Tennessee has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search. I would love some first-hand information. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form in the sidebar.
Cherokee National Forest Link to Maps & Publications List of Day Hikes
Phones: Unaka Ranger District 423-638-4109, Ocoee Ranger District, 423-388-3300, Ocoee Whitewater Center 423-496-0100, Tellico Ranger District 423-253-8400, Watauga Ranger District 423-735-1500
Appalachian National Scenic Trail #1 at Osborne Farm 0.5 miles “where Cross Mountain bridges Holston Mountain and Iron Mountain. This easy …slice of A.T. provides everyone an opportunity to enjoy the pastoral mountain views of Shady Valley”. Ocoee Ranger District
Rhododendron Trail #332 1.6-miles, The “one-way hiking and biking trail travels along the world famous Ocoee River. ” Ocoee Ranger District.
Indian Boundary Lake Trail #129 3.1 mile loop for hiking and biking. It goes “around the scenic lake with views of the mountains.” Tellico Ranger District
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Trails accessibility information Maps Recorded Message (865) 436-1200
Great Smoky Mt. NP is in both North Carolina and Tennessee. Hiking In The Smokies.com – difficulty has a trail list with difficulty ratings. You can see that the rugged Great Smokies offer little in accessibility. You might try Randy Johnson’s Best Easy Day Hikes guide.
Deep Creek Trail to Tom Branch Falls “The trail begins as a wide path as it traces Deep Creek upstream. The 80-foot Toms Branch Falls is located only three-tenths of a mile from the trailhead. The park service has provided several benches for visitors to admire these beautiful falls, which spill down into the creek from the opposite bank.”
Sugarlands Valley Nature trail is 0.5 mile round trip. Reviewed on AllTrails.com It is located on Newfound Gap Road, just south of Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Spruce Fir Trail is 0.35 miles with an elevation gain of just 25′ according to the author of Hiking In The Smokies.com.
Laurel Falls 2.6 miles Map EveryTrail.com says the trail is paved and is suitable for strollers, but considered ‘moderate” in difficulty. “wideopencountry.com” warns that the first half is uphill.
Metcalf Bottoms Trail 1.4 miles. A short nature hike through the woods to Greenbrier School. Map from EveryTrail
Middle Prong Trail Trip Advisor hikingproject.com maliasmiles 4 miles. The trial is a 12′ wide graveled railroad grade for the first two miles. Descriptions vary for the difficulty after that. Video by The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog
Long Hunter State Park phone 615-885-2422 Map & Brochure
Couchville Lake Trail 2.0 miles paved “This paved trail encircles 110-acre Couchville Lake. This is one of the most popular walks in the state park system due to its accessibility, lakeshore scenery, and abundant wildlife. White-tailed deer and Wild Turkey are common sights here, as are birds such as Great Blue Heron, Prothonotary Warbler, Hooded Merganser and Osprey. Occasional/rare sightings include American Bald Eagle, Sandhill Crane and Baltimore Oriole. The nearby ponds and sinkholes result in a wide variety of frogs and turtles. American Mink have been spotted along the shoreline. Unique wildflowers found along the trail include Mayapple, Mistflower, Green Dragon and Passionflower.”
Radnor Lake State Park Phone 615-373-3467 Brochure & Map
“The park is perfect for nature enthusiasts to observe owls, herons and water fowl as well as many species of amphibians, reptiles and mammals such as mink and otter. Hundreds of species of wildflowers, mosses, fungi, ferns and other plants as well as trees, shrubs and vines add to the natural ecological diversity of the area. ”
Lake Trail 1.3 miles mulch/gravel “The Lake Trail is accessible to people with all-terrain wheelchairs.
Otter Creek Road 1.1 miles paved
Dam Walkway 0.2 miles gravel
Tims Ford State Park Map & Brochure Phone 931-962-1183
“Tims Ford Lake is considered one of the most picturesque lakes in Tennessee and is regarded as one of the top bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast.”
Overlook Trail 1.0 mile, paved
Tims Ford Bicycle Trail 6 miles, paved. Call the park to see if part of this trail would be appropriate for your hiking ability or even for a wheelchair.
Warriors’ Path State Park phone 423-239-8531 Map and Brochure Hiking Trails Map & Guide
Lions Narnia Braille Trail is 0.25 mile with eight sensory stations that “tell visitors the story of Aslan of the Chronicles of Narnia”. There is also the Anderson Treehouse which is a fully-accessible tree house.
Overlook Trail 0.5 mile “This is the easy way to get to the top. Follow old farm lanes to enjoy rich forests and fine views across the lake.” Better check first to be sure this is easy enough for you.
Warriors’ Path State Park
The park has a “Boundless Playground – where children of all physical and mental abilities can play together.” There is also a fully accessible tree house. Trail map Phone 423-239-6786.
Lions Narnia Braille Trail with eight sensory stations along a quarter-mile that tell visitors the story of Aslan of the Chronicles of Narnia
? Lakeshore Trail 0.5 mile “An easy walk along the lakeshore brings you to fine old forests and good views of the far shore. A self-guiding booklet is available for this trail.”
City of Fairview
Bowie Nature Park Phone 615-799-5544 Trail Map & Flyer
The park contains over 700 acres of forest, lakes & trails. Thank you Program Director Jenny Herrera for this helpful information: “We currently do not have an ADA accessible trail. We do have easy trails for the elderly or even for more adventurous wheelchair users when the trails are dry. I would recommend Loblolly Trail and the Twin Loop Trail. They are wide trails and when dry are very compact with fewer roots and rocks than some of our other trails.” Call before going to be sure of trail conditions.
Loblolly Trail about 1.2 mile loop
Twin Lakes Loop Trail about .76 mile
City of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation phone 615-890-5333
Murfree Spring Wetlands (from the city) is a 25 acre city park with easy access to the children’s Discovery Center Phone 615-890-2300 Trip Advisor There is an $8 charge for the Center, but none for the walking trails.
The trails travel through flooded willow swamps, mature hardwoods, and open water wetlands that provide for a wide variety of species to be found. Spring and fall songbird migration can be excellent.
City of Nashville Parks and Recreation phone (615) 862-8750 Hiking Trails
Shelby Bottoms Nature Center Phone (615) 862-8539 Map and Brochure
“Shelby Bottoms offers a variety of trails including approximately five hiking trails, five miles of multiuse, accessible paved trails, and three trailheads.”
Warner Parks Maps of Percy & Edwin Warner Parks 615-352-6299 Hiking Trails Brochure
Edwin Warner Park Map There are three short trails in the Edwin Warner Park described as easy. The Little Acorn Trail and its interpretive stops are designed for children six years and under. I have known some pretty spry six year olds, so you had better call first to see if these trails are really easy enough.
Reflection Riding Arboretum Nature Center Phone 423-821-1160 Nature Center Map Scenic Map Accessibility
Non-Members Adult $10, Senior $7, Children 4-11 $7
Reflection Riding Loop scenic driving trail 3 miles “experience a series of landscapes consisting of bucolic pastures, deep forests, meadows, bottomlands and sweeping vistas.”
Boardwalk 1,400′ through seasonal wetland
Nature For The Blind has a directory of Braille trails for almost every state in the US and for many other countries.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Tennessee.