Grab your pup's water bowl and press play on your favorite playlist; it's dog park time! We've got an updated list of our favorite parks and hikes in Nashville.
Are you tired of walking the same route, staring at the same scenery, sniffing the same park benches? The sniffing is mostly directed at your pup, at least we hope — but no judgment! Walking the same route day in and day out can get a little dull. It might be time to go on a new adventure with your furry sidekick! The new sniffs and sights will have your pup walking and wagging with a whole new level of excitement.
Nashville has some great parks, dog parks, and off-leash areas to explore. From private dog parks with all the perks (including a social calendar of events for your pup) to scenic hiking trails, Nashville offers endless opportunities to explore. Lucky for you, Local Pet Care has them all together here in one handy list of Nashville's best parks, dog parks, walking trails, and off-leash areas - updated for 2023! So read on and plan your next adventure! But first, if you hear your belly making noise, we've also got a great list of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants in Nashville!
Centennial Dog Park - 2500 West End Avenue
One of Nashville's most popular dog parks, Centennial Dog Park is a pup's (and human's) dream! With benches and lots of shade, this is the perfect place to kick back and relax while your pal plays with his furry friends. There are separate spaces for small and large dogs, so no need to worry about Tank running over sweet little Mitzi. When everyone needs a break from all the fun, there are water fountains for you and your pooch to drink from. And did we mention there are tennis balls everywhere, just waiting to be fetched?
Gulch Dog Park - 1216 Pine Street
Located in the Gulch (who could have guessed?) this dog park is super popular for it's location and it's proximity to some awesome grub. Gulch Dog Park has two sections - one for large dogs and one for smaller dogs. While not the largest park, Gulch Dog Park is a great spot to get a little exercise. The park is open 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm.
Riverfront Park Dog Park aka Downtown Dog Park - 200 1st Ave. S.
Give your pup a stellar view of the city skyline at Nashville's only downtown dog park! Like its name suggests, the park borders the Cumberland River, so you get a stunning view of the river and city. Riverfront Park offers 11 acres of green space, with 13,000 sq. ft. of fenced-in area for your pup to play unleashed. Just be aware that the dog park is for all doggie sizes, so there is not a separate space for small dogs. With eco-friendly, artificial turf and logs for your pup to jump and play on, your furry friend is sure to have a blast here. And when you're ready for some fun yourself, Riverfront Park has a lovely amphitheater, botanical gardens, solar charging stations, picnic tables, and porch swings!
Bark Park - 800 Meridian Street
Have you ever heard of a dog park with a busy social calendar? This is one of the things that makes Bark Park extra special. Sponsored by the makers of BarkBox, this private park offers monthly events for you and Fido. From Howl-oween and DogsGiving, to movie nights with dog beds or arts and crafts with your pup, to pup portrait sessions and an Open Bark night for humans to show off their comedic talents, this park has it all. Oh, and did we mention the free Wi-Fi, shaded seats, restrooms, and that it's BYOB?! These amenities make it a fun experience for you and your pup — which is why they charge for admission. It's $15 for a day pass or $39 for a monthly membership (covering one human and two dogs). You can buy your pass online here!
Edwin Warner Dog Park - 50 Vaughn Road
Does your dog have a TON of energy and need to run it out? If so, this is the place for her. The wide-open spaces at Edwin Warner Dog Park are perfect for zoomies or a serious game of fetch. If you have more than one pup, bring 'em along! You can bring up to two pups for some glorious, free-spirited fun in the sun. With benches for you and water fountains for your soon-to-be-tired pup, this is a great place to spend an hour or two any day. And if you want to get some exercise for yourself, Edwin Warner Park offers a 2.5-mile paved pathway for a nice long walk. Just remember that your pooch will need to stay on a leash for that!
Miss Peggy's Bark Park - Tower Park, Brentwood, TN
Formerly known as Barkwood Dog Park, Miss Peggy's Bark Park was renamed after Peggy Sain Howell - an incredible local advocate for countless causes in Brentwood who sadly died in 2018. When you enter the park, you ae greeted with a sign depicting Miss Peggy's beloved basset hound. The park is located in Tower Park (the southwest corner) and has two different areas totaling around 2 acres of space. Both spots have shade, benches, water stations, and more.
Shelby Dog Park - 401 S. 20th Street
Loved by locals, Shelby Dog Park is spacious and well taken care of. It's also known for being a great place to socialize with other pups and their human pals. You know what they say: cool people and dogs attract more cool people and dogs (if that's not a saying, we're making it one!). The trees give lots of great shade, making it easier to stay and explore with friends, especially in Nashville's hot summers — and the water fountain helps, too! Just know that there is no area just for small dogs, so keep an eye out for the little ones.
Two Rivers Dog Park - 3150 McGavock Pike
One of Two Rivers Dog Park's best perks is all of the free (and easy) parking. With a ton of open space for running pups and paved paths for us humans to get our exercise in, this is a happy solution for both! Like Shelby Dog Park, there is no separate area for the smaller pups, but it is clean, well-maintained, and the wooded areas are perfect for catching a break from the hot sun!
William A. Pitts Dog Park - 299 Tusculum Road
Located inside of the larger William A. Pitts Park, the dog park is a favorite of the area residents. There is a nice little community of dog owners and plenty of trails in the larger park area. A great spot if you are local or looking for a change of scenery!
Dog-Friendly Hikes and Trails
Radnor Lake State Park - 1160 Otter Creek Road
Known as one of Nashville's best preservation projects, Radnor Lake offers a 1,200 acre protected area to explore. Otter Creek Road runs through the park and is now closed to traffic, but is very popular with dog walkers. It's paved and has very little elevation change, so it makes for a nice and easy walk through the woods for you and your pooch. If your pup likes to dart after deer or squirrels, you may want to bring a harness so she can't slip out. Wildlife is a common sight at Radnor Lake, which is why leashes are required. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the hiking trails, but don't let that stop you from enjoying a scenic walk down Otter Creek Road with your pup!
Beaman Park - 5911 W. Old Hickory Blvd.
If off-leash fun is important to you and your furbaby, then check out Beaman Park! Referred to as one of Nashville's hidden gems, Beaman Park is less than ten miles from downtown. It's less crowded than Radnor Lake and some of the other dog parks, which is why it is easier to let your pup roam free. Enjoy trail running with your pup? This is the place for you. With up to 7 miles of trails, various elevations, a creek, lots of trees, and beautiful wildflowers, Beaman Park is the perfect place for a Saturday adventure.
Percy Warner Park - 50 Vaughn Road
With multiple trails, Percy Warner Park has plenty of options to exercise your pooch's legs (and yours). From the 2-mile Chickering Loop to the "off-road" Tornado Road trail to the Beech Woods picnic area, you and your pup will love the variety offered by Percy Warner Park. Something else you'll love? The convenient parking and lack of crowds! Two things to be aware of: part of the paved path is open to two-way traffic, so keep an eye out for cars, and leashes are strictly required, as there is a lot of wildlife and poison ivy to be found on the sides of the paths.
Shelby Bottoms Greenway - 1900 Shelby Bottoms Greenway
Last but certainly not least, Shelby Bottoms Greenway is one of Nashville's most popular dog walking locations. With up to 6.4 miles of walking trails, Shelby Bottoms runs along the Cumberland River and offers incredible scenery with the river, trees, and greenery. With mixed terrain of paved, mulched, dirt, and gravel paths, wooden bridges, and plenty of grass, your pup will have more than enough to sniff and explore!
It's Adventure Time!
We hope this has given you some fun new ideas for adventures with your pup. You know how excited your dog gets when you pull his leash out for a walk — imagine his surprise when you take him somewhere new!
If you're a pet parent looking for someone you can trust to help care for your furbaby, Local Pet Care has a list of Nashville's best pet care pros! We believe that you and your pet deserve professional, reliable care you can trust!