One of the best things about living in a city is the chance to get a break from the noise, smog, and crowds. For the lucky people of Nashville, they won't have to go very far to be in a whole new world. The parks of this famous Southern town are one of its most prized possessions, meaning they're open to everyone who appreciates a little greenery in an industrial country.
Fanny Maes Dees Park
This park is beloved by adults and children alike. Even though it's not the largest park, it's well kept and full of shady spots. And while Fanny Maes Dees may be its official name, the park is often called Dragon Park because it has a huge mosaic sculpture of the mythical creature sitting prominently amidst the grass. The park holds a nostalgic place in the heart of many younger adults because it was a popular place to head for a little swing-set action and a lot of laughs.
Adventure Works Park
Adventure Works provides outdoor fun for individuals, groups and families. This park is unlike any others with huge trees, zip lines and so much more. If you're looking for a thrill or a weekend adventure, this is the place for you.
The most popular and thrilling tour offered by the Adventure Works team includes nine zip lines. The tour is about 90 minutes long with amazing views, thrilling zip line rides and guides to point out wildlife, plants and native trees. If you've ever wanted to see the woods through the eyes of a bird, this is a great way to enjoy the natural habitat found at Adventure Park.
If you don't want to take a zip tour or you just want to get the most out of the park, you can enjoy other adventures, including:
- Aerial Trekking. A two-hour trek through the trees including climbing, swinging and walking on cables, logs and ropes.
- Quantum Leap. A 30-foot climb with a leap to ring the bell, this is a great add-on adventure.
- Giant's Swing. Your group pulls you as high as you want to go and you pull the ripcord to start the swing.
- Couples Adventure. A full day designed just for couples, including activities to help with communication, trust building and more.
Zip tour pricing is $54 for adults and $42 for children under 18. This tour can be combined with other park activities and special family pricing is available. Aerial Trekking is $45 per person for the entire tour, while both the Quantum Leap and Giant's Swing (includes two swing turns per person) are $15 each. The couple’s adventure is $150 per couple for a single-day adventure.
Percy & Edwin Warner Parks
Warner Parks are technically two parks, and they're home to so many outdoor activities it would make anyone's head spin. Visitors can hike, bike, or drive along the well-worn paths on their quest for adventure. They can check out the Iroquois Steeplechase for one of the most exciting horse races of the year. Visitors can also ride their own horse through the parks, play a round of golf, or visit the nature center.
The drive to get to the parks will provide plenty of scenery and once you arrive, you can enjoy a picturesque hike through the area. The parks cover about 3,000 acres and are found about nine miles from downtown. You will find equestrian trails, athletic fields and plenty of hiking trails at the Warner Parks. They also provide a golf course, a dog park and a nature center.
A mixture of running trails, picnic areas, hiking trails, horse trails and golf courses attract over 50,000 annual visitors. Enjoy the short drive from downtown Nashville leading you to a great place to enjoy time with the family, a peaceful day away from the city or one of many activities offers at these parks.
Found west of downtown, this large park provides 132 acres of space. It features a massive Greek Parthenon, Lake Watauga and an amphitheater. It's not the largest park in the area, but it is one of the most popular you'll find in Nashville. This park is a respite from all the city commotion that residents come across on a daily basis, and it's easy to access because it's right in the heart of the busiest sections. This is the place to be for anything from playing outdoor games to hosting a family reunion. It's also home to an exact replica of the famous Greek Parthenon.
Maybe the most well-known park in all of Nashville, it's not recommended for people who are looking for sheer peace and quiet, but Centennial Park is a great choice for fun, and an excellent place to people watch while catching some rays. The park provides two dog parks, the Watauga Lake, plenty of wildlife and plenty more.
Found in a very historic part of the city, this park features a small golf course, dedicated dog park and more. It's found near Cumberland River and many residents enjoy time with their dogs at this park.
This park attracts all walks of life, but it's especially the place to be for the many dog owners of Nashville. With an off-leash dog park and 1,200 acres worth of space, there's so much going on in Shelby Bottom. Boating, biking, and fishing are really just the beginning. Families can play a game of baseball, friends can challenge each other to golf, and teenagers can practice their stunts. The park has a nature center for kids and adults to discover more about the local flora and fauna in their area!
Radnor Lake Natural Area
If you enjoy spotting wildlife, the Radnor Lake Natural Area may be the best choice in all of Nashville. Its home to plenty of deer, otters, beavers, turtles, snakes and over 240 different species of birds. The area covers about 1,200 acres and provides a great place to walk your dog, enjoy biking or go jogging.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
With a design conceived by the local architectural firm Tuck Hinton Architects, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park bears a striking resemblance to the Mall in Washington DC. The park, as its name suggests, was constructed to honor and remember the state’s 200th year anniversary. Commonly known by its shorter name ‘the Bicentennial Mall’, the park is actually an outdoor museum with free admission.
A popular spot for tourists and those enjoying a little history, the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is work the visit. You can view the 200-foot granite map of Tennessee, 31 fountains and so much more. This park is also home to an amphitheater with regular performances during the summer.
A total of four paths can be used to walk through the park. The exterior paths are called Pathway of the Counties and Pathway of History. On the other hand, the paths inside of the wall are the Path of Volunteers. Each path holds a lovely and unique view of the park.
This park contains 3 hiking trails for you to explore, each riddled with convenient rest stops that make great places for a picnic or to catch some mid-hike shade during one of Tennessee's hot summer days. The main trail is a slightly longer than 2 mile loop, but there are several smaller farm trails and a nature center as well.
Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park provides one of the best natural areas found just a few miles outside of downtown Nashville. This park provides residents with a man-made lake, plenty of wooded areas and more. It includes a paved road, which is closed to vehicular traffic and allows for walking throughout the park. Serious hikers can enjoy the steeper trails and might even spot deer feeding throughout the area.
It's easy for people to forget how important outdoor spaces are until they actually remember what it was like to be surrounded by nature. Don't let too much time pass by before checking out one of the many famed parks in Nashville, TN.
No matter which of these parks you visit, it is always a good idea to bring a friend with you for safety purposes and always be mindful of the pristine Nashvillean outdoors – Leave nature alone, just enjoy the beautiful view and atmosphere.
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