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Nashville Parks Guide

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is widely acknowledged to be Nashville’s most popular park. This 132-acre downtown park includes a number of unique features. The Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek monument located on site with replications of antique sculptures and the work of American artists from the past two centuries is featured as well. The Parthenon sits on the shores of Watauga Lake creating an excellent atmosphere for enjoying the wildlife and picnics along the shoreline. Another favorite is the Musician’s Corner which offers free music in the park every summer.

The Centennial Sportsplex is home to swimming and ice skating venues. Two ice sheets individually measure 205 feet by 50 feet. Hockey, figure skating, and open public skating are all open to the public. The 2,400 square feet fitness center includes a free-weight room over 500 square feet in size. Rowing machines and a Gravitron are among the premier machines available. Admission is by daily fee or annual membership.

Hours: Dawn to 11PM | Location: 25th Avenue North and West End Avenue.

Cumberland Park

Cumberland is certainly one of the most modern parks in the Nashville parks system. The 6.5 acre park is home to a 1,200-seat amphitheater used for concerts and other live events. Several riverfront play spaces dot Cumberland Park including the Hollow, the Scoops, the Gorge and the Explorer Trail.

It also introduces a number of innovative features to the play space offered along the riverfront:

  • The Hollow features an undulating washboard activity area, a bouncing pad and a green maze. There is also a cloud bridge with rain curtains and an interactive splash pad. The tandem see-saw for parents and kids offers families a great way to play together.
  • The Scoops is a cooling off area that includes stepping stones and water misting.
  • The Gorge is a stone climbing wall with climbing nets and climbing ropes. There’s a sliding rope and even embedded fossils. A four person embankment slide is made of Corian that stays cooler in the summer sunshine than typical slide materials.
  • The Explorer Trail is fashioned from crushed stone, and its design includes features to attract butterflies.

Hours: Dawn to 11PM |Location: 592 South First Street (Between the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge and the Korean War Memorial Vets Pedestrian Bridge).

Photo by Michael Hicks
Photo by Michael Hicks

Warner Parks

Technically, there are two parks here. One is named for Edwin Warner and the other for Percy Warner. They are separated by Old Hickory Boulevard. Together, the Warner Parks include 2,684 acres devoted to public recreation. Among parks in Tennessee, only Shelby Farms Park in Memphis is larger.

Some think of the Warner Parks as Nashville’s version of Central Park. The amenities are truly varied with scenic overlooks, equestrian trails, athletic fields and lengthy hiking trails. The Warner Parks Nature Center is a great destination for families with children. The equestrian center offers varied accessibility and availability for enthusiastic horseback riders. Bicyclists gravitate to the 11 mile winding road meandering through the park.

There is also a dog park and a golf course. The Percy Warner golf course is a nine hole par 34 course measuring 2,600 yards in length. The tree-lined fairways and undulating greens have challenged golfers since 1937. This course is fairly unique in that no tee times are used; golfers tee off on a first-come, first served basis.

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset | Location: Entrance located at the end of Belle Meade Blvd, nine miles southwest of downtown Nashville.

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