Whether you’re a Nashville resident or just visiting from anywhere else, you should spend some time outdoors, taking in some beautiful views of the state. Numerous parks in Tennessee offer access to exciting activities in and around the city. Here’s a list of 9 state parks near Nashville that you should visit for a memorable recreational outdoor experience in the United States.
Dunbar Cave State Park
Dunbar Cave State Park is a 144-acre prehistoric site in Clarksville, Tennessee. It is a remarkable monument known for the Mississippian Native American cave art dating to the 14th century. Activities to enjoy at the park include; touring the archaeological cave, hiking, and an opportunity to experience the diverse and beautiful natural park. In addition, Dunbar Cave has a small bat population. So it is closed from September through April to allow the bats hibernate without being disturbed.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is an iconic 900-acre park situated within the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest located in Wilson County, Tennessee. The park is a perfect destination for camping near Nashville. The park has 117 campsites equipped with picnic tables, grills, and electric and water hookups. It also features a group lodge open year-round for a total sleeping capacity of 80 people. Cedars of Lebanon State Park features 8 miles of hiking trails, a meeting hall, and a disc golf course. Named for eastern red cedar trees found throughout the area, the Merritt Nature Center is a small museum that displays some of the forest’s natural features.
Radnor Lake State Park
The popular Radnor Lake State Park is located in Oak Hill, Tennessee. The 1,367-acre park is protected as a natural reserve and has a unique range of wildlife, including many species of amphibians, mammals, reptiles, owls, waterfowl, and herons. There are hundreds of species of wildflowers, fungi, mosses, ferns, and other plants, as well as shrubs, trees, and vines. It’s a perfect place for nature enthusiasts to observe and appreciate natural ecological diversity. Visitors to Radnor Lake, one of the biggest lakes near Nashville, can also enjoy several miles of hiking trails surrounding the lake. You can enjoy numerous activities at the park on your next adventure.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Near Nashville, Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the largest parks in Tennessee, covering 29,800 acres. Fall Creek Falls is a major attraction to the park, one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States at 256 feet. There are other waterfalls within the park, including Came Creek Falls, Piney Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades. The park is home to several recreations like cabins, campsites, hiking trails, golf courses, and swimming areas. Falls Creek State Park is one of the most visited state parks near Nashville.
Rock Island State Park
Rock Island is a Tennessee State Park located on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins River, and Rocky River. These waters offer access to great recreational boating and whitewater kayaking. Rock Island park has hosted several international freestyle kayaking events and visitors troop here for the best swimming experience.
Another prominent attraction is the Great Falls, a 30-foot horseshoe cascading waterfall. Below the majestic waterfall is the scenic beauty of the Caney Fork Gorge along the Eastern Highland Rim. Rock Island has all the elements you need for an adventurous vacation, including but not limited to camping facilities, nine hiking trails, picnicking areas, fishing, and birding.
Long Hunter State Park
Another state park near Nashville is Long Hunter State Park, located in Davidson County and Rutherford County, Tennessee. The 2,600-acre park has four sections: Couchville, Bryant Grove, Baker’s Grove, and Sellars Farm. The park covers the eastern shores of Percy Priest Lake, which features two boat launch ramps. Long Hunter Park also features more than 20 miles of hiking trail, which allows visitors to explore diverse terrains and habitats along the lakeshore. This is a great place to enjoy various recreational activities, including camping facilities such as backcountry campsites and group camps, as well as fishing and hiking.
Harpeth River State Park
Another state park near Nashville is the Harpeth River State Park found in Cheatham and Davidson counties in the state of Tennessee. It is a linear park spanning 40 river miles. The unique park offers cultural, natural, and recreational day use for visitors of all ages. There is much to explore at Harpeth River State Park, including historical significance, natural beauty, and archaeological sites. The park is popular for outdoor recreational activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and hiking. The Harpeth River has several species of fish such as crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.
Montgomery Bell State Park
Montgomery Bell State Park is a 3,782-acre park located in Burns, Tennessee, and covers 3,782 acres. The park is open for recreation throughout the year for activities including hiking, boating, camping, fishing, and golf. The park also features a resort encompassing a conference center and lodge, several cabins, and a golf course. There are about 20 miles of mountain biking trails and 19 miles of hiking trails at the park. In the park, Lake Acorn and Lake Woodhaven permit boating and fishing. Creech Hollow Lake is open to catching game fish such as crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, and shell cracker. Camping and swimming facilities are also available.
Henry Horton State Park
Henry Horton State Park, located between Huntsville and Nashville, features lodging facilities that provide a perfect getaway destination for visitors. Henry Horton features campsites on the Duck River and hiking trails with amazing views overlooking the river. The park also offers swimming, fishing, hiking, canoeing, sporting, and other activities. There’s a wide range of attractions available at the park, from the Trap and Skeet range to the Governor’s Table Restaurant. Henry Horton State Park features a wide range of activities and tranquil spots for nature enthusiasts and different kinds of vacationers.
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