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State parks and natural areas to explore around Nashville

Hit the trails on your own time or bookmark upcoming events, including a night hike, backpacking trip, and caving adventure.

Radnor Lake in Nashville

This 1,367-acre natural area is located south of downtown in Oak Hill.

Photo by NASHtoday

Spring is in full bloom at Tennessee’s 56 state parks. Enjoy the warmer weather at nearby state parks and natural areas or hit the road for festivals, 5Ks, and overnight adventures within driving distance of Nashville.

State parks and natural areas in Davidson County

Beaman Park State Natural Area, 5911 Old Hickory Blvd.

  • 1,678 acres
  • Leashed dogs allowed
  • Bonus: Bookmark the spring calendar so you don’t miss the Nashville Outdoor Expo, a Pink Moon hike, and a tasting event.

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, 600 James Robertson Pkwy.

  • 11 acres
  • 200-ft granite map of the state, a 95-bell carillon, a World War II memorial, and more
  • Leashed dogs allowed
  • Bonus: Park tours are offered on select days.

Couchville Cedar Glade State Natural Area, ~1.5 miles past Long Hunter State Park entrance

  • 140 acres
  • Leashed dogs allowed
  • Bonus: Couchville supports one of the largest known populations of the Tennessee coneflower.

Harpeth River State Park, 1254 Narrows of the Harpeth Rd.

  • 520 acres across Davidson and Cheatham
  • Kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking
  • Leashed dogs allowed
  • Bonus: There are nine river access sites along 40 river miles.

Hill Forest State Natural Area, across from Edwin Warner Park

  • 225 acres
  • Limited access with permission from Warner Parks
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Bonus: Enjoy a rare opportunity for spring birding at the Hill Forest on Friday, May 17.
A wooded area

Hit the Day Loop Trail at Long Hunter State Park. | Photo via Tennessee State Parks

Long Hunter State Park, 2910 Hobson Pk., Hermitage

  • 2,600 acres
  • Fishing, 20+ miles of hiking trails, camping, and two boat launch ramps
  • Dogs not allowed on the following trails: Bryant Grove Trail, Couchville Lake Trail, and the Nature Loop Trail.
  • Bonus: The park has a 50-ft-tall rentable adventure course.

Mount View Glade State Natural Area, 5704 Tru Long Dr.

  • Nine acres
  • Leashed dogs allowed
  • Bonus: There is a small parking area and a short loop hiking trail.

Radnor Lake State Park & Natural Area, 1160 Otter Creek Rd.

Spring events at state parks

Caving Adventure | Saturday, April 13 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Cedars of Lebanon State Park | $5 | Embark on an underground adventure into the dark, wet, and muddy cave.

Accessible Wildflower Viewing | Friday, April 19 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Long Hunter State Park | Free | Ranger Leslie Anne will be onsite to discuss popular cedar glade wildflowers.

Couchville Lake Night Hike | Friday, April 19 | 7-9 p.m. | Long Hunter State Park | Free | Watch for owls, nightjars, frogs, and other creatures on this two-mile hike.

Earth Day | Wednesday, April 22 | Times vary | Locations vary | Free | Participate in themed activities at Bledsoe, Cedars of Lebanon, and Long Hunter.

Dam 5 Miler | Saturday, April 27 | 8 a.m. | Edgar Evins State Park | $50 | Drive one hour southeast of Nashville for a scenic 5K.

Elise Quarterman Cedar Glade Wildflower Festival | Friday, May 3-Saturday, May 4 | Times vary | Cedars of Lebanon State Park | Free | The festival boasts 20+ family-friendly programs, including educational talks, an edible plants hike, and arts and crafts.

Guided Backpacking Trip | Saturday, May 25-Sunday, May 26 | Overnight | South Cumberland State Park | $85+ | If you’re up for the challenge, this guided backpacking trip of the infamous Fiery Gizzard trail involves quick elevation changes — meals and snacks provided.

Wood Burning Art | Tuesday, April 28 | 2-3 p.m. | Bledsoe Creek State Park | $10 | Try your hand at drawing your own designs with wood burning pens.

Pro tip: Access all upcoming state park events by region.

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