The Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail is located about 25 miles northeast of central Nashville and directly north of Harpeth River State Park, and is the pawsome option when you and your pup want to escape the city, but don't want a long commute.
The westernmost access point of the trail is at the Cheatham Dam Trailhead off of Cheatham Dam Road. If you begin here, you'll travel east along the river, and pass through the Lock A Recreation Area, and the Dyson Ditch Wildlife Refuge. Or you can start at the Sycamore Creek Trailhead off of Chapmansboro Road that leads south from Highway 12 North, and has parking. The trail has many more trailheads and access points to choose from. It would take all day to walk the full length of the trail and back, which was recently extended from 6.5 miles to 8 miles long.
The end of the trail, or the easternmost access point, is at the Marks Creek Trailhead off of Chapmansboro Road that leads south from Main Street, and the four miles extending west from here is the most pupular portion of the trail. If you need a pit stop, there's a bathroom about a mile from this trailhead.
While this beautiful greenway along the Cumberland River is a pawfect place to spend a full day with your pup, most people only hike one part of the trail at a time, spending anywhere from an hour to half of a day here. Most of the trail is paved and shaded by trees, with a gentle incline that makes it as good a place to run or jog with your dog as to enjoy a gentle stroll together. The relatively flat trail is also popular with cyclists.
The Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail was converted from an old rail bed and features scenic bridges and trestles. Elevated boardwalk sections provide great views of the bluffs that rise above the river. Waterfalls tumble over limestone rock formations as streams rush to meet the river. Wildflowers are abundant, and many songbirds visit in the spring and fall, including warblers and vireos.
While there are trash cans at the trailheads and bathroom, you'll need to bring everything else with you, including your own waste bags and water. Keep your dog on a leash per trail rules and out of respect for local wildlife.
Take a trip to the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail to share a beautiful day in nature with your dog. You'll come home refreshed by the river's wild spirit and scenic beauty.
Venomous snakes have been spotted on and near the trail, so be sure to keep your dog close to you and pay attention as you walk together. Also watch out for mosquitoes—it's a good idea to bring bug spray.