With its close proximity to Nashville, Long Hunter State Park offers a conveniently accessible variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for those wishing to escape the hustle of urban life. Less than a 30 minute drive from most of Nashville, this 2,600 acre park offers more than 26 miles of trails, many of which follow the shores of Percy Priest Lake. Hiking, back country camping, park-guided events, lake activities and an abundance of flora and fauna make Long Hunter a popular destination for the outdoor enthusiast.
Long Hunter State Park is easily accessible from Interstate 40 and is a short drive from Nashville. For directions to the park, click here
Long Hunter is open year round, with fall and spring being the busiest seasons. Even during peak visitation periods, there is typically ample parking at the visitor's center, but the individual trail head parking lots can reach capacity on nice-weather fall and spring weekends. The Volunteer Trail parking lot in particular is often crowded and overflowing on sunny spring days.
Several of the trails in Long Hunter follow the shores of large bodies of water. The trails along the 110 acre Couchville Lake and 42,000 acre Percy Priest Lake offer great opportunities to view plants and wildlife associated with this type of environment. Ducks, geese, deer, turkeys and fox are just a few animals often seen in the park. Wildflowers and an impressive variety of trees and indiginous plants are abundant throughout the park.
The Couchville Lake Arboretum is a self-guided two mile paved hike around Couchville Lake. 42 varieties of trees along this trail have signage with each tree's common and scientific names and is a must-do for the nature enthusiast.
A wide variety ranger-led hikes are a popular draw at Long Hunter. Events include bird watching hikes, wildflower strolls, and fossil hunting outings. For a current list of planned events, click here .
The visitor's center at Long Hunter includes restrooms with running water, meeting rooms, and an informative indoor tour of the history, flora and fauna of the park.
The Couchville Lake area includes restrooms with running water, handicap accommodations, a dock with fishing access, and canoe and kayak rentals. There are several boat launching ramps in the park.
When to Go
Fall and spring are the most popular seasons for visitors at Long Hunter with the spectacular autumn foliage drawing the largest crowds. Spring wildflowers are also a big draw for the park. Summer and winter are the best seasons for those who want to avoid the crowds and find solitude on the trails.
There are no fees to enter Long Hunter, but back country camping does require a paid permit. For information on fees or to purchase a permit online, click here .
Pets are not permitted on the following trails: Bryant Grove Trail, Couchville Lake Trail and the Nature Loop Trail. Pets on leashes are permitted on all of the other trails. For more pet information, click here .