When you picture Nashville, Tennessee, you may think of country music, hot chicken, and Oprah Winfrey. However, few people know that the “Music City” is also close to many outdoor wonders and spectacular hiking trails. Nature enthusiasts visiting Nashville can easily access the many hikes in the area featuring green forestry, breathtaking waterfalls, and impressive rock formations.
Read on to learn more about the best hiking trails near Nashville, TN.
Best Hiking Trails Near Nashville, TN
Varying in length and intensity, here is a list of the top 5 hikes near Nashville, Tennessee to help you plan your next adventure!
Volunteer Trail Day Loop
Distance from Nashville: 24 miles/30 minutes
Trail Length: 3.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 269 feet
Located a half hour from the city in Long Hunter State Park, the Volunteer Trail Day Loop offers hikers an accessible challenge with scenic views. Pack your bathing suit and towel, as this hike runs along the shore of Percy Priest Lake and offers the opportunity to explore hidden beaches.
Like to fish? Bring your fishing gear and cast a line out into the lake. If you want to spend more time in the park, there is a longer version of this trail that runs 10 miles. The day trail offers a nice stroll in the forest for hikers who want to take it easy or for families with small children.
Burgess Falls Trail
Distance from Nashville: 80 miles/1 hour, 20 minutes
Trail Length: 1.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 135 feet
If you’ve done any hiking near Nashville, Tennessee, you know that the area is famous for its spectacular waterfalls… and Burgess Falls is one of them. In just over a mile, you’ll find yourself looking at a 135-foot waterfall wrapped around the edge of a cliff. This hike is best visited in the summer or early fall when the temperatures are warmer. However, it is also considered one of the best winter hikes near Nashville, TN. When the water from the falls freezes over, it is a sight to see!
Make sure to wear proper hiking shoes as the trail ends in a steep stairway down to the top of the falls. The trail is dog-friendly, as long as you have your furry friend on a leash. And lastly, don’t forget to arrive early –– the trail gets crowded. It’s one of the most popular hiking destinations in Tennessee for good reason.
Cummins Falls Trail
Distance from Nashville: 84 miles/1 hour, 30 minutes
Trail Length: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 452 feet
Looking for more waterfall views? Consider visiting Cummin Falls trail, another gorgeous waterfall hike near Nashville. Along this trail, there are two points where hikers have to cross the river that runs through the park, so make sure you pack your water shoes!
At the end of the hike you will find yourself at the base of Cummin Falls featuring a swimming spot that is a favorite for the locals. Just make sure you secure your Gorge Access Permit at the park office before you visit, or you won’t be able to access the full trail. Cummin Falls trail is also closed part of the year because of weather conditions, so make sure to visit the park website before you plan your trip.
Mossy Ridge Trail
Distance from Nashville: 13 miles (30 minutes)
Trail Length: 4.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 882 feet
If you’re planning a short stay and don’t want to travel far from the city, pay a visit to the Mossy Ridge Trail in Warner Parks located just 30 minutes from Nashville. This easy 5-mile loop trail offers hikers a hilly, moderately difficult journey through the hills of Nashville and the stunning, mossy areas of the forest.
The trail runs alongside a river and there are some steep inclines and rocky sections, so make sure you have proper shoes. There is plenty of shade, making it a great path for trail runners. Visit in the fall to catch the beautiful amber, auburn, and crimson colored foliage. And make sure to keep an eye out for deer!
Snoopers Rock Trail
Distance from Nashville: 133 miles/2 hours, 15 minutes
Trail Length: 5.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,167 feet
For more seasoned hikers, Snoopers Rock trail is a must-visit hike near Nashville, Tennessee. Located in Prentice Cooper State Forest, this hike runs through the forest, past jagged rock formations, and ends at a lookout with an incredible view of the Tennessee River. There are a few small water crossings, so it’s recommended to bring your water shoes. This area is subject to closures due to hunting so check the park website for updates.
Tips for Hiking Near Nashville
So you have your hiking trail picked out and you’re ready to go! Let’s review a few things to wear and what to pack to make sure your adventure is fun and safe.
What To Wear Hiking in Nashville, TN
In the warmer months, make sure to wear breathable hiking clothes. In cooler weather, it is recommended to dress in layers. A wool baselayer, a down jacket, and a waterproof shell will be your basics, along with thick hiking socks to keep your feet warm and protected. All times of year and on all hiking trails, it is important to have sturdy hiking shoes. Lastly, don’t forget a hat to shield your face from the sun or to cover your head and ears from the cold.
What To Pack for Hiking Near Nashville
The first item to pack is a no brainer –– a water bottle. Make sure you pack at least a liter of water in a water bottle, hydration pack, or other easy-to-carry container. Sunscreen and bug spray are equally important items to bring to protect your skin from the elements and to keep any pesky bugs at bay. In case of emergency, bring a first aid kit so that you are prepared for every scenario. Lastly, for more difficult hikes, hiking poles can help with balance and navigating tough terrain.
Apps To Use
There are plenty of apps that allow you to find trails and also track your progress as you hike. Below is a list of some of the top hiking apps:
- Hiking Project
Rent an RV from Cruise America for Your Nashville Trip
Your boots are laced up, your snacks are packed, and you’re ready to hit the road to visit the best scenic hikes near Nashville, TN. All that’s left to do is get an RV rental so that you can adventure comfortably. Find the perfect RV rental from Cruise America and ensure your travels are enjoyable and memorable. Contact Cruise America for more information.