Warner parks are two of the best known in Nashville. Multiple sites have Percy Warner park having one of the top hikes in all of Nashville. I’m going to show you the hiking trails at both Warner Park areas.
Please know that there is TONS of paved walking trails here too. So if you’re looking for some exercise while in town, Warner Park trails have you covered.
Quick Mild Suggestions
Best for families: Edwin Warner and the Nature Center. There are also many shorter trails here.
Best for those wanting a real workout: Percy Warner. Take the steps out front and then run into the Warner Woods trail at the top.
Best for quieter workout: Burch Preserve
Warner Park is actually made up of four areas. The two most well known and oldest are Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. Since 2009, the park has bought 2 areas of land across from Edwin Park. The Burch Preserve and Hill properties have added 448 acres bringing Warner Park to a total of 3200 acres.
The initial 868 acres donated to the city in 1927 was donated by Percy Warner’s son-in-law. Percy was the chairman of the Park Board. When he unexpectedly died the same year, his son-in-law then lobbied to have the park named after Percy. Percy’s brother, Edwin, was named to the Park Board and eventually named chairman. Edwin expanded the park, providing lots of his own money, by purchasing the area adjacent to Percy Park, across Old Hickory Boulevard. In 1937 all of this new area was named after Edwin Warner.
Warner Parks are located in an affluent area of Nashville. This allows for great maintenance of both parks. I’ve visited multiple times and always find them trash free and well marked. Also due to its location it, there is usually a great deal of people on the trails. We arrived at Percy Warner at 8:40 on a Saturday morning and all the spots were full at the trailhead. There is parking on the grass though. Arrived at 9:20 on a Friday and it wasn’t so bad but by the time we left at 10:30 it was pretty full.
There are plenty of people on all the trails. I would not recommend the hiking trails during COVID if you’re concerned. Being on the paved trails should give enough room for walker and joggers to pass with more space.
Please know that though they are nice parks, both Warner Parks are in the city. You never lose all the traffic noise. So, if you’re looking for a peaceful place, this may not be for you.
Percy and Edwin Warner Park allow dogs on a leash. The Burch Preserve area does NOT. Please keep this in mind when planning.
Percy Warner Park is well known for the amazing limestone steps at the entrance. I counted 124 (I may be a few off) and makes one hell of a cardio workout. The steps just reopened (yesterday morning) after being closed for restoration for the past 9 months.
Both the Warner Woods and Mossy ridge hike have trailheads at the Deep well picnic area. There are 3 picnic pavilions but most are hemmed in with lots of parking to go walking in the park. There are also restrooms here though I did not go in them.
From the parking lot, its paved. Now is the one time there was poor signage. You come to a Tee of the paved road. Across there is what looks like a trail with a bench beside it. But there is no indication that you head straight across to get to the trailheads.
Both trails cross the paved trail as well as horse back riding trails multiple times. But amazing signage labeling horse trails as such, make it very difficult to get off trail.
Percy Warner also has mountain biking trails.
There are a couple of short connector trails that I didn’t take.
I would not recommend any of these trails for children. Unless you don’t mind backtracking to get back to the beginning. I don’t see any kids enjoying the multiple ups and downs.
Both trails are mostly well shaded and pass some massive trees that my chairmaker husband loves.
Mossy Ridge trail
The Alltrails app has Mossy Ridge trail at Percy Warner as top in Nashville. The trail is 5 miles of up and down but only an elevation change of 1000 ft. The crummy part is that regardless of which way you go first at the trail head, you have to go up pretty quickly. I’ve never been so great at kicking into high gear from more or less a standstill. Most of the elevation changes are stepped through either rock or tree roots. There is a slick area.
Near the end (or beginning) of the trail, you see a stone chimney and foundations. This is the Betsy Ross Cabin. It was constructed by Works Progress Admistration in 1937 was originally called the Girls reserve cabin.
Mossy ridge was absolutely more challenging than I expected. Also, I went on a Saturday so WAYY too many people!
Warner Woods trail
It was a 2.8 mile version of the Mossy Ridge trail. Plenty of ups and downs, crossing horse and paved trails.
Walked Warner Woods on a Friday morning and still saw more people than expected.
Weird experience alert! So we had just started the trail when a man with wild hair came out of the woods onto the trail.
I didn’t think too much of it til I saw he was BAREFOOT! What?!?
This is not smooth natural trail. As we passed him, he smell very badly. I thought he was just a homeless person who had decided to stay in the woods. Even though he was walking away from any restrooms i knew of. We were 3/4 way done with the trail when we saw him again! He seemed to just be hiking like it was perfectly normal. so this was our encounter with strange bedhead fellow.
Edwin Warner Park
Though located adjacent to Percy Warner, Edwin Warner did not seem nearly as packed as Percy Warner. We got there a little before 10am on a Saturday. There were lots of people but it seems people are more widely spread out.
Warner Park is a nature sanctuary and has a nature center in Edwin Warner. The Nature Center was closed when we were there but the restrooms were open and clean. If you have children, there are lots of information here about the park and different areas within the park to teach children.
Harpeth Woods trail
This trail is 2.5 miles of a nice up and down with less traffic noise than either Percy Warner trails. We took the Owl Hollow Loop. Take a pass on it, it was not of much interest. Not sure if I missed something but??
Though Burch Preserve is just across the road from Edwin Warner, it is so much less busy. Not sure if people don’t know about it or it’s because dogs aren’t allowed but it was very sparse on a Beautiful fall Saturday afternoon. The walk to the trailhead is about 1/4 mile. Getting there you pass under a beautiful train overpass.
Burch Woods loop
Burch Woods loop 3 miles of several ups and downs. The elevation change is only 371 feet but can be challenging. I recommend walking the trail counter clockwise. The inclines aren’t quite as steep going that way.
While climbing we clearly heard wild turkey calls though I was unable to see any. (FYI wild turkeys are plentiful in Middle Tennessee). While audible, the street noise in Burch is considerably less than both Percy and Edwin. Most of the trail is through forest with one area containing a meadow. We took the Valley View spur and there wasn’t much of a Valley View. Maybe in winter there is better visibility?
There are many hickory trees who were dropping nuts while we were there. Made a great disaster preparedness drill. Hear the nut start falling, decide how close it sounds and then cover your head if needed.
Overall I enjoyed the quiet at Burch Woods trail more than any of the trails in Warner Parks.
The newest land addition, Hill Property, does not have public access yet.
Wrap up of Warner Parks Trails
Warner Parks offers at least four 2+mile trails. All of them are loops.
I LOVE loop trails!
Even if you aren’t really wanting a full fledged hike, both Percy and Edwin Warner offer plenty of paved walking trails for everyone.
So check out the trails at Warner Parks whenever in Nashville.
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