Nashville, Tennessee is a great city full of diversity- especially for runners! Today you can run through downtown and embrace the city life, and tomorrow you can run on a trail and think you’re out in the country. While there are many amazing trails and running spots in Nashville, we have narrowed it down to our top five favorite places.
1. Centennial Park
Centennial Park, located in midtown Nashville, is home to the famous Greek Parthenon! Okay, maybe not the original, but we’ll settle for the replica. Centennial Park not only features this cool landmark, but often has local musicians, food trucks and hipster locals to check out on your runs. There is a trail that circles a man-made lake right next to the Parthenon, or you can make your own larger path that circles the entire space of the park.
2. Shelby Bottoms Greenway
Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a beautiful, 6.4 mile-trail with some impressive views. The Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge pictured above looks over the sparkling Cumberland River. In addition to the 6.4 miles of Shelby Bottoms, this greenway connects to the Stone River Greenway, adding an extra 10.2 miles. You won’t even remember you’re in a big city when you’re on this trail.
3. Cumberland River Downtown Greenway
There is no better way to see downtown Nashville than running the Cumberland River Greenway. This paved 3.5-mile trail will take you past (and through!) several Nashville icons. Look for Fort Nashboro on 1st Avenue, a historic log stockade dating back to 1779. Run across the iconic Shelby Street pedestrian bridge, connecting over the Cumberland River. Take a glance at Nissan Stadium (previously known as LP Field), home to the Tennessee Titans. This trail also runs through the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park which will give you a taste of Tennessee’s history, along with featuring several beautiful fountains (you can even run through them for a cool down!).
4. Percy Warner Park
Percy Warner Park is a great place to run no matter what distance you’re looking to accomplish. This park contains an extensive network of trails, both paved and wooded, as well as 10 miles of equestrian bridle paths. Be warned- this park includes plenty of hills, making for an awesome workout. The coolest part of running at Percy Warner is making it to the very top of the hill. If you can survive it, the view of the Nashville skyline will make your effort worthwhile. The historic entrance at the end of Belle Meade Blvd leads straight to a set of impressive stone steps known as “The Allee” and serves as a nice jumping-off point for exploring this park.
5. Hillsboro Village / Vanderbilt
Hillsboro Village is a great area in midtown with a lot to offer, and it doubles as a great place to run. Running in this area will give you a taste of the Vanderbilt life as you pass Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Medical Center. Out-of-towners often assume that the country music that Nashville is famous for comes from downtown on Broadway, but in reality, Music Row is where you want to be. This trail allows you to loop through Music Row and see where many of Nashville’s country music headquarters lie.
Next time you’re running in Music City, make sure you’re wearing the best socks!
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Where is YOUR favorite spot to run in Nashville? Comment below!