MetroCenter Levee Trail on the Cumberland River Greenway

May 8, 2013 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

MetroCenter Levee Trailhead

MetroCenter Levee Trailhead

Nashville has made great strides in the last several years to strengthen the greenway system throughout the city. We’ve already reviewed several of the greenways (Shelby Bottoms, Stones River, Mill Creek, Bells Bend) so last fall (I know, I know this post is LONG overdue) we headed out to check out the MetroCenter Levee trail on the Cumberland River Greenway.

  1. Scenery:  2.0
  2. Difficulty:  0
  3. Length:  3.0 miles
  4. Dog Friendly Factor: 4.5
  5. Convenience:  5
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 0

Scenery (2.0 out of 5.0): If you’re familiar with MetroCenter, you know it’s a pretty flat space topped with a whole lot of office buildings (and the Titans’ training facility), so I was pleasantly surprised by how relatively scenic this trail was. The Cumberland River and the bluffs overlooking it are the main attractions. There were a few nice views, but the steady stream of office buildings and storage facilities killed a lot of the “get out in nature” vibe.

Great sunset on the MetroCenter Greenway

Great sunset on the MetroCenter Greenway

Difficulty (0 out of 5.0): This trial is flat and paved and super easy. This is a there-and-back trail, so unless you’re immensely talented you won’t get lost. It’s easily accessible for walkers as well as cyclists or would also be a good alternative for anyone with disabilities who may not be able to get out and about on other trails.

Length: 3.0 Miles

Dog Friendly Factor (4.5 out of 5.0): This was another easy trail for the dogs. The only thing it’s missing is a good watering hole for them to take a long drink, but overall this is a short enough trail that it shouldn’t matter too much.

Convenience (5.0 out of 5.0): This trail starts just north of downtown next and is easily accessible.

Bonus Funtimes (0 out of 5.0): Aside from the perk that this trail is almost smack dab in the middle of Nashville (where there’s tons to do), there’s not a lot of extra fun stuff on this trail. However, the immense convenience of it does make for a nice spot to get some fresh air and enjoy views of the Cumberland River.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway

May 15, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Shelby Bottoms Greenway Trail map

Shelby Bottoms Trails

Before Nate and I met, Shelby Bottoms Greenway was about the only “outdoorsy” path I had ventured upon. It was my go-to spot for an evening walk or (on the rare occasions) a nice run. On all those outings I always stayed on the paved path… little did I know what I’d been missing by not venturing onto unpaved trails.

  1. Scenery:  2.0
  2. Difficulty:  1.0
  3. Length:  8.5 miles
  4. Dog Friendly Factor: 4.0
  5. Convenience:  5.0
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 4.0
Shelby Bottoms Greenway - Bottomland Trail Offshoot

The surprising Bottomland Trail offshoot

Scenery (2.0 out of 5.0): Shelby Bottoms Greenway slides along the flat plains of the Cumberland River in East Nashville. While you’re routinely very near the river, thick foilage keeps the it hidden from view most of the time. The main greenway path is wide open (wear sunscreen!) and paved, but the trail offshoots have plenty of canopy overgrowth and natural ground cover.

Of all the offshoot trails that we hit up, the Bottomland Trail was the most scenic and least traveled. This long, narrow path is covered by tall trees and you really can feel a sense of wilderness in the middle of metro Nashville. As we were on the trail, I was kicking myself for always sticking to the paved path when I lived on the east side.

Difficulty (1.0 out of 5.0): Shelby Bottoms was designed to be very walkable for all types of people. The long, flat, well-maintained trails make it easy for people of all fitness levels. One major improvement that’s occurred in recent years is the improved trail signage at all the trail intersections. This made our hike much easier when we were trying to pick and choose which paths to take next.

Length: 8.5 miles in 2:35 (We started at the Two Rivers parking are and did the main greenway path (both east and west loops), Cornelia Fort Trail and Bottomland Trail.)

Dog Friendly Factor (4.0 out of 5.0):  Ezra got a lot of miles under his collar during his puppy years traipsing along Shelby Bottoms. The entire pathway is very dog friendly and you’re likely to run into more than a few furry friends on these trails. Water availability really does depend on recent rains – the day we were on the greenway there was only one stream that had running water. That was located about 5 miles into our trek and gave the dogs a nice refresher near the Shadow Lane and Cornelia Fort trail intersection.

Convenience (5.0 out of 5.0): Even though East Nashville is on weekend lockdown this summer, you can still easily access Shelby Bottoms via the Cumberland Pedestrian Bridge from the parking lot of Two Rivers/Wave Country parking lot. There’s also plenty of parking at Shelby Bottoms park as well as the Forrest Green trailhead.

Bonus Funtimes (4.0 out of 5.0): The greenway is very popular for cyclists, runners, roller bladers (our friends at Cloud Hiking even noted watching out for the Roller Girls training practice on certain days!) and more. There’s also easy access to the Shelby Bottoms Park playgrounds, ball fields and dog park.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Cumberland Pedestrian Bridge – Looking towards Shelby Bottoms


This hike and others found in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville, get your own copy now from

Stones River Greenway

May 1, 2012 in Tennessee Hiking Trails

Stones River Greenway

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.

  1. Scenery:  2.0
  2. Difficulty:  1.5
  3. Length:  5.7 miles
  4. Dog Friendly Factor: 4.0
  5. Convenience:  5.0
  6. 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.

Stones River Greenway

Ezra checking out the fishes in the river below

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…

Stones River Greenway scenery

Yes, that guy is naked. Sure hope those were art students…

Stones River Greenway wildlife

Lounging turtles







This hike and others found in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville, get your own copy now from

Warner Woods Trail & Mill Creek Greenway

March 21, 2010 in Tennessee Hiking Trails


Rain, rain go away

Rain, rain go away.

With the weather decidedly uncooperative today, I’ll use this Sunday indoors to catch up on a few quick hikes we’ve did before I started the blog.

Warner Woods Trail at Percy Warner Park

  1. Scenery: 3.0
  2. Difficulty: 2.5
  3. Distance: 2.5
  4. Convenience: 5.0
  5. Dog Friendliness: 5.0
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 1.5

We tried out Warner Woods Trail on a sunny, but bitterly cold day (21° that day) on New Year’s weekend.  It proved to be a trail worth bundling up for. As I’m learning, Percy Warner & Edwin Warner Parks in west Nashville are full of plenty of trails for humans & horses.  While not very long, a few solid hills caused  both of us to break a sweat, despite the cold.  This was a very pretty trail, kind of hard to believe such an escape from Nashville is within the city limits.  However, even on this wintry day, there were several runners, hikers & dogs on the trail, so if you’re looking to get away from people, this is probably not the trial for you.  Aside form hiking or running, there doesn’t seem to be much else going on out here, but there were several picnic tables, so pack a lunch and enjoy the afternoon.


  1. Scenery: 1.5
  2. Difficulty: 1.0
  3. Distance: 2.6
  4. Convenience: 5.0
  5. Dog Friendliness: 5.0
  6. Bonus Funtimes: 1.0

Mill Creek Greenway was a pretty standard Nashville greenway: paved & easy. This trail is a quick drive from Nate’s place, along I-24 just north of Antioch. We tried out this trail on a snowy January day and it provided a nice excursion from the house, but with views of the interstate & part of the pathway behind a school bus parking lot, it wasn’t memorable enough to make us eager to revisit.  If you’re a foodie, there are plenty of rustic and authentic looking Chinese & Mexican food restaurants in the area.


This hike and others found in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville, get your own copy now from