Top Dog Trails near Nashville, TN

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Introduction

Nashville is known for its music scene, its nightlife, and its good cookin', but maybe it should be known for its natural beauty and dog-friendly amenities. People who love to hike with their pups have no shortage of dog-friendly trails to choose from in and immediately around Nashville, which dedicates thousands of acres of city land to its pawsome park system, and is surrounded by gorgeous state parks. The beauty of the Cumberland River and its associated lakes and streams is a common theme across Nashville's trails. Here are the top trails you and your pup need to explore in this amazing area.

#10 Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail

Just 25 miles from Nashville and directly north of Harpeth River State Park, the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail in Ashland City is an exceptionally scenic seven-mile paved trail along the Cumberland River. The multi-use trail is equally popular with cyclists and dog walkers. Tall trees provide ample shade and gorgeous color in the fall, sheltering wild turkeys and other wildlife species. Converted railway bridges cross wide sections of the river where mist rises in the morning.

#9 Loop Trail at Bells Bend Park

The Loop Trail is the main trail at Bells Bend Park, a relatively new Cumberland River park that was opened in 2007. The 2.5-mile loop trail offers varied scenery as it winds through forest and field, over streams and down to the river. Field birds like dickcissel, Henslow's sparrow, and bobwhite quail flourish in forest edges and open fields where wildflowers burst into bloom in the spring and summer.

#8 Hidden Lake Trail in Harpeth River State Park

Just 25 miles from Nashville, the Harpeth River State Park offers a variety of trails for curious canines and their humans. Hidden Lake Trail takes you past the ruins of an old resort to a gorgeous lake hidden between limestone bluffs. The lake was once a quarry and was transformed into a swimming pool for the short-lived Hidden Lake Resort. Overgrown by forests, the feeling of this abandoned place is peaceful rather than eerie.
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#7 Harpeth Woods Trail in Edwin Warner Park

The Harpeth Woods Trail is a 2.5-mile loop trail that's the longest single track trail in Edwin Warner Park. It's easy to connect it to the paved trail system that runs through the park, allowing you to vary your route and see different scenic overlooks and park sections each time you return. In addition to beautiful forest scenery and wildflowers, the trail features picturesque creek crossings over primitive wooden bridges.

#6 Ridgetop Trail in Beaman Park

The Ridgetop Trail is the longest trail in gorgeous 1700-acre Beaman Park and a local favorite hike, especially for human-canine hiking teams. The four-mile round-trip out-and-back trail ascends old fire roads up rocky ridges and through stands of tall hickory trees. Wildlife is abundant along the trail and it's a great place to look for wildflowers in warmer months. As you ascend, you'll catch glimpses of Little Marrowbone Creek.

#5 Mossy Ridge Trail in Percy Warner Park

The Mossy Ridge Trail is a moderately challenging 4.5-mile loop trail through the heart of Percy Warner Park. The longest trail in the park, it is a local favorite for the depth and richness of its forest scenery and its steady elevation gain. It's a perfect place to go when you want to escape into nature while staying close to home. Your pup will love the exercise and all the new sights and smells they encounter along the way.

#4 Day Loop Trail at Long Hunter State Park

The Day Loop Trail is a gorgeous four-mile loop trail in Long Hunter State Park that is many people's favorite hike in the Nashville area. It can get quite muddy after a rain, but come on a sunny day and you'll enjoy an accessible, but satisfying hike through varied scenery. The trail features gorgeous lake views, unique rock formations, and hickory and oak forests that are prime habitats for pileated woodpeckers. 

#3 The Trails at Fontanel

The Trails at Fontanel is the fancy name for the Whites Creek Greenway at Fontanel. You might be surprised at how wild this three-mile loop trail feels relative to the upscale hotel and entertainment complex near the trailhead. Streams run through lush forests where foxes and other wildlife roam. An assortment of wild mushrooms grow on fallen trees. At the end of the hike, you can let your dog swim in the creek.

#2 Stones River Greenway

The Stones River Greenway is a ten-mile paved trail that connects several Nashville city parks, including a few off-leash dog parks. It begins at the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge. It proceeds east through Two Rivers Park, which has a huge off-leash dog park, and ends at Percy Priest Dam Dog Park. The scenery along the way includes several bridges and boardwalks along the river, as well as forests, meadows, and wetlands.

#1 Shelby Bottoms Greenway

The Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a pawsome resource for Nashville-based pups and their people. The paved eight-mile trail follows the Cumberland River, traversing the 820-acre Shelby Bottoms Nature Park, and passing over many scenic bridges along the way. There are several unpaved spur trails to explore, as well as the mile-long paved Shelby Park Greenway, which connects the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center at the western end of the greenway to the off-leash Shelby Dog Park.