Old Hickory Nature Trail's boardwalk located in the Left Bank Recreation Area, Old Hickory, Tenn. (USACE photo by John Baird)

Old Hickory Lake Nature Trail

Part of the Nashville Greenways Project and nationally recognized by the Department of the Interior as a component of the National Trail System, the Old Hickory Lake Nature Trail’s scenic route begins at the trailhead with a map that will help you plan your walk to suit the time you have to spend and the sights you want to see. Whether you wish to linger on the boardwalk watching the woodland and ephemeral wetland creatures, walk beside the pond and view the wood ducks and fish, or peek through the wooded areas to see if you can catch a glimpse of the ever present deer in the area; we invite you to enjoy the trail as long as you want and view nature hard at work. Rest stops are provided at intervals along the trail.

This trail totaling 1.1 miles has three loops.  Each loop has unique characteristics.  All loops return along a railroad bed.  The railroad was built in 1952 to haul materials and equipment for the construction of Old Hickory Dam.

Willow Swamp Loop:  Take a stroll along this loop and be sure to stop on the boardwalk that crosses over a swamp area. Experiences the feel of the swamp caused by high humidity, as well as, watch and listen for a variety of migratory birds during the winter months. 

Wildlife Loop: In 1967, the Corps of Engineers planted a pine forest along the Wildlife Loop.  Over the years, theses pines have grown large enough to provide protection for white-tailed deer.  As you leave the pine forest you will approach a pond. Take time on the fishing platform and observe what’s going on around you. The trail provides a nice mix of forest birds and is one of the few places in middle Tennessee to find Pine Warblers. Other birds common to the forest and field areas along this trail are Barred Owls, a variety of sparrows, including Field (year round), Swamp, White-throated, and Song Sparrows.  If you are really fortunate, you may see the Bald Eagle that has had nested on private property close to this trail for several years. 

Woodland Loop: Is great for wildlife viewing, keep your eyes peeled along this loop for signs of raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, meadow mice and other small animals living in this area.

Driving Directions (from Nashville, Tenn.)

Drive north on I-65 out of Nashville and take exit 92 (TN-45 E/W Old Hickory Boulevard) toward Madison. Continue on TN-45E 4.2 miles. Turn at the second left after crossing the bridge onto Bridgeway Avenue. Drive 0.2 miles and turn left onto Ensley Avenue. Turn a left at Swinging Bridge Road and drive 0.9 miles. Turn right onto Cinder Road. Follow Cinder Road to the dam. Bear left where the road forks and continue toward the river below the dam. The nature trail parking area is on the left.

Latitude-Longitude Coordinates of Parking Area
36.295933, -86.660215

Archers practicing their archery in the front section of the Old Hickory Lake Archery Range (USACE photo)Old Hickory Lake Archery Trail and Range

Old Hickory Lake has what some bow hunters consider to be one of the nation’s finest archery trails. Set in a moderate to heavily wooded area with a stream running through it, which adds to the challenge of the course, the Old Hickory Lake Archery Trail is located within the Rockland Recreation Area, just off Rockland road in Hendersonville, Tenn. The trail has two courses with a total of 28 targets. Each target can be approached from different angles and range in distances from 7 yards to 80 yards. Old Hickory Lake also offers bow hunters an archery range next to the trail as well as another challenging archery range at Taylor’s Landing in Hartsville, Tenn.




Mountain bike rider rounding a turn on the Shutes Branch Mountain Bike Trail, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.Shutes Branch Mountain Bike Trail

Located within the old U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Shutes Branch Campground, the Shutes Branch Mountain Biking Trail has something for every type of mountain bike rider. The parking area and trail entrance is located at the top of the campground entrance hill on the left side of the road. Beginning on the sidewalk and marked with an informational kiosk and bench, the initial 2.5 miles of the nearly 8-mile serpentine trail is considered to be a great warm-up or simply a great ride for beginners. With numerous rocks, short ledges, and tight turns the next 4+ miles of trail are great for more technical riders and is considered to be a good challenge for honing in on your skills.  

Driving Directions (from Nashville, Tenn.)

Take highway 70/Hermitage Ave southeast out of downtown Nashville. Continue onto Lebanon Pike for 10.3 miles. Turn left onto Andrew Jackson Parkway and drive 0.7 miles. Continue straight for 2.5 miles on Saundersville Road. Turn right onto Needmore Road and drive 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Shutes Branch Road and drive 0.1 miles. The trail parking area is located at the top of hill on the left.

Address for Trailhead/Parking Area

131 Shutes Branch Road
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122