Breathtaking Views Await on This Underrated Nashville Trail

I'm always being told by locals that I should recommend some things to do in Nashville that isn't just Broadway. After all, Tennessee is more beautiful than words can express.

Fortunately, Nashville hides an easy-to-walk trail just a short skip from downtown.

The Stones River Greenway offers a perfect retreat just minutes from downtown Nashville.

This city-protected natural space provides some of the most accessible and stunning views in town. If you’re looking for an easy hiking route with spectacular scenery, you've just found it.

Photo Credit: Heather S. – AllTrails

What is the Stones River Greenway?

The Stones River Greenway is a picturesque multi-use trail stretching just over 10 miles. It’s a beloved spot for families and active locals alike. The greenway offers a gentle 219-foot elevation gain, making it a favorite for all ages and fitness levels. The path is partially paved and wheelchair accessible, ensuring everyone can enjoy its beauty.

Where Does It Start and End?

The trail begins at the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge near Two Rivers Park and winds its way to the Percy Priest Dam. Along the way, it passes through lush woodlands, open fields, and alongside the serene Stones River, offering diverse landscapes for every nature lover to enjoy. You’ll be treated to views of downtown from the bridge and a picturesque shot of the dam at the trail's end.

Photo Credit: AllTrails

Why Do People Love It?

People adore the Stones River Greenway for its tranquil environment and natural beauty. It's a great way to experience nature without straying too far from the city. The greenway is dog-friendly, so bring along your furry friends. Keep your eyes peeled for small animals, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a peacock!

Best Time to Visit

The greenway is beautiful year-round, but spring and fall are the best times to visit. In spring, the trail bursts into life with colorful wildflowers and blooming trees. Fall offers a stunning display of autumn foliage, making for a truly picturesque experience. Summer mornings or late afternoons are ideal to beat the heat.

Photo Credit: AllTrails

Points of Interest Along the Way

Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge:

    • Start your journey with a stunning view of the Cumberland River. This pedestrian bridge is a great spot for photos and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

    Two Rivers Park:

      • This park is a recreational hub with playgrounds, a skate park, and picnic areas. It’s a perfect spot to rest and recharge.

      Stones River National Battlefield:

        • History buffs will enjoy a detour to this historic site, offering a glimpse into the Civil War history of the area. The visitor center and walking trails provide educational insights into the past.

        Percy Priest Lake:

          • The trail culminates at Percy Priest Dam, where you can enjoy scenic views of the lake. It’s a popular spot for fishing, picnicking, and bird-watching.
          Photo Credit: AllTrails


          • Biking:
          • The smooth, paved trail is ideal for biking. Bring your own bike or rent one along the way and enjoy a leisurely ride along the river.
          • Walking/Running:
          • Whether you’re a casual stroller or an avid runner, the greenway offers a serene environment to get your steps in.
          • Picnicking:
          • Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal at one of the many picturesque spots along the trail. The parks along the way provide plenty of picnic tables and shaded areas.
          Photo Credit: AllTrails

          Connections to Other Greenways

          The Stones River Greenway is one of many that form Nashville's expansive system of greenways. It links neighborhoods, schools, shopping areas, downtown, offices, recreation areas, and open spaces. You can even extend your adventure by connecting to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway at the Cumberland River by the dam.

          Parking and Trail Access

          You can access the greenway at various points:

          • J. Percy Priest Dam: 3734 Bell Road
          • Heartland Park Trailhead: 3135 Heartland Drive
          • YMCA Trailhead: 3001 Lebanon Road
          • Two Rivers Park: Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge, 3114 McGavock Pike

          The trail offers mostly shaded paths, though some areas are exposed to the sun. Be cautious of the boardwalk sections, which can be slippery during early hours or after rain. At the end of the trail, don’t miss the great dog park, a favorite among visitors.

          Final Thoughts

          The Stones River Greenway is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty and historical richness of Nashville. With its scenic views, diverse activities, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s the perfect escape for a day of outdoor fun. Whether you're planning a family outing, a leisurely bike ride, or just a peaceful walk, the Stones River Greenway offers something for everyone. So lace up your shoes, grab your bike, and get ready to discover the wonders of this beautiful trail!

          Leave a Comment