Best Places to Run in Nashville: A Comprehensive Guide

Nashville is a city known for its rich music history and vibrant nightlife, but it also offers wonderful opportunities for runners seeking scenic and enjoyable routes. Whether it’s parks, greenways or picturesque neighborhoods, the Music City has something to offer for everyone who enjoys hitting the pavement.

Many of the best places to run in Nashville encompass its stunning greenway trails along the Cumberland River, totaling almost 80 miles and connecting various city parks and trails. One example is the Cumberland River Greenway, which stretches 3.5 miles from Ted Rhodes Park to Nissan Stadium and offers a serene paved path away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Another popular choice for runners is Centennial Park, featuring a mile-long trail surrounded by beautiful landscapes and iconic landmarks.

Aside from parks and greenways, Nashville’s charming neighborhoods offer scenic running routes as well. Runners can explore up-and-coming areas like Shelby Ave. and Fatherland St. or admire the historic architecture lining the quiet streets of Sylvan Park, all while enjoying an invigorating run. With ample running locations to choose from, Nashville truly lives up to its reputation as a haven for both music lovers and runners alike.

Top Running Trails in Nashville

Shelby Bottoms Greenway

Shelby Bottoms Greenway is a popular running destination in Nashville, Tennessee. The greenway stretches over 5 miles of paved, ADA-accessible trail, perfect for running, biking, rollerblading, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. In addition, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center offers information on local flora and fauna, as well as programs and activities for all ages.

Percy Warner Park

Percy Warner Park, part of the Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, offers various trails, such as the Mossy Ridge and Harpeth Woods Loops, that are perfect for trail running. With challenging elevation gains, these routes provide runners with a great workout amid beautiful natural surroundings.

Centennial Park

Located in downtown Nashville, Centennial Park offers a picturesque 1-mile loop trail, suitable for runners of all skill levels. Surrounded by lush greenery and historical landmarks, this paved trail is both enjoyable and convenient for city dwellers.

Cumberland River Greenway

The Cumberland River Greenway consists of nearly 80 miles of interconnected greenway trails along the Cumberland River. These trails vary in length and difficulty, making them suitable for all runners. The greenway connects city parks, neighborhoods, and natural areas, making it a scenic and engaging running experience.

Stones River Greenway

Stones River Greenway is another popular destination for runners. The paved trail stretches over 10 miles, connecting the Cumberland River Greenway to the beautiful 204-acre Stones River Park.

Harpeth River Greenway

Located in West Nashville, the Harpeth River Greenway comprises four disconnected trails that total about 8 miles of scenic area for running, walking, and biking. This multi-use trail runs along the Harpeth River, linking many points of interest along the way.

Richland Creek Greenway

Last but not least is the Richland Creek Greenway, a winding trail that hugs the banks of the beautiful Richland Creek. This 4.4-mile paved trail provides a peaceful and serene running experience, making it a favored spot for locals seeking some tranquility amidst their city runs.

Scenic and Iconic Routes

Nashville, Tennessee offers a variety of beautiful and scenic running routes for both locals and visitors to enjoy. From historic neighborhoods to iconic landmarks, these routes provide a unique running experience in the Music City.

Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville is an ideal place for runners seeking a scenic, urban environment along the Cumberland River. The Cumberland River Greenway offers almost 80 miles of greenway trails, connecting city parks and trails. The greenway provides picturesque views of the city skyline and the famous river, making it perfect for those who want to appreciate both nature and the urban landscape.

Music Row

For those interested in connecting with the heart of Nashville’s music scene, a run through Music Row is a must. This iconic neighborhood is home to numerous recording studios, record labels, and entertainment agencies. As you jog down the streets of Music Row, you can admire the historic buildings and imagine the countless artists who have walked these streets.

Belmont Blvd

Belmont Blvd offers a delightful, tree-lined running route through one of Nashville’s most beautiful neighborhoods. It is located near the campuses of Belmont University and Vanderbilt University. This neighborhood offers a mix of stunning historic homes and elegant modern architecture.

During your run along Belmont Blvd, you can take a small detour to visit the Centennial Park, which is home to a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The one-mile trail around the park weaves in and out between the lush green space and the magnificent Parthenon, providing a remarkable backdrop for your run.

Overall, Nashville offers a diverse array of scenic and iconic running routes that cater to all interests and preferences. From bustling downtown, historic Music Row, to peaceful and picturesque Belmont Blvd, there’s a perfect route for everyone.

Popular Parks for Running

Shelby Park

Shelby Park, located in East Nashville, offers a variety of running trails suitable for all fitness levels. Runners can enjoy the Shelby Bottoms Greenway, which boasts over 10 miles of scenic trails. The park provides a mix of paved and primitive trails, ideal for those who like to switch up their running terrain.

Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park is a popular destination for runners in Nashville. The park is situated along the Cumberland River, providing picturesque views and a tranquil atmosphere. The greenway trails connect with other city parks and trails, making it a great place for longer runs.

Morgan Park

Morgan Park, located near the J. Percy Priest Lake, offers runners a peaceful and natural setting. With several trails within the park, runners can enjoy a variety of landscapes and terrain, making each run a unique experience.

Beaman Park

Nestled in the hills of northwest Nashville, Beaman Park provides a serene and secluded running experience. The park features a mix of easy-to-moderate trails, allowing runners to test their stamina on a variety of terrain.

Two Rivers Park

Two Rivers Park is a popular running destination in the Donelson neighborhood. The park offers a range of trails suitable for all fitness levels, winding through the beautiful landscape of the Cumberland River. In addition to running trails, the park also features a dog park for furry friends.

These parks not only offer a great running experience but also serve as gateways to other popular Nashville locations, such as Belle Meade, Percy Warner Park, and Centennial Park.

Seasonal Running Tips

Nashville offers great running spots throughout the year, but the seasonal changes can make a difference in your running experience. In this section, we will provide you with some tips for running in the hot summers and chilly winters in Nashville.

Transportation and Accessibility

Nashville offers a variety of running routes for those looking to explore different areas of the city. One popular location to run is near Vanderbilt University, which is easily accessible by bus. Students and residents can enjoy the scenic routes around the campus, as well as the nearby Centennial Park that offers a paved 1-mile trail.

Another area worth exploring is Sylvan Park, a charming residential neighborhood with tree-lined streets and sidewalks. It’s an ideal running spot for those looking for a more peaceful and residential route. The area is well-connected with public transportation, making it easy to access by bus.

For those interested in a more historical route, Franklin, located 20 miles south of Nashville, offers a variety of parks, greenways, and a historic horse farm for runners to enjoy. Many of these paths are paved or asphalt, ensuring ADA accessibility. Along the Natchez Trace Parkway, which starts just southwest of Nashville, runners can also enjoy a unique running experience on an accessible path.

Nashville’s bus system is a convenient way to access the various running routes throughout the city. It efficiently connects popular areas such as Vanderbilt University, Sylvan Park, and downtown locations. With affordable fares and frequent service, runners can easily commute to and from their desired running spots.

Lastly, for those interested in incorporating Nashville’s rich music history into their run, a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame area is highly recommended. Running through downtown Nashville, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Music City. The Riverfront Park also offers a picturesque route along the Cumberland River, where you can catch a glimpse of barges passing by.

With its various running routes and accessible transportation options, Nashville proves to be an inviting city for runners of all levels to explore and enjoy.

Running Near Belmont

Belmont University, located in Nashville, offers several nearby options for running enthusiasts to explore. One popular spot to begin is the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood, which boasts scenic streets lined with trees and charming historical homes.

A short distance from the Belmont University campus, runners can find Centennial Park, a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The paved trail within the park spans about 1 mile, providing a convenient and picturesque route for those looking for a quick run close to the university. Centennial Park is not only a great place for a jog, but it also features various historical monuments, gardens, and the famous Parthenon replica to enjoy during your run.

Belmont is also located close to the Cumberland River Greenway, which offers approximately 3.5 miles of trails running through the heart of downtown Nashville. This greenway gives runners the opportunity to experience the city’s lively atmosphere while enjoying views of the Cumberland River.

Here are some recommended running routes near Belmont:

  • Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood streets
  • Centennial Park’s 1-mile trail
  • Cumberland River Greenway

In summary, the area surrounding Belmont University provides a diverse selection of scenic running options for all levels of runners, from neighborhood routes in Belmont-Hillsboro to the easily accessible city trails and parks.

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