Nashville offers an exciting array of running trails for outdoor fitness enthusiasts. Within our region’s diverse terrain and scenic landscapes, runners can explore a variety of trails that cater to different skill levels. By visiting each of our recommended destinations, runners can take networks of trails that wind through lush forests and open meadows, challenge themselves with inclines that culminate in gorgeous views, take paths that meander around picturesque lakes, and encounter dozens of species of wildlife along the way.

Whether you're a seasoned trail runner or a beginner ready to explore the outdoors, Nashville's trails provide the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy a refreshing run in a beautiful setting.

Centennial Park
2500 West End Ave | Nashville

Centennial Park is one of Nashville's most beloved premier parks. Internationally famous for its many stunning landscapes, 132-acre Centennial Park encompasses the iconic Parthenon, Lake Watauga and its many ducks, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, and a smooth, fully paved exercise trail among its many features.

Taking a run through Centennial Park, you will encounter expansive green areas, an amphitheater, historical monuments, and both locals and tourists enjoying one of Nashville’s crowning jewels. Bring your leashed dog along if you like; Centennial Park is as popular with our pooches as it is with our human population!

Marcella Vivrette Smith Park
1825 Wilson Pike | Brentwood

Smith Park offers a challenging and scenic trail running experience, featuring over six miles of rugged hiking trails. The primitive trails include steep elevation changes, exposed rock, loose stones, and muddy streams, providing a thrilling but demanding terrain. Trail runners are advised to watch their step to avoid ankle injuries, especially after rainfall when the trails become slick.

Despite the challenging terrain, the trails are well-maintained and offer a fantastic running experience for those looking for a more adventurous run.

The park provides a map of the trails, which are color-coded for convenience, and visitors can download the map to their smartphones. There is a restroom facility located at the main trailhead. It is advisable to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy running shoes with good support.

The park is dog-friendly, with trails that are manageable for most dogs, although small and senior dogs may not fare well. The park also offers opportunities for wildlife viewing and beautiful scenery, making it a great spot for nature lovers, runners, and hikers alike.

Richland Creek Greenway – McCabe Trailhead
4617 Sloan Rd | Nashville

Richland Creek Greenway’s McCabe Trailhead offers a perfect blend of urban convenience and natural beauty, making it an ideal running destination. The well-maintained trails wind through lush greenery along Richland Creek, providing a picturesque backdrop for an invigorating run.  McCabe Trailhead is a must-visit destination in Nashville, offering an ideal escape for those seeking an immersive running experience in nature while also catering to families looking for a peaceful retreat for the afternoon.

Nestled at the end of Neelys Bend, the greenway provides a slice of the countryside with its well-maintained trails suitable for walking, jogging, or biking. Visitors are likely to encounter deer, wild turkeys, birds, and occasionally snakes along the route.

Despite its proximity to the Cumberland River, the greenway offers limited views of the waterway due to thick foliage. The trailhead features a nice parking area and is typically not busy, making it an enjoyable experience for visitors. Due to the trail winding through wooded areas with limited visibility in spots, it is recommended to explore the greenway with a partner for optimal safety.

Percy Warner Park
50 Vaughn Rd | Nashville

Percy Warner Park offers a variety of trails suitable for running, ranging from paved rolling hills to dirt-and-rock paths with steep climbs and switchbacks. The more rugged trails are not safe for all ages and skill levels and should be undertaken only by skilled trail runners.

We love Percy Warner Park for its expansive acreage and variety of trails. There’s something for everyone, from newer runners to those of high skill level in need of a challenge. The paved 5.8-mile loop provides a smooth surface for easy walking or running, while the unpaved trails offer a more challenging terrain for those seeking a tougher workout.

The park's green, lush forestry and beautiful overlooks provide a peaceful escape from the city just a short drive from downtown Nashville. Dogs are welcome on the trails, and there are plenty of benches for resting along the way. The thick, dense woods provide ample shade, making the trails enjoyable even on hot summer days. Wildlife sightings, including deer, woodpeckers, owls, squirrels, and chipmunks, further enhance the park's impressive natural beauty.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway
1900 Davidson St | Nashville

The Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area in East Nashville is a 960-acre park adjacent to Shelby Park, offering a variety of habitats including bottomland hardwood forests, open fields, wetlands, and streams. The area is rich in wildlife, providing habitat for birds, amphibians, deer, and more. The greenway features over 5 miles of paved ADA accessible trail for running and wildlife watching, along with more than 5 miles of primitive trails for walking, running, and exploring nature.

Nashville's greenways, including Shelby Bottoms, link various points of interest throughout the city, offering a flat trail along the Cumberland River. The trail provides a scenic route up to a bridge leading to the more strenuous Stones River trail and connects to a disused airport that is ideal for speed training.

We recommended parking at Two Rivers Park where the trail meets the Stones River Greenway for maximum convenience. The trail is beautifully maintained, with several water stations and creeks for dogs to use as spots to play and cool off.

Anderson Road Fitness Trail
4052 Anderson Rd | Nashville

Anderson Road Fitness Trail is a 1.25-mile, dog-friendly path that loops around Percy Priest Lake. Ideal for a short run or a full five miles (four laps), this trail connects to Anderson Beach, picnic spots, and the campground. The generously shaded stretches of the trail are ideal for shelter from the summer heat, which does make this paved trail a popular destination anytime the mercury spikes.

Take a break on a lakeside bench, or jog in, loop, and head right back out; you’ll have a delightful run either way.

Radnor Lake State Park - Otter Creek Road Trail
1160 Otter Creek Rd | Nashville

Radnor Lake State Park sprawls over 1,368 acres of stunning Class II Natural Area land. The Otter Creek Trail is set aside for runners and cyclists, and the moderately challenging path loops 3.7 miles around the lake. This awe-inspiring destination is unique in that it is a true escape from the city despite its urban location and offers an unmatched abundance of wildlife.

Stones River Greenway Trailhead
Stewarts Ferry Pike | Nashville

The Stones River Greenway spans nearly 11 miles from the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge to the J. Percy Priest Dam Trailhead. This paved path conveniently connects to Hickory Hill, the Donelson-Hermitage YMCA, and Stewarts Ferry Pike. Restrooms are available along the way, and depending on the stretch you tackle, you will pass through Two Rivers Park, Heartland Park, Lytle Park, and Ravenwood Park. Enjoy rolling hills, unique bridges, and of course, close-up views of the Cumberland River and dams.

Peeler Park Greenway Trailhead
2271 Neelys Bend Rd | Madison

Peeler Park, located on the Cumberland River's Neely's Bend in Davidson County, spans 633 acres of pastoral beauty. The park offers a variety of recreational activities amidst its bucolic farmland setting, including a 3.7-mile paved, multi-use path ideal for jogging and running.

The park's trails meander through meadows and woods, providing a serene environment throughout which wildlife is abundant, with deer and birds frequently spotted along the pathways. The park is also beloved for its dog-friendliness, offering a great place for dogs to run and explore. Overall, we love Peeler Park for its well-maintained trails and peaceful ambiance. This is an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil escape into nature.

Long Hunter State Park
2910 Hobson Pike | Hermitage

Long Hunter State Park, spanning 2,600 acres, became a state park in 1974 and comprises four sections: Couchville, Baker’s Grove, Bryant Grove, and Sellars Farm. Offering a variety of recreational activities, including fishing and hiking, the park features more than 20 miles of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels. Trails range from easy jogs to more challenging routes, providing a variety of terrain and habitats to explore.

Notable trails for runners include the Bryant Grove Trail, known for its flat and winding path along the lake shore, and the Jones Mill Trail, which meanders through cedar glades and offers impressive spring wildflowers. Leashed pets are permitted on all trails.

Moss-Wright Park
745 Caldwell Dr | Goodlettsville

At 147 acres, Moss-Wright Park is the largest in Goodlettsville. The paved, dedicated pedestrian trail does not permit dogs, making it a rarity in our region, and therefore a favorite for runners who do not wish to share their space with canine companions.

The full staff of this beautiful park offer yet another measure of safety, so solo runners, even those visiting from out of town, can head over to this track without worry.

The Takeaway

Okay, runners, weigh in! Did we mention your favorite running trail near Nashville? If not, please share your thoughts with us.

Having read through our recommendations, where will you head to next when spring hits? Wherever you choose, what matters most is staying active and enjoying the incredibly beautiful natural landscapes we are so fortunate to claim as our home.

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


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