Fall Hikes in Middle Tennessee You Have to Explore

Fall Hikes in Middle Tennessee You Have to Explore

Before all the leaves fall off the trees for winter, soak up the colorful foliage by hitting up some of these Middle Tennessee hikes for one last autumn romp.

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It's no secret that one of Tennessee's biggest draws is its outdoor beauty, on full display at each of the 56 state parks. But before all the leaves fall off the trees for winter, soak up the colorful foliage by hitting up some of these Middle Tennessee hikes for one last autumn romp.

Radnor Lake State Park | Nashville

(Credit: Tennessee State Parks) 

Radnor Lake is a gem for many reasons: For one, it's located within Nashville's confines, meaning you can be a city slicker and have your nature, too. For another, there's no running, biking or pets allowed; it's ideal for the nature lover who wants total peace and quiet. That said, you likely won't be alone. The 1,200 acres comprising the park are full of wildlife such as deer, river otters, beavers, turkeys, muskrat, bobcats and coyotes. There's also an aviary education center that provides refuge for endangered birds like bald eagles.

Stone Door Trail | Beersheba Springs

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland) 

South Cumberland State Park straddles four counties and is rife with waterfalls, rock outcroppings, scenic panoramas, walking trails and more. A fan favorite is the Stone Door loop in the Savage Gulf part of the park, which has more than 55 miles of trails to explore; it's 1.6 miles out and back, but you'll be greeted with an Instagram-worthy lookout and views for miles, and will have the option to hike down a bit further into some slot canyons if you're feeling really adventurous.

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park | Manchester

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland) 

Manchester sits near the largest and most complex hilltop enclosure in the South, and the 50-year-old Old Stone Fort contains a ceremonial site that was established during the Middle Woodland Period, roughly 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists love this spot, but so do hikers, campers and fishermen, as it boasts 51 campsites, a boat launch, perimeter trail within the ancient enclosure, and two additional miles of developed trail that flank a series of cascading waterfalls.

Natural Bridge Trail | Sewanee

(Credit: Chuck Sutherland) 

Natural Bridge is perfect for the photographer who doesn't want to hike far to get that money shot. The 25-foot-hike natural sandstone arch inside South Cumberland State Park is striking and can be glimpsed just a few minutes from the parking lot (budget in another five minutes to walk to the bottom). Want to go further into the woods? There's a 4.3-mile loop that makes up the Buggytop Trail and Sewanee Natural Bridge Trail that's very popular with hikers.

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