Stretching from Ted Rhodes Golf Course and the Tennessee State University neighborhood on its western end to Germantown and the Downtown Greenway on its eastern end, the MetroCenter Levee section of the Cumberland River Greenway is a fantastic destination for runners of all types to log some miles. This greenway segment is a great neighborhood connector, providing a recreational link between the commercial districts of North Nashville and the rest of the Cumberland River Greenway in the Downtown core. Runners can take advantage of the 2.7-mile MetroCenter Levee section as a great standalone workout, or tack on some extra mileage by including the Downtown section of the trail as well.
What Makes It Great
The MetroCenter Levee Greenway is a versatile section of Nashville’s larger greenway system because of its straight, flat composition and lack of diverse terrain. For those looking to get some long-distance running in, then this trail is a perfect spot! Consistent mile markers every quarter mile help runners maintain an even pace, and there are several pavilions with maps along the way to allow users to track their progress in relation to nearby landmarks. The pavilions can also be a welcome refuge on hot summer days, as there aren’t many shade trees along this section of greenway. That lack of shade, though, makes MetroCenter Levee a great spot to run during colder months, helping runners stay warm on sunny winter days.Another huge plus is that there aren’t any intersections with other greenways and trails for the duration of this section, with the exception of some lightly-used golf course paths, which helps to limit thru traffic. Overall, this is one of the least crowded greenway trails in Nashville, likely because of its location in a mostly commercial neighborhood, keeping the pathway pretty open even on nice weekends. As it’s name implies, this section of greenway runs directly along the Cumberland River for nearly all of its length, providing runners with likely the most uninterrupted views of the river in all of Nashville.
Who is Going to Love It
The straight, flat nature of the path makes it ideal for seasoned long-distance runners looking to log some miles without dealing with a lot of elevation changes or turns. It’s also great for runners who are just getting started, as it doesn’t feature some of the challenges that hillier greenways might present. No matter your skill level, this linear trail is an out-and-back jog, allowing runners to completely customize the length of their workouts. Because there aren’t a lot of inclines and turns, it’s also often used by cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, and others looking to take advantage of nice days and get some exercise outdoors, giving everyday runners plenty of options to cross-train on their off days.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Directions to the neighborhood will vary quite a bit depending on where you’re coming from in town, but both the eastern and western terminus trailheads are accessible from just off of Rosa Parks Boulevard, one of North Nashville’s main thoroughfares. Both parking lots are clearly marked with signs and feature maps and pavilions, making them pretty easy to spot when driving past, though the eastern trailhead lot is tucked back into an office park a bit. Checking out the Greenways for Nashville map before you go will help you avoid any confusion when trying to find the trailheads, as they’re clearly marked on there. Parking is free in both locations, and dogs are more than welcome on the greenways, so feel free to bring a furry friend along so they can get some miles in too.