Nashville Greenways - Share a Bike and Smile
When it comes to exploring the beautiful scenery that Nashville has to offer, folks are leaving their cars at home and using the incredible Greenways that have been developed one of the best places to live in Tennessee. Best of all, Nashville GreenBikes is the city’s free share a bike program making it an easy way to explore Nashville's parks, greenways and city streets. Residents & visitors, with an ID or proof of address, can check out a GreenBike at any of the convenient locations:
- Shelby Bottoms Nature Center
- Antioch Park Community Center
- East Park Community Center
- Hadley Park Community Center
- Watkins Park Community Center
- Hartman Park Community Center
- Looby Community Center
GreenBikes locations are directly linked to 94 miles of greenways and 133 miles of on-road bike lanes and shared-use bike routes. With a goal of having a “greenway” within 2 miles of very “Nashvillian”, this connective transportation system and green space conservation project identifies over 210 potential greenway miles and as of April 2014, 75 miles of greenway trails, plus over 150 primitive and paved trails in local parks have been created. As this amazing plan continues, the Metro Greenways Commission has a goal of adding 3-5 miles of trails per year and is targeted for completion over the next several years based on funding, right-of-way acquisition, “permitting” and design progress. Considering the ultimate outdoor activities and healthy lifestyle created by this “state-of-art” biking system, this is considered one of the best places for retirement. The network of Nashville bike routes are highly sophisticated and provide a valuable resource for getting around in this incredible region.
The impressive Greenways are linear parks and beautiful trails that were built to connect Nashville neighborhoods to schools, shopping areas, downtown, recreation areas and other points of accessible activities. With exceptional aesthetic appeal, the Greenways are often located along streams, rivers and bluffs and can also be found along historic railroad trails and picturesque highways. The Greenways allow citizens to enjoy the valuable greenspace with access to natural resources and recreational opportunities as well as providing an alternative to “driving” in Nashville.
When it comes to Nashville bike routes, ambitious cyclers will find that Nashville’s Greenways are centrally located along seven major water corridors: the Cumberland River, Harpeth River, Stones River, Mill Creek, Richland Creek, Seven Mile Creek and Whites Creek. There is also a trail and bike lane system that stretches from the Percy Priest Dam to Warner Parks, called the Music City Bikeway. This system is built by Metro Parks and overseen by the Greenways Commission and supported by “Greenways for Nashville” which is a private-sector nonprofit group. With the Greenways, there is virtually no need for a car, which encourages visitors and residents the option to “live in” and explore this great territory, improve the economy and get healthy! It is also a great way to shop for real estate while winding through the “Nashville neighborhoods” connected through the Greenway system.
With the goal of enticing the community to “get active” and preserve the natural resources, this integrative system encourages folks to enjoy the assets of the city, while providing safe and accessible routes for walking, running, bicycling and other forms of exercise. The Greenways also help improve property values by 6 to 30% and make Nashville more competitive economically. While enjoying the many activities offered here, individuals will also reap the benefits of living a healthier and more productive lifestyle and a fruitful retirement.
The month of May is “National Bike Month” and certainly one of the best places to celebrate is at the Greenways of Nashville. This is the ideal time of year to enjoy the season and celebrate all the health benefits that biking has to offer. Riding a bike is one of the most active ways to enjoy leisure time and burn calories as it expends an average of 281 calories per hour. Cycling is a total body workout and builds muscle, strengthens the heart and helps reduce stress. Riding to work will allow time to unwind after a busy day while enjoying the great outdoors. Biking is growing in popularity and has become an alternative to “indoor workouts”. As cities across the country are expanding their biking pathways, Nashville is definitely on target as a “destination for recreation”. As individuals age, biking has become the choice for Baby Boomers seeking homes in the Nashville neighborhoods surrounding these magnificent trails. This “age friendly” exercise option can definitely be enjoyed by all and is completely “family oriented” for those with children. Even young adults are hopping on the trails to reap the “health benefits” cycling has to offer. Students can even ride to classes at the Nashville community college that is connected to the Greenways.
There is an intricate series of trails and Nashville bike routes, throughout the Greenway system in Nashville. One of the trails is Richland Creek Greenway which connects to Nashville State Community College. This creekside, paved trail is 4 miles in length and loops through McCabe and Sylvan Park neighborhoods with shopping centers along White Bridge Pike and Harding Road.
There are many maps and trails available with a complete listing found at the Greenway website. The current status of trail development is coded so that riders can establish completed courses throughout the system. There are “pdf” maps that represent completion paths while dotted orange lines denote trails that are under construction. Here are the trails found in the Greenways of Nashville:
- Alta Lake Greenway - .07 miles, paved
- Bells Bend Greenway - 7.4 miles, soft surfaced farm roads and primitive hiking
- Brookmeade Greenway - 0.4 miles, paved
- Browns Creek Greenway - .65 miles, paved
- Cumberland River Greenway: Downtown - 1.5 miles, paved
- Cumberland River Greenway: Crooked Branch Park - 1.25 miles, paved
- Cumberland River Greenway: MetroCenter Levee 3 miles, paved
- Cumberland River Greenway: Tennessee State University, paved
- Harpeth River Greenway: Harpeth Youth Soccer Association - 0.6 miles, paved
- Harpeth River Greenway: Riverwalk Section - 1.7 miles, paved
- Harpeth River Greenway: Warner Park to Morton Mill - 7.3 miles, paved
- Mill Creek Greenway: Ezell Park - 1.3 miles, paved
- Mill Creek Greenway: Blue Hole Road Section - 1.8 miles, paved
- Mill Creek Greenway: Mill Creek Park - 1.8 miles, paved
- Old Hickory Dam Greenway - 1.5 miles, paved
- Peeler Park Greenway - 4 miles, paved; 3.5 miles, hiking; 8 miles, equestrian
- Richland Creek Greenway: McCabe, Sylvan Park, White Bridge and Harding Road - 4 miles, paved
- Richland Creek Greenway: England Park - .47 miles, paved
- Seven Mile Creek Greenway - 0.6 miles, paved
- Shelby Bottoms Greenway - 8.2 miles, paved
- Stones River Greenway - 10.2 miles, paved
- Whites Creek Greenway: Hartman and Mullins Parks - 1 mile, paved at Hartman; .92 mile, paved at Mullins
- Whites Creek Greenway: Fontanel - .08 mile, paved; 2 miles, hiking
Nashville is a great choice at retirement, for those seeking a health conscious urban Nashville neighborhood or for those with young adults still at home headed off to a Nashville community college. When you're looking around, be sure to share a bike to explore the Nashville Greenway system.
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