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Things To See And Do

The Warner Parks meet individuals at their own pace. Enjoy a leisurely stroll. Get your historical fix at one of our many landmarks. Take on a challenging trail.

Whether you’re walking, running, driving, hiking, or biking, the parks have something for everyone.

Choose Your Adventure!

Education

Bob Brown Field Station

A research and education facility named for the late naturalist, Bob Brown, this building is located near the Vaughn’s Creek Cross Country Course parking lot and is used for educational programs and Camp Warner Park. Call 615.370.8051 to learn more.

The Lodge at Edwin Warner Park

The Lodge is a two story cabin with open floor space, an outdoor fire pit, four picnic tables, two pit toilets, and a water foundation. It is available to scout, church, and school groups year-round for day and overnight use for minimal fees. Other organizations requesting to reserve the Lodge will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note there is no electricity at this facility. To reserve or learn more call 615.370.8051.

Warner Park Nature Center

LC with fall flws in front (1)An award-winning facility that features outstanding staff of naturalists and educators, our campus includes the Susanne Warner Bass Learning Center (built by Friends of Warner Parks in 1998) which houses a natural history museum and programming space; the Milbrey Warner Waller Library, complete with an extensive collection of natural history titles; the Emily Warner Dean Administration Building; a working organic garden including a greenhouse and a cedar shadehouse; a wildflower garden and fern garden; the Frist teaching pond; grounds landscaped with native plants; and the main trailhead for twelve miles of hiking trails. Considered the gateway to Warner Parks, the Nature Center offers free educational programs for individuals of all ages and also includes a barn, several beehives, public restrooms, and much more. Entry to the nature center is always free. Learn more here.

Check out the Nature Center’s Winter 2015-2016 Program Schedule.

Landmarks

Allée / Belle Meade Steps

programsThe impressive stone staircase at the end of Belle Meade Boulevard is one of the Warner Parks’ most widely recognized features. Formally known as the Allée, the steps are the “front door” of Percy Warner Park for both drivers and non motorized traffic. Enjoyed by parkgoers for decades, these steps have been a scenic and memorable setting for weekend outings, leisurely climbs, and even weddings. They were constructed by the Works Progress Administration during the New Deal era.

 

Cedar Glen Spring House

Located along Chickering Road, this charming, historic landmark was built by the family of Samuel Northern in the mid-1800s and restored by Friends of Warner Parks in 1990-1991. Spring houses were traditionally built to keep milk, butter, and other perishable items cold, and were also used for drying vegetables and curing meats.

Cemeteries

Ten historic cemeteries are scattered throughout Warner Parks, including the slave cemetery that once belonged to Belle Meade Plantation, and family burial plots belonging to the area’s early settlers. Friends of Warner Parks leads volunteer cleanup of the cemeteries to help preserve these significant and sensitive Park features. Cemetery tours are also offered periodically by Warner Park Nature Center. Email the Nature Center or call 615.352.6299 to learn more.

Hodge House

The oldest structure in Warner Parks, the Hodge House is located near the intersection of Chickering Road and Old Hickory Boulevard. Originally serving as the homestead for the Hodge family until 1928, this recently restored house now functions as an event space for Warner Parks and is reservable by the public. Click here to learn more.

Iroquois Steeplechase Course

Home to the annual Iroquois Steeplechase, one of Nashville’s most storied events, this is the only federally built steeplechase course in the country. It was constructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. It’s also home to a challenging cross country course and hosts the TN state high school championships. Equestrian events are held in the course’s infield and weddings are celebrated at the course’s grandstand, which offers a breathtaking view of the area’s rolling terrain. Visit the Metro Parks reservations page to learn more about holding events here.

Little Harpeth River

This scenic tributary is located on the southern side of Edwin Warner Park’s hills and ridges. It’s flanked by reservable picnic shelters and a trailhead for the Harpeth River Greenway.

Luke Lea Heights

Luke Lea Heights is the highest area in Percy Warner Park and accessible by the Warner Woods trail and Scenic Roadway loop. From the cleared knob overlook, one can look northeast and see the downtown Nashville skyline from an elevation of 922 feet.

Quarry

The quarry supplied much of the limestone for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the original construction of many of Warner Parks’ distinctive stone features. Fossils are visible in the quarried bluffs. Accessible via the Harpeth Woods Trail. Please note this area can get waterlogged during wet months.

World War I Memorial

A monument to the brave soldiers that fought in The War to End All Wars, this memorial is located in Percy Warner Park near the Belle Meade Boulevard entrance. Friends of Warner Parks is currently leading an effort to restore the monument in honor of the 100th anniversary of the US entering WWI.

WPA Historic Picnic Shelters

Numerous picnic shelters in both Percy and Edwin Warner Parks have invited visitors to gather since their construction in 1930s. During the New Deal, the Works Progress Administration hired craftsmen to build the shelters with limestone and cedar found right here in the Parks and surrounding area. These shelters, along with the stone walls and pillars found throughout the Parks, helped land Warner on the National Registry of Historic Places. Friends of Warner Parks is currently leading a campaign to restore the shelters to their original splendor. Learn more about reserving a shelter here.

WPA Stonework

Scattered throughout Warner Parks, the stone walls, pillars, and gates built by WPA craftsmen are among the Parks’ most distinctive features. These landmarks have inspired visitors, artists, and photographers since they were constructed in the 1930s.

Recreation

Cross Country Running Courses

Percy Warner Park is home to two well-known Cross Country running courses. The Vaughn’s Creek and Steeplechase XC courses are home to major local, state, and regional competitions at the high school and collegiate level. More information can be found here. To reserve a course for a meet, call 615.370.8051.

Cycling

Cyclists frequent Warner Parks to take advantage of the winding, scenic roadways and challenging topography. Warner Parks is also located at the southwest terminus of the Music City Bikeway and is only a few short miles from the famed Natchez Trace Parkway.

Dog Park

Dogs love the Warner Parks too! While leash laws apply throughout the Parks (that means your canine must be on a leash no longer than six feet at all times), Edwin Warner does include an off-leash dog park. It’s located on Vaughn Road, just south of the Warner Park Headquarters building. Please note that users must abide by the Metro dog park rules at all times.

Golf

Percy Warner Park is home to two public golf courses, the 18 hole Harpeth Hills Golf Course and the 9 hole Percy Warner Golf Course.

As of 2014, the Harpeth Hills Golf Course is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary course. It is just the second golf course in Davidson County to achieve this designation and the first Metro Parks course.

Learn more about golfing in Nashville’s parks here.

Hiking

Over 12 miles of primitive trails traverse the hills and valleys of Warner Parks. Percy Warner Park includes the Mossy Ridge and Warner Woods trails. Edwin Warner Park contains the Harpeth Woods Trail, Owl Hollow Loop, and and numerous short interpretive trails. The Cane Connector Trail links the trail systems of Percy and Edwin Warner across Old Hickory Boulevard. More information about each individual trail is located below.

Horseback Riding

Percy Warner Park is one of only two Metro Parks that currently offer horseback riding trails. 10 miles of horse trails wind through Percy Warner, their trailhead located at the Warner Park Equestrian Center. Visitors are welcome to bring their own horses by trailer and park at the Equestrian Center to access these trails.  Rules of use and a trail map can be found here.

Please note that Warner Parks does not house horses on site for visitor use.

Low Ropes Course

Edwin Warner Park’s Low Ropes Course offers a fun, challenging experience that fosters cooperation and confidence. Available by reservation only, interested parties can contact Metro Parks by phone, 615.862.8400, or email to schedule a group outing. Learn more here.

Model Airplane Field

Located along the east side of Vaughn Road in Edwin Warner Park, this facility has been used by model aviation enthusiasts since the early 1930s. It was the first model airplane field in Nashville and is one of the oldest in the United States. The Edwin Warner Model Aviators Club utilizes the facility and serves as a friendly, helpful network for model airplane operators.

A permit is required to operate a model airplane in Edwin Warner Park. Click here to learn about obtaining a permit through Metro Parks.

Model aviators may only fly their aircraft during the following times:

  • March – November: Monday through Friday: 8 am – 3 pm
  • December – February: Monday through Saturday: 8 am – dusk, Sunday: noon – dusk
Mountain Biking

Percy Warner Park is home to an 8-mile network of professionally constructed mountain bike trails that opened in 2013. Operated by Metro Parks and monitored and maintained by IMBA-SORBA Mid TN, these are some of the highest quality trails of their kind in the region. Difficulty levels vary. Check SORBA’s trail closure report before coming out to use them!

Learn more here.
View trail map.

Organized Sports

Edwin Warner Park is home to several athletics fields used by area clubs. Click here to learn more.

Running

Warner Parks is a favorite destination for runners in the Nashville area. Trails, greenways, and paved roads are enjoyed by runners year-round.

Groups of 4 people or more who want to run on the trails must get a permit prior to their outing. This includes running clubs, retail store running groups, and school groups. Fitness instructors leading running outings must also follow Metro policies.

See our Cross Country section for more info related to the XC running courses.

Special Events Field

This open space along Vaughn Road is available for rental for special events and is also used by Warner Park Nature Center for various educational programs. Find out more by calling 615.370.8051.

Trails & Roadways

Amphitheater Trail

A 200 yard trail, blazed brown, and rated easy. It passes an old homesite and leads to the Nature Theater, a secluded stone amphitheater and stage that visitors can use on a first come, first serve basis.

Cane Connector Trail

This one mile trail connects the Mossy Ridge trail with the Hungry Hawk trail in Edwin Warner Park, thus connecting the entire Warner Parks trail system by crossing Old Hickory Boulevard. It is blazed red and white striped and rated easy. Please exercise caution when crossing Old Hickory Boulevard!

Harpeth River Greenway

Greenways provide a network of trails featuring major open spaces and linking activity centers such as neighborhoods, schools, parks and commercial areas. Extending from two access points in Edwin Warner (the Highway 100 trailhead and the Picnic Shelter area), this section of the Harpeth River greenway extends west into Bellevue. See a map here.

Harpeth Woods Trail

Identified by blue trailblazes, this 2.5 mile loop covers part of the original Natchez trace and circles high into the interior of Edwin Warner Park. Moderate difficulty. Hikers may begin this trail at any of the tree trailheads in Edwin Warner Park to enjoy a rich variety of forest types. The trail also crosses a rock quarry that was active in the 1930s and 1940s, when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted stonework and building roads in the Parks.

Horse Trails

Three different bridle paths wind through Percy Warner Park, all of which are accessible via the trailhead and trailer parking area at Warner Parks Equestrian Center. Riders must bring their own horses and equipment.  All horse trails in Percy Warner Park are for equine traffic only.

Hungry Hawk Trail

A ⅓ mile loop, blazed purple, and rated easy. This trail passes by a wet weather stream and goes through woods, field edges and an open meadow. An activity booklet for this trail is available at Warner Park Nature Center.

Little Acorn Trail

A short, 150 yard loop, blazed green, and rated easy. This trail is especially enjoyable for young children. An activity booklet is available at Warner Park Nature Center.

Visitors can also enjoy a seasonally rotating Storywalk™ along the Little Acorn Trail.

Mossy Ridge Trail

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 hikers an opportunity to see the wide variety of plants and animals found in Percy Warner Park.

Mountain Bike Trails

Eight miles of professionally constructed trails opened in fall of 2013.The trails run through the northwest section of Percy Warner park with a trailhead at the Percy Warner Park Golf Course and at the Deep Well park entrance. There are trails for all skill levels, ranging from beginner to advanced, so check the trailhead signs before you ride.

Please DO NOT PARK in the neighborhood around Cheekwood, at any of the picnic shelters at Deep Well, or on the side of the road.

Please contact Neel Deshpande with any questions, comments, or concerns at 615-429-3549.

For information on volunteering to help maintain the trails, please contact the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association

Click here for additional information.

See a map of the trails.

Natchez Trace

Extending along Vaughn’s Creek, this is a portion of the historic foot path first used by native peoples and then by traders and settlers. It’s now part of the Harpeth Woods Trail.

Natchez Trace

The Natchez Trace is an ancient path first used by Native Americans and, later, early European and American explorers and traders to travel between what is now Nashville and Natchez, MS. You can follow this path along portions of the Cane Connector and Warner Woods trails in Edwin Warner Park.

Nature Loop

A ¾ mile loop, blazed yellow, and rated moderate. A self-guiding booklet (available at the Nature Center) with 20 stops helps visitors learn about the many trail features including a wet weather spring and creek, various trees, and a section of the historic Natchez Trace.

Owl Hollow Trail

A ⅓ mile loop, blazed orange, and rated easy. Closest access is from the Owl Hollow trailhead located deep in Edwin Warner Park off of the Vaughn Road entrance. This trail was built in 1974 by the Hillwood Environmental Group. Enter this tranquil, deep hollow and listen for the barred owls that may be heard or seen here.

 

Scenic Drives and Roadways

Percy and Edwin Warner Parks boast miles of paved roadway for driving, walking, cycling, or running. These can be accessed from nearly any entrance to Percy Warner Park. Please note that some of these roads are for one-way traffic, or closed to vehicular traffic entirely.

Warner Woods Trail

A 2.5 mile loop, blazed white and rated moderate. The entire trail is in the heavily wooded interior of Percy Warner Park, except for the northernmost portion, which offers views from the top of the Allée.