UPDATED FEB 28, 2020
If you live in Nashville, you already know that our city is home to notoriously bad drivers and frequent traffic jams. But you probably also know that it's one of the most bike-friendly cities in the South. From bike lanes to picturesque pathways, there are plenty of awesome places to explore on two wheels and these are some of the best.
This five-mile trail winds around the best golf course in town, crosses over a beautiful creek, and offers a loop around McCabe Park. A city favorite, it also connects to plenty of area shopping spots, eateries, and it's the perfect bike trail to enjoy before grabbing a beer at the outside bar at Edley’s BBQ. It's also a popular go-to for walkers and runners, so even though this trail is wide, you'll want to make sure you're looking out for others who may be using the path.
With both paved and primitive sections, this bike trail in East Nashville is great for the nature-lover. The main, approximately five-mile route follows the Cumberland River, beginning at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, but there are plenty of off-shoots and spurs you can take to add on mileage. The greenway also makes it easy to dip into several East Nashville neighborhoods. We suggest trailing off to Eastland Avenue and stopping by Rosepepper Cantina, where you'll find the best margaritas in town.
While this isn’t a trail per se, Belmont Boulevard features bike-friendly sidewalks that pass by some of the most beautiful houses in the city. Start at Belmont University’s campus and make your way to Martin’s BBQ and back. Finish your relaxed, two-mile ride with a local beer from neighborhood diner and Nashville favorite blvd.
When you're riding on this paved bike path that runs along the Harpeth and Little Harpeth Rivers, you can expect to get an eyeful of some of the best scenery in Nashville — it's quite a nice contrast to the city. There are four different trail segments to choose from, but we suggest beginning in the gorgeous Edwin Warner Park and winding your way through Bellevue on a 6-mile paved route. Oh, and bring some snacks, there are plenty of places to make a pit stop and enjoy the peace and quiet.
For another scenic ride, check out Peeler Park Greenway in Neely’s Bend. It's a short (1.9-mile), paved trail, perfect for when a low-key, leisurely cycling excursion is what you're after. During your ride, you'll cruise past rolling farmland, picturesque vistas, tree-lined open fields, forests, and all sorts of native wildlife. A portion of the trail also follows along the Cumberland River, so plan your trip when it's close to sunset for a truly epic view.
For a bit of old Southern charm, bike Belle Meade Boulevard. This route is two miles one way and is lined with some of the nicest residences in the city. At the end of the road, you'll end of at the entrance to Percy Warner Park. Circle back to your starting point for a solid four-mile trek, or head into the park to add on up to 11 more miles.
In the mood for a challenge? Skip the flat trails and hit up the hilly, 11-mile paved loop that runs through Belle Meade’s Percy Warner Park. Not for beginners, this shaded route offers all sorts of steep climbs that will get your heart rate up and your adrenaline pumping. Don't worry, though, there are also downhill sections that provide a reprieve at just the right times. This trail is also known for its great views and lots of wildlife, which will come in handy when you need something to help take your mind off the muscle burn.
This quiet, scenic road begins at famous restaurants The Loveless Cafe and ends 444 miles away in Natchez, Mississippi. But we recommend Nashville's local 14-mile route; it ends in the historic town of Leiper’s Fork, where you can find delicious buttermilk biscuits and iced tea before heading back to the city. Fitt Tip: This National Scenic Byway doesn’t allow commercial traffic, which makes this route ideal for cyclists.
You'll have to travel 20 minutes or so outside of the city for this bike trail, but it's well worth the drive. At 6.7 miles long, this paved and compacted gravel ride is a great middle-distance route that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. You'll travel past trickling streams, towering trees, and the Cumberland River. And if you want to spend a little more time in the fresh air, you can pitch a tent at the campground off the Eagle Pass trail section.
Popular among cyclists, runners, and walkers alike, this trail is easily one of the best bike trails in the state. Starting at the Percy Priest Dam, the paved route meanders along the Stones River for almost 10 miles. Along the way, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery and stunning scenery. And while it's mostly flat, there are a few hills you'll have to contend with. Don't have a bike of your own? No problem — there are bike rentals available at near the Two Rivers Park trailhead.
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