Fall foliage driving guide in Nashville, TN

The Batman building and surrounding skyline surrounded by fall leaves.

You don’t have to travel far to see autumn leaves when fall hits its peak.

Photo by @cesar_virto

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It’s hard to be-leaf we’re well into September and officially kicking off the first day of fall this week (Thurs., Sept. 22). According to this Tennessee fall foliage predication map, Davidson County should see the leaves start turning Mon., Oct. 17, hitting peak colors by Thurs., Nov. 3. Can we get a fall-elujah?

We’re branching out with three scenic fall routes around Middle Tennessee perfect for soaking up the season.

🍂 Natchez Trace Parkway

Also known as the Old Natchez Trace, the historic forest trail runs ~444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, MS, connecting the Cumberland, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers. The drive is separated into five sections, and we recommend taking the Nashville - Franklin section to Leipers Fork - Fly. Party favor: If you want a post-drive, bird’s-eye-view of the route you took, book a ride with Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures.

🍂 Love Circle

If you’re looking for a shorter drive within close proximity to the urban core, travel to 3300 Love Cir. off of Acklen Avenue. The short roadway makes a loop around Love Circle Park, walk to the top of the hill and take in one of the most unobstructed views of downtown without having to travel to a Broadway rooftop. Pro tip: There won’t be picnic tables and food trucks galore, so you’ll want to be sure to pack some blankets or folding chairs + snacks if you want to sit and stay awhile.

🍂 Neely’s Bend

This rural gem tucked away northeast of downtown Nashville gets its name for being a significant bend in the Cumberland River. The winding roads with several hundred acres of farmland lead you to Peeler Park. The greenway is a little over a 2-mile stretch and, if you’re lucky, you may see model airplanes taking off from the Peeler Park RC Airfield.

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