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Parks and Recreation

About Natural Areas

The best that nature has to offer in middle Tennessee can be found in Metro Parks Natural Areas… fresh air, sunshine, and healthy activities in the great outdoors. Six natural area parks total over 7,000 acres of forests & meadows, hills & hollows, and rivers & streams to explore and enjoy. The benefits and recreational opportunities found in natural area parks are endless… environmental education & outdoor recreation programs, physical fitness, and relief from the pressures of urban living.

Mission Statement

The Natural Areas mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the natural heritage of Nashville’s municipal parklands for the perpetual benefit of the community. Stewardship and best practices of natural resource management are combined to maintain and enhance biological diversity and significant natural features. Natural Areas are ideal locations for nature programs & wildlife observation, outdoor recreation activities, and research projects. Natural Areas have a positive impact on clean air, water quality, and the physical & mental health of the community.

Natural Area Parks

Beaman ParkBeaman Park

Beaman Park features Highland Rim habitat with 1,791 acres of rugged ridges, steep slopes, narrow moist hollows, springs, streams, and waterfalls. The park’s unique plant communities include Eggert’s sunflower, butternut trees, and “barrens” with glade-like plant species not found elsewhere in the Metro Parks system. Most of the park’s acreage is being considered for listing as a Designated State Natural Area.

5911 Old HickoryBlvd.
Ashland City, TN 37015
For further park information email the Beaman Park Nature Center staff at: beamanpark@nashville.gov

Coralberry at Bells BendBells Bend Park

Bells Bend Park is a special natural area with a rich cultural,archaeological, and agricultural history. Located beside the Cumberland River, the park’s varied habitats provide homes for many species of birds including Henslow’s Sparrow, American Woodcock,and Dickcissel. Wetlands enhancements including migratory shorebird ponds are under development on the property.

4187 Old Hickory Blvd
Nashville, TN 37218
For further park information please emailthe Bells Bend Outdoor Center staff at:bellsbend@nashville.gov

Leafy Prairie CloverHamilton Creek Park

Hamilton Creek Park is characterized by cedar glade-like habitat with shallow depth of soils and exposed limestone. The park is adjacent to J. Percy Priest Lakeand contains 790 acres leased from the Corps of Engineers. The federally endangered flowering plant Dalea foliosa, whose common name is leafy prairie clover, is found and protected within the park boundaries.

2901 Bell Road
Nashville, TN 37217

Peeler ParkPeeler Park & Taylor Farm

Peeler Park & Taylor Farm together contain approximately 600 acres. The scenic property is located on the Cumberland River in Neely’s Bend. Current passive recreational use includes greenway hiking and equestrian trails, and primitive camping.

2043 Neely’s Bend Road
Madison, TN 37115

Shelby Bottom FlowersShelby Bottoms

Shelby Bottoms with 960 acres and approximately 3 miles of Cumberland River frontage, is located in close proximity to Nashville’s central business district. The park features bottomland hardwood forest, open fields, floodplain, wetlands, and streams. Many frog species can be heard and seen, and local birders consider the park one of the best locations for bird watching field trips.

1900 Davidson Street
Nashville, TN 37206

For more park information email the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center staff: shelbybottomsnature@nashville.gov

Warner Parks treesWarner Parks

Warner Parks made up the largest natural area park within the Metro system even before the Friends of Warner Parks’ generous recent donation of 448 acres brought the total acreage to 3,133. The additional property includes the 225 acre Hill Forest Designated State Natural Area. Landforms within the Warner Parks are known as the forested Harpeth Hills, outliers of the Highland Rim.

7311 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221
(615) 352-6299

For further park information please email the Warner Park Nature Center staff at: wpnc@nashville.gov

Resource Management Projects

resource management prescribed burns

  • Compliance and enforcement of public use policies.
  • Invasive plant control and eradication
  • Inventory of plants, animals, and natural features.
  • Prescribed burns and scheduled mowing of fields and meadows for wildlife habitat improvement.
  • Trail design, maintenance, and sustainability.
  • Wetlands enhancements.

Safety and Security When Visiting Natural Areas

  • Be aware and informed of your surroundings. Carry a map when unfamiliar with the area.
  • Carry a cell phone. (Note: cell phones may not work in some remote areas.)
  • Enjoy natural area parks with a friend.
  • Inform family or friends about your visit and expected time of return.
  • Learn about and be prepared for potential hazards such as poison ivy, poisonous snakes, ticks, sunburn, and dehydration.
  • Lock your car. Take car keys with you. Leave valuables at home.
  • Notify Park Police (880-3429) to report unsafe conditions or if you observe non-compliance of rules by other park visitors.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Metro Parks Participant Code of Conduct

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