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SENIOR STAFF PICKS: Parks and Trails

From nature walks to steep hikes, Nashville and the surrounding areas are home to several parks and trails. If you’re looking for an outdoor spot to relax in the city or planning your next hiking trip, this beautiful state has to offer. This week, we asked our staff, “What is your favorite park in Middle Tennessee?”

Sarah Maninger (Editor): Signal Mountain

My apologies to David for deviating from his prompt just a little bit, but I am going with a hike a bit further out of Nashville. Signal Mountain, nestled on the outskirts of Chattanooga, provides insane views of the Tennessee River and the surrounding hills. The trek up to Edwards Point is no easy feat but well worth the view. Put on your hiking boots and your favorite podcasts and jump on the 24 for a day trip down south. Prepare for the switch to eastern time zone and allow for about three hours on the trail. When you’re tuckered out, head into downtown Chatanooga for a late lunch before hitting the road back to Music City.

David Pang (Managing Editor): Fair Park

Located in the shadow of Geodis Park, Fair Park offers lots of opportunities to get active. This park is more Metropolitan and less natural, but there is a paved trail perfect for runners or walkers with some views of the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and the new soccer stadium. If you’re a dog owner, there is also a park for your furry friends. However, the main event is the open soccer fields. If you’re like me, you know how difficult it is to find an open field with full-sized nets. Fair Park is always open to kick a ball around, and the nets are never locked up. My Thursday afternoon tradition is making it out to the fields to play pickup games. So, if you’re a soccer lover like me, Fair Park is the place to go.

A.J. Wuest (Sports Editor): Sevier Park

My favorite park in Middle Tennessee has to be, the one and only, Sevier Park! I cannot count on thirty hands how many times I have ran there from campus only to collapse on that beautiful green grass. It is my go-to spot for anything – picnics, runs, walks – you name it! I have shot several videos for class at that park as well! One of my favorite videos is definitely the PR project video for Dr. Jen Duck’s Mass Media and Society class. In the video, I am depicted working out on the kid’s playground. I do some pull-ups on the monkey bars and practice my quarterback skills as a chuck a football across the grass! Sevier Park is also a great place to take your date to carve a pumpkin – trust me, I know.

Braden Simmons (Senior News Writer): Crockett Park

My personal favorite spot to chill and play some frisbee golf with friends is Crockett Park. It’s located in Brentwood and is about a 20-minute drive from campus. Crockett was the first park I ever went to in Nashville. The park is incredible with an eighteen-hole course with both amateur and professional tees for those who are looking to play frisbee golf. It’s a great place to go and really clear your mind after a long week and just enjoy the outdoors, whether alone or with friends.

Lilly Owens (Senior Arts Writer) Radnor Lake State Park

If you want to see an abundance of turtles sunbathing on logs, easy hiking trails and beautiful scenery, Radnor is the place for you. The trails are normally mild and shady, so it’s perfect for the not-so-outdoorsy person who wants to get out and get active. You can also find tons of fun wildlife; I saw turkeys there once.

Molly Suess (VNN Producer): Harpeth River Greenway

The Harpeth River Greenway is my favorite place for a long stroll. The fields remind me of back home and the occasional crossing of the river is super relaxing and helps clear my mind!

There are a ton of places to enter the greenway but I prefer the entrance off Old Harding Pike. There are even places along the path where you can head down to a bank and chill by the river.

Isaac Wetzel (Photography Editor): Dunbar Cave State Park

If you’re looking for something different, take a picnic up to Dunbar State Park. A little less than an hour’s drive north from campus, the park is just far enough to get away from the city. The cave itself is a great landmark find without having to trek too far from the parking lot. I went up with my roommates this weekend with a picnic basket and baseball gloves and we had a great time just getting away for a bit. I don’t think anyone’s ever regretted taking a mini road trip into the mountains, just saying.

Camden (VNN Anchor): Centennial Park

Centennial park! It’s a classic for tourist and a great picnic spot! There’s always something fun going on there also!

PHOTO: Belmont Vision Multimedia/Lillie Burke

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