Summer is finally in full bloom and the longer, sunshine filled days call for outdoor activities and excursions.
While you may already be familiar with the music-filled Nashville scene, there is much to explore in nearby areas, like parks, creeks, waterfalls, and bourbon or whisky trails. Whether you are in an adventurous mood, a swimming mood, or a learning mood, there’s something for you to explore near Nashville.
Below are our top picks!
Rock Island State Park
Just over an hour and a half drive from Nashville, this 883 acre state park is known for its excellent hiking trails, natural swimming spots, and kayaking spots. The Caney Fork Gorge is one of the park’s highlights, as it offers a spectacular, scenic view.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Established in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park is just an hour’s drive from Nashville. Its cave system is known for being the largest in the world and it offers various intriguing, unique natural formations. Some of the favorites among visitors include Frozen Niagara, Fat Man’s Misery, and Grand Avenue.
Old Hickory Lake
Located in the north of Nashville, Old Hickory Lake is one of the most popular swimming spots in Tennessee. The lake spans across five counties, Davidson, Sumner, Wilson, Trousdale and Smith counties and is perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping.
Big South Fork National Park
Covering areas both in Tennessee and Kentucky, Big South Fork is the perfect destination for adventurous souls. Commonly referred to as a quiet alternative to the Great Smoky Mountains, Big South Fork is perfect for rafting, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and even horseback riding.
Rock City Gardens
Rock City Gardens is the perfect place for nature-lovers. Located near downtown Chattanooga, it is home to over 400 native plants and it offers beautiful views from the top of Lookout Mountain.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
This is Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park, and for good reason. The park spans over 26,000 acres and boasts cascades, gorges, waterfalls and streams. The park lends itself for boating, rock climbing, swimming, fishing, biking, birding, and hiking.
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