Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
280.00 ft (85.34 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
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Named after a natural arc in the Cumberland River, Bells Bend is an 808 acre park located just 20 minutes form downtown Nashville. The land was purchased by the city in 1989 with the intention of turning it into a municipal landfill. Years passed and thankfully new leadership transferred the land to the Metro Parks and Recreation Department to be preserved. It opened to the public in 2007. Today visitors can enjoy miles of trails mowed through fields of beautiful flowers such as ironweed, goldenrod and many-flowered aster.

About 30% of Bells Bend Park lies in the floodplain of the Cumberland River, while the rest is comprised of gently rolling slopes through former pastureland and fields. In addition to the recent agricultural history, evidence of a Native American village and burial site make Bells Bend an archeologically significant location.

This 4.5 mile hike combines several shorter trails to form a perimeter loop of sorts through the park. The trail begins at the outdoor center and continues downhill into a field. You’ll soon come to a four way junction - take a left. Note some of the trail junctions in the park are unsigned, and those that are singed can be slightly confusing. Continuing onward the trail meanders through the field and past a small sheltered rest area with benches. You’ll come to another junction and soon to the Cumberland River. The trail then follows close to the river for a while. After leaving the river you’ll come to another four way junction - take a left. This will lead you across a small slough and into another beautiful wide open field. The trail then loops around this field before returning across the slough and back to the four way junction. Continue straight and you’ll end up back at the outdoor center.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall
Summer

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Close to Nashville. Wide open fields and beautiful views.

Cons

Trails are just mowed grassways. Humid and buggy during the summer.

Trailhead Elevation

475.00 ft (144.78 m)

Highest point

495.00 ft (150.88 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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