difficult to navigate with wheelchairs or strollers. These areas are about 0.2, 1.1, 1.7, and 2.1 miles into the 4.2-mile trek. Benches and picnic tables lining the trail allow rest stops and snack breaks along the route.
Like many of Franklin's other best trails, the Harpeth River Trail allows leashed dogs on the path.
Judge Fulton Green Park Additional Information
- Address: Judge Fulton Green Park, 1120 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064
- Hours: 6 a.m.–8 p.m.
Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park
The 156-acre Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park offers seven hilly and wooded trails of varying difficulty for mountain bikes. The park welcomes riders daily from 8 a.m. to sunset, although it may close in inclement weather.
The 1.4-mile parkway, which traces the park perimeter, has an easy to intermediate rating due to its elevation gain and a few tricky corners. This counterclockwise loop connects to every other trail except the 738-foot Outhouse trail.
The unidirectional Outhouse Trail leads from the parking lot to the easy-rated, 971-foot Outhouse Loop and the Hub. This easy-rated track makes an excellent starting point for new riders and is the quickest route from the parking lot to more challenging trails like the expert-rated, 1,667-foot Stache n' Cash and intermediate-rated, 1,335-foot Shep Express.
The park's other trails include the intermediate Bob Sled, which passes through the bottom of a steep ravine for 1.4 miles, and the expert-rated, 1.4-mile Moonshine Run featuring a sizable drop, several jumps, and a large berm.
Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park does not allow pets or hikers on the trails to ensure the safety of all visitors.
Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park Additional Information
- Address: Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park, 5664 Wilkins Branch Rd, Franklin, TN 37064
- Hours: 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Find Quality Living Near the Best Trails in Franklin, TN
Franklin's best trails offer excellent opportunities to experience Tennessee's nature, with varying lengths, difficulties, and uses. From walking and jogging to biking and rollerblading, there are numerous activities to enjoy on Franklin's trails.
If the opportunities of Nashville excite you, contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with local real estate agents who can help find the perfect Nashville home for you today.
Read Our Trail Guides For Each City Below
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!