Hiking and Trails
Warner Park offers 12 miles of primitive hiking trails, 3 miles of paved trail connecting to the Harpeth River Greenway system, almost 9 miles of paved multi-use trail, 10 miles of horse trails, and 2 cross-country running courses. Maps are available at the Nature Center trailhead. The trail system is open from sunrise to 11 p.m. every day.
Hiking Trail Rules
You are entering a sensitive natural area. Help protect the Parks. Follow the rules!
Cross Country Running Policies
- Respect and protect wildlife and all natural features
- Stay on designated trails - short cuts cause damage
- Run in groups of 4 or smaller
- Put litter in its place. Pack it in, pack it out, recycle!
- Keep your pet on a leash not exceeding 6 feet
- Protect water quality by picking up pet waste
- Enjoy motorized vehicles on paved roads only
- Horse-riding and cyclists prohibited on hiking trails
- Hiking or running prohibited on mountain bike trails and bridle paths
- Alcoholic Beverages and drugs prohibited
- Weapons and Hunting are prohibited
- Take only pictures: no collecting of plants, wildlife, or other features without a permit
Safety is our highest priority. Please:
- Enjoy the Parks with a friend
- Leave valuables at home
- Take car keys with you
- Carry your cell phone
- Watch the weather and watch for high water in low areas
- Contact Park Police at 615-880-3429 or 911 for an emergency
Warner Parks Hiking Trails
The hiking trail system of Percy and Edwin Parks includes 9 color-coded trails ranging in length from 150 yards to 4.5 miles. The trails in Percy Warner Park were started by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, while those in Edwin Warner Park were started by the Youth Conservation Corps and Nature Center staff in 1974. All of the trails have been expanded, improved, and maintained by the Nature Center staff with the aid of seasonal workers and volunteers. In 1980, all Warner Parks hiking trails were listed in the Tennessee Recreation Trails System, so designated by the State Department of Conservation. Trails are open from daybreak until the Park closes at 11 p.m.
**Please understand - The Warner Parks are a very fragile and unique natural
area in an urban setting and can remain productive and enduring for future generations only if we respect and protect them today.**
Enjoy the Warner Parks hiking trails and remember: Take only time and photographs here and leave only troubles and footprints behind.
Edwin Warner Trails
There are three TRAILHEADS in Edwin Warner Park. The main trailhead is located on the Nature Center grounds and is the only one that contains maps, trail guide booklets, Nature Center program schedules, and other literature. The Natchez Trace Trailhead, just west of the Nature Center, is a covered shelter with
resting benches and a large Park map. The Owl Hollow Trailhead provides access to the trail system across from picnic are #6 by the Little Harpeth River.
The HUNGRY HAWK trail is a 1/3-mile loop, blazed PURPLE, and rated EASY. The trail passes by a wet-weather stream and goes through woods, field edges, and an open meadow. Special features include a bird blind, an observation platform, a wildlife tracking station, and a well house near a small cemetery
marking the site of an old homestead.
The LITTLE ACORN TRAIL is a 150-yard loop, blazed GREEN, rated EASY, and begins 200 yards from the trailhead. The total distance from the trailhead, around the trail, and back again is just under 1/3 mile. This trail has a self-guiding booklet with five stops designed especially for children aged six years and
under, although visitors of all ages will find it informative.
The AMPHITHEATER TRAIL is 200 yards one way, blazed BROWN, and rated EASY. It passes an old home-site and leads to The Nature Theater, a secluded stone amphitheater and stage that visitors may use on a first come, first served basis.
The NATURE LOOP is a ¾-mile loop, blazed YELLOW, and rated MODERATE. A self-guiding booklet with 20 stops is available to inform visitors about many trail features including a wet weather spring and creek, a variety of trees, and a section of trail that is the historic Natchez Trace.
The HARPETH WOODS TRAIL is a 2½-mile loop, blazed BLUE, and rated MODERATE. Hikers may begin this trail at any of the three trailheads to enjoy a rich variety of forest types–especially large Beech, Oak, and Cedar trees. Also cross a rock quarry that was active in the 1930s through the early 1940s when the Works Progress Administration was doing stonework and building roads in the Parks. Collecting fossils is prohibited! Part of the trail, about ¾-mile, also follows the historic Natchez Trace.
The OWL HOLLOW TRAIL is a 1/3-mile loop, blazed ORANGE, and rated EASY. Closest access is from the Owl Hollow trailhead. This trail was built in 1974 by the Hillwood Environmental Group. It has an informative, interpretive booklet with 15 stops. Enter this tranquil, deep hollow and listen for the Barred Owls that may be heard or seen here.
Percy Warner Trails
The TRAILHEAD and parking for both trails are located at the Deep Well picnic area off Highway 100. Follow the lead trail and the Warner Woods Trail begins 200 yards from the trailhead, and the Mossy Ridge Trail begins 300 yards from the trailhead.
The WARNER WOODS TRAIL is a 2.5-mile loop, blazed WHITE, and rated MODERATE. The entire trail is in the heavily wooded interior of the Park, and about a third of the trail is in one of the Park’s most secluded regions. Also, hikers can experience a breathtaking view from the cleared knob of Luke Lea Heights at an elevation of 922 feet by walking down a paved road that the trail crosses.
The MOSSY RIDGE TRAIL is a 4.5-mile loop, blazed RED, and rated MODERATE. The trail winds up and down wooded hills and hollows, crosses several springs and open meadows, and offers users a unique opportunity to see the wide variety of plants and animals that may be found in the Park. Two especially nice features are a short spur trail that leads to a “quiet point” (see map) and a steep, rocky ridge near Scott Hollow (also on map), with trailsides carpeted in moss; both sections have resting benches.
The CANE CONNECTOR TRAIL is 1-mile (one-way) with a CANDYSTRIPE blaze and rated EASY. Opened in 1997, the trail runs between the Mossy Ridge and Hungry Hawk trails, thus connecting the entire Warner Parks trail system. Following the old Natchez Trace, hikers should exercise CAUTION when crossing Old Hickory Boulevard.