Like the Stones River Greenway, which it connects with, the Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a pawsome scenic greenway trail in Nashville with a dog park on either end. Technically, it starts at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, but a relatively new connector trail named the Shelby Park Greenway takes it all the way to the Shelby Dog Park and just a little past it.
If you're not stopping by the Shelby Dog Park, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is a great place to start your day on the greenway. At the nature center, you'll find ample parking and human bathrooms, among other amenities. Other than the new connector trail, the greenway is completely contained within the Shelby Bottoms Natural Area, which you can learn about at the nature center. The forested 960-acre park on the water's edge serves as a nature preserve and is home to an array of wildlife including deer, foxes, flying squirrels, and minks.
Many birds also make the Shelby Bottoms Natural Area their home. Among the park's oak, hickory, and elm trees, you might spot cedar waxwings and other songbirds, woodpeckers like yellow-bellied sapsuckers. For pups looking to connect with their wild side, there are several dirt spur trails that lead from the greenway deeper into the nature preserve and bird habitat.
Much of the Shelby Bottoms Greenway is paved, but it also includes beautiful elevated boardwalk sections through wetlands. Forest groves and open fields along the trail are great places to see wildflowers. The trail ends in a loop at the north end of the natural area. Near the loop, it also connects to the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge. Just over the bridge, you'll find Two Rivers Park, home to Nashville's largest dog park, as well as the start of the ten-mile-long Stones River Greenway. Be sure to have water and clean up bags on hand for the journey.
If you and your pup want to connect to nature while staying close to home in Nashville, check out the Shelby Bottoms Greenway!