Our Favorite Hiking Trails Nearby Franklin TN
It’s fall in Tennessee and this is a great time to get outdoors and explore all the beautiful country that’s right outside your back door. We’re so lucky to have more than ten free nature areas within a 20-mile radius that offer free family entertainment now that the sweltering heat of summer is behind us.
So, load up the backpacks with sandwiches, snacks, and plenty of water, bring your binoculars and your cameras, and explore some of the trails in these nature preserves.
Walk the path of history along the Highland Rim trail. The start of the Highland Rim trail is located just a few miles south of Leipers Fork off the Natchez Trace. Picnic areas and restrooms are located at the trailhead. The trail extends 20 miles so you can plan your trek out and back as far as you’d like to accommodate the entire family.
Bells Bend Park
This rural preserve in the Western part of Davidson County became a Nashville park in 2007. It gets its name from the natural arc in the Cumberland River in this area. The Bells Bend Outdoor Center serves as a starting point for numerous trails that take you through the 808-acre preserve.
From the Beaman Park Nature Center, you can take the Sedge Hill Trail to the 2 mile Henry Hollow Loop or, if you really want a treat, the 2.1-mile Ridgetop Trail. Fair warning, the Ridgetop Trail is one way, so be prepared to hike the 2.1 miles back as well.
This hidden gem of a park, managed by the state of Tennessee offers hiking options for any level. Take a pleasant stroll around the lake or opt for one of the two more strenuous trails – the South Cove Trail or the Ganier Ridge Trail. Both reward you with fantastic views of the area without having to venture too far from home.
Long Hunter Park
Located about 30 minutes outside Nashville to the East on Percy Priest Lake, Long Hunter State Park is a great day trip for hiking, fishing, and paddling. We suggest the Volunteer Trail, especially if you have young ones. The 5.5-mile trail runs primarily along the lakeside and, unlike some of our other recommendations, is relatively flat.
Edwin Warner Park
Looking for an easy to moderate walk in the woods that’s close to home but makes you feel like you’re miles away from everything? Head on over to Edwin Warner Park off TN Highway 100. In addition to a nature center that will inform and delight your kids, the park has an outdoor play village and a giant rocking chair the kids will scream for. There’s even a .75-mile Nature Loop with self-guided educational information that will help you identify plants and animals along the path.
Percy Warner Park
Right across the road from Edwin Warner Park is Percy Warner Park with, arguably, one of the best views of Nashville to be had anywhere around the city. Starting from the trailhead off TN Highway 100, you can choose the 2.5-mile Warner Woods Trail or the more strenuous Mossy Ridge Trail. Or, park at the end of Belle Mead Boulevard and climb The Allee stairs.
We feel blessed to have so much natural area to explore so close to home. We hope you and your family enjoy the break from everyday life as much as we do.
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