Enjoy the fresh outdoors with activities like hiking and kayaking! Within surrounding areas of Nashville, there are many state parks, lakes, and rivers that offer must-try hiking and kayaking adventures. Here are Nashville Guru’s top places to hike and kayak near Nashville.
Where to Hike in and around Nashville
Radnor Lake State Park
Radnor Lake State Park is located in the Oak Hill area of Nashville. The 1,368-acre park is day-use only and includes 7.75 miles of trails for hiking. There are nine designated hiking trails ranging from 0.20 miles to 1.65 miles.
Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls State Park is a 282-acre park located nine miles north of Cookeville, Tennessee, about 1.5 hours outside of Music City. Cummins Falls is 75 feet high and is Tennessee’s eighth-largest waterfall in the volume of water. Visiting the waterfall will require strenuous hiking, climbing rocks, walking over slippery rocks, and wading through water. In order to reach the waterfall, there are two trails; one trail is 1.0 miles and the other is 1.5 miles.
Montgomery Bell State Park
Montgomery Bell State Park is located only 40 minutes from Downtown Nashville. The 3,850-acre park features three lakes that are perfect for swimming. There are seven hiking trails ranging from 0.2 miles to 10.4 miles. The state park also includes a golf course, restaurant, cabins, and more.
Harpeth River State Park
Harpeth River State Park is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The park is linear along 40 miles of river. There are three areas within Harpeth River State Park for hiking, including Narrows of the Harpeth, Gossett Tract, and Hidden Lake. Designated hiking trails vary from 0.2 miles to 3.0 miles.
Long Hunter State Park
Long Hunter State Park is located within Davidson County and Rutherford County. The 2,600-acre park has four sections: Couchville, Baker’s Grove, Bryant Grove, and Sellars Farm. There are 12 designated hiking trails ranging from 0.3 miles to 5.5 miles. Additional activities at the park include boating and swimming on J. Percy Priest Lake, biking, and fishing.
Where to Kayak in and around Nashville
Cumberland Kayak features three kayaking routes that vary from 1.5 hours to 2 hours. The “Nashville Skyline Paddle”, their most popular kayak route, is a self-guided paddle that features an unhindered view of the Nashville skyline. The cost is $45 per person.
River Queen Voyages
River Queen Voyages offers kayaking, pedal kayaks, pedal pontoons, and scavenger hunts. There are self-guided and guided kayak trips that vary from 3 to 8 miles. “The Skyline” is their most booked kayak trip that offers stunning city views along the riverwalk in Downtown Nashville. Prices vary from $37-$89 per person.
Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak Rental
Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak Rental has some of the best rentals and experiences on the Harpeth River. The Harpeth River is a Class 1 river, therefore, it is slow-moving with a few mild rapids which is great for kayaking. Transportation to and from the river will be provided.
Big Willies Action Sports
Big Willies Action Sports offers kayaking routes down the Cumberland River with amazing views of the city. A shuttle to the drop-off point from downtown will be provided in addition to safety equipment, complimentary water, and sunscreen. Groups of six or more will automatically receive 10% off at checkout. The Nashville Kayak Tour is $49 per person.
Beyond The Banks
Beyond The Banks is a kayak rental service located in Franklin, TN. This company will provide drop off and pick up at many rivers and lakes near Nashville. Guided night kayak tours are available at Percy Priest. A one-person kayak rental is $30 and a two-person kayak is $45.
Nashville Paddle Company
The Nashville Paddle Company offers kayak and SUP rentals from their lakeside waterfront boathouse on Percy Priest Lake. Guests can book either a one-seater or two-seater kayak for 1-2 hours. This company donates a portion of its proceeds to the Cumberland River Compact and many other organizations that focus on protecting local waterways.
Sunshine’s Adventures provides kayak rentals on the Harpeth River. The big, tall, and tandem kayaks are $80 each, the standard kayaks are $50 each, and the youth kayaks are $30 each. Guests can use The Nashville Shuttle for rides to and from the river.