Stones River Greenway
With this past weekend sandwiched in between to big road trips, we decided it’d be smarter to stay closer to home instead of traveling outside of Nashville for a hiking excursion. Since we wanted to give our legs a good stretch, we opted for an afternoon on Nashville’s greenway system. Starting at Percy Priest Lake Dam, we hit up the Stone’s River Greenway.
- Scenery: 2.0
- Difficulty: 1.5
- Length: 5.7 miles
- Dog Friendly Factor: 4.0
- Convenience: 5.0
- Bonus Funtimes: 4.0
Scenery (2.0 out of 5.0): Starting out at Percy Priest Dam, this trail almost religiously follows the Stones River as it eeks its way from the lake out to the Cumberland River. The trail is completely paved and starting off it is very well shaded with native vegetation. On this spring day pockets of yellow and purple wildflowers lined the asphalt path.
About halfway through the trail there’s a long bridge that hugs the ravine along the river. From this bridge we were able to see dozens of fish in the clear water lazing their way along the riverbed. We also spotted a crane and a family of turtles getting ready to take a plunge into the water. This out-and-back trail also borders quite a few homes, so you never quite get that “lost in nature” vibe, but it is a nice afternoon outing.
Difficulty (1.5 out of 5.0): Aside from one pretty solid climb that did leave us winded, this trail is mostly flat and well paved. People of all shapes and sizes were out walking and biking along this trail.
Length: 5.7 miles from Percy Priest Dam to the Kohl’s parking lot trail head
Dog Friendly Factor (4.0 out of 5.0): Had there been a spot on the first half of the trail for the dogs to get some water, this would be 5.0 for dog friendly hikes in Nashville. We hiked on a sunny day in the mid-80s, so the dogs got to panting pretty good, and it wasn’t until we got to the midway point we found some spots for the dogs to easily access the river. But once they got into the water, it was quite a while before they decided to mosey back onto the shore, thoroughly dousing us as they shook the river off of themselves.
Convenience (5.0 out of 5.0): The trail head for this hike is 2 quick turns off of I-40 next to Percy Priest Lake. Very accessible for all Nashvillians.
Bonus Funtimes (4.0 out of 5.0): Since this trail starts out at Percy Priest Lake, there’s no shortage of extra fun things to do while in the area. We saw lots of people fishing and cycling along the trail. Nashville Shores is also nearby the trail head along as well as lots of other trails in the Percy Priest Lake area. And if you’re an art student, the river bank seems to be a good spot for trying to take awkward photos…