Top Parks

Posted by Marketing on Monday, March 25th, 2024 at 11:00am.

Middle Tennessee boasts a gorgeous array of both manmade and natural parks intended to offer members of our community adventures into not only nature’s tranquility but also bustling outdoor gathering spaces. Whether you are looking for great walking trails or the tallest, fastest slide in your zip code, today’s guide will help you find your next destination. Read on for our picks in Nashville, Hermitage, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, Mt. Juliet, Franklin, and Brentwood! No matter where you live or visit in Middle Tennessee, you have an incredible park nearby.

Centennial Park
2500 West End Avenue | Nashville

Centennial Park is situated in the center of downtown, making this bustling park an ideal spot for a mid-day picnic on your lunch break, a quick walk to get your blood pumping before a meeting, or a meeting place for friends fortunate enough to work nearby.

However, because Centennial Park is also home to the Parthenon replica of which Nashville is (quite understandably) proud, weekend events, festivals, concerts, and more, there is no better place to do some outdoor mingling with your fellow Nashvillians. This popular park is beloved for its many charms and expansive 132 acres, so you might want to head elsewhere if you need solitude or meditative tranquility.

Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park
600 James Robertson Parkway | Nashville

Downtown Nashville’s Capitol Mall State Park adjoins the Capitol itself. Steeped in history, the park is peppered with informative plaques and features a 95-bell carillon, a 200-foot granite map of our state, a Pathway of History, and a World War II Memorial. Anyone visiting the capitol building for educational purposes will enjoy this outdoor learning opportunity immensely.

If you are less of a history buff and more of an outdoor enthusiast, the Walkway of Counties showcases native plants from throughout the state, and the park is also enjoyable via a meandering walk. Still, we recommend that first-time visitors sign up to take a complimentary tour from the park’s rangers. If the guided tours are full or you are an independent adventurer, the virtual tours and park map are also excellent tools for newcomers.

Cumberland Park
592 South First Street | Nashville

Cumberland Park is one of the many newer gems located along the riverfront in Nashville. The park’s unique and exciting playground includes interactive installations including:

  • The Hollow
    This meandering play area includes a wave-like activity zone, a large tandem see-saw, a sand play space, a green maze, and a bounce pad. On warm days, The Hollow’s water features include a cloud bridge of mist and “rainfall” curtains, rainbow hot spots, and a classic splash pad.
  • The Explorer Trail
    Meandering through meadows and thickly planted groves, this trail was designed to bring butterflies and other beneficial insects into the newly created riverside play space.  
  • The Gorge
    This children’s climbing wall is one of the best in Nashville! Climbing nets, ropes, and embedded fossils make it a favorite energy-busting workout for Nashville’s young families.

In addition to its phenomenal play area, this 6.5-acre park boasts a 1,200-seat amphitheater for concerts, festivals, and community events.

Edwin and Percy Warner Parks (aka Warner Parks)
50 Vaughn Rd | Nashville

Although technically two separate parks, Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park are typically combined by locals and referred to as “Warner Parks.” The two are adjacent to each other, separated only by Old Hickory Boulevard. Together, the Warner Parks span a vast 2,700 acres from the south border of Davidson County down into Williamson County. Together, they are the second-largest public park in the entire state.

Due to their rich history, these parks have earned a place in the National Register of Historic Places, making them valuable as both educational destinations and enormous outdoor recreation areas. Wander the former H. G. Hill grounds, and you’ll be able to explore the largest old-growth forest located within urban zones anywhere east of the Mississippi. Visit The Burch Reserve to explore Nashville’s largest cave, relax near small ponds, ramble through meadows, and weave through thickly forested areas.

If you are within driving distance of Warner Parks, they are an experience that is not to be missed.

Ravenwood Park
3401 Central Pike | Hermitage

Ravenwood Park was expanded in the summer of 2023, and it has rapidly become one of the most-adored parks in town. If your children are thrill-seekers, Ravenwood Park’s towering, classic slide is a spectacularly speedy ride. Younger children, meanwhile, will enjoy the park’s many smaller slides that were installed with them in mind.

While any slide should be tested for hot temperatures on sweltering summer days, you’ll be glad to know that the new metal slides are made of high-tech metals selected specifically for their ability to stay cooler than even plastic playground slides.

Climbing structures, a sand pit, shaded swings, and wide-open spaces make this park ideal for children of all ages. A covered pavilion offers shelter from rain or direct sunlight. Young trees were recently planted, which will give additional cover on hot days as they grow.

If you’re an active adult, you’ll enjoy the fitness installations, basketball court, and racquetball wall. We strongly suggest that all visitors bring water, especially on hot days, because the water fountains are few and far between (though more are expected to be added soon).

Pinkerton Park
405 Murfreesboro Road | Franklin

Franklin’s Pinkerton Park boasts more visitors than almost any park in Tennessee’s network, and it’s easy to see why. The park is bordered by the Harpeth River on its west side, Fort Granger on the north, and contains 23 picnic spots throughout its 34 acres.

Young children can explore the Tinkerbell playground near the parking area, though additional playground areas are situated next to the covered picnic areas.

The park also features a gentle, one-mile walking trail for pedestrians and leashed pets. To reach Pinkerton Park from downtown, take the Sue Douglas Berry Memorial pedestrian bridge, and you’ll be there in no time!

Barfield Crescent Park
697 Veterans Parkway | Murfreesboro

Barfield Crescent Park sprawls across 430 acres within southern Murfreesboro. Because it can only be reached by vehicle, the parking area can hold up to 600–though due to the many visitors this park receives, we recommend arriving earlier in the day to secure a choice spot.

If you are looking for a new picnic spot, you can’t beat Barfield Crescent Park! It boasts four pavilions that can each seat 24, with another single shelter that seats 76. For larger groups, there are four shelters that seat 108 people. Two concession stands offer snacks and beverages, so you won’t have to give up your parking spot when you and yours get peckish.

Barfield is also home to a baseball complex that holds three Little League baseball fields, a regulation field, three 200-foot multi-use fields, and an additional 315-foot multi-use field. Join the fun via the programs offered through the Murfreesboro Baseball Association, reserve a field, or participate as a motivating spectator!

Hikers and walkers, whether you’re with your leashed pet, friends, or on your own for the day, you’ll be thrilled with the park’s 7+ miles of mixed paved and unpaved trails. If you’re looking for an extended stay, the park also offers 12 private campsites and one larger group campsite.

Even if you’re only here for the day, you can learn more about the park’s wildlife at the wilderness station and educational classrooms.

Crockett Park
1500 Volunteer Parkway | Brentwood

If you’re the parent or caretaker of a young child, playtime at a park has the potential to end with at least one skinned limb. Fear not! Crockett Park has your back. The playground’s rubberized paths are safe for the youngest of toddlers, while slides in a number of sizes offer challenges suitable for all ages and stages. Rubber tire obstacles are engaging yet safe, castle-themed architecture featuring dragon motifs is ideal for imaginative play, and shaded picnic tables offer cool respite for midday meals and snack time. Begin early, and you will be able to spend most of the day at Crockett.

Crockett welcomes pedestrians and their leashed pets along its beautiful, tree-lined walking paths, most of which have plenty of winding through shaded spots to keep you cool. Additionally, Crockett Park’s 264 acres are home to the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater, Cool Springs House, and, therefore, a large number of Brentwood’s concerts, festivals, and seasonal events.

Memorial Park
151 E Main St | Hendersonville

Memorial Park is famous for its extensive walking trails that meander through shady groves along Old Hickory Lake. This pet-friendly trail features $0.25 dispensers filled with wildlife-appropriate feed, making it easy to enjoy feeding the ducks and geese on and around the lake without endangering their health.

The pond’s gentle waters and well-fed fish make this a great spot for teaching children how to fish, though you’ll see anglers of all ages enjoying a relaxing day of fishing here.

Children will enjoy Memorial Park’s playground, the wildlife along the walking path, and exploring the shallow swamps leading up to Drake’s Creek, while adults can picnic, walk, play tennis, or photograph the waterfowl, small mammals, and many tree-dwelling birds.

Additionally, socialized canine companions are welcome to run off-leash with friends at the dog park!

Charlie Daniels Park
1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy | Mt. Juliet

Famous country music singer Charlie Daniels, a Mt. Juliet resident, was a dedicated community supporter until his passing in 2020. Though he moved to Nashville in 1970, he made this his true home through his generosity and dedication to living up to his openly Christian values.

It should be no surprise that this famous musician was the namesake for this renowned park. Featuring walking trails, a seasonal farmers market, an amphitheater, a volleyball court, a baseball field, a soccer field, a skate park, playgrounds for both very young children and elementary school-aged children, a splash pad, and multiple picnic pavilions, this park is full of fun all week long.

Leashed dogs are welcome. Whether you have a specific reason to show up here or not, you will find yourself caught up in the happenings—so come on out.

The Takeaway

Our list of our top ten parks in Middle Tennessee just scratches the surface of the mixed-use outdoor recreation parks throughout our gorgeous region. The effortless blending of natural landscapes and urban areas is part of what makes our home famous; get out there and enjoy it!

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