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Best Kayaking In & Around Nashville, Tennessee

Cumberland River, Nashville

Nashville is known as Music City, but anyone familiar with the area knows the city has so much more to offer. Surrounded by state parks, lakes and rivers, Nashville is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors, especially if you love kayaking or canoeing.

Where to Kayak Near Nashville

From raging rapids to easy paddles, from cityscapes to secluded lakes, kayakers of all levels love what Nashville has to offer. Here are just a few of the must-paddle kayaking destinations in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Cumberland River

Nashville, TN

With incredible views of downtown, Riverfront Park and Shelby Bottoms, kayaking the Cumberland River is number one when it comes to Nashville kayaking. The river is vast with many launch sites to choose from. Enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife in addition to the city views. However, as the river is so popular, you’ll need to watch out for other kayakers as well as larger crafts.

Piney River

Bon Aqua, TN

Piney River is a 23.7-mile-long river that runs through the middle of Tennessee to the west of Nashville. The river offers a bit of everything. Challenging class IV and V rapids as well as exceptionally shallow areas make a memorable paddle for experienced kayakers. Less experienced kayakers looking to enjoy the beautiful river should stay between the Piney River campground and Piney River Road.

The Harpeth River State Park

Kingston Springs, TN

The Harpeth River State Park is a linear park about half an hour from Nashville that manages nine river access sites along 40 river miles. The park is popular for kayaking, canoeing, fishing and hiking with several natural, archaeological and historic areas. The Harpeth River is a class I river and has many close together launch points, making an excellent choice for beginner paddlers. It has shallow points for wading and great swimming holes to cool off in. You’ll also find excellent hiking trails, majestic bluffs and abundant wildlife.

Montgomery Bell State Park

Burns, TN

Montgomery Bell State Park is a natural oasis only 40 minutes from downtown Nashville in Burns, TN. The 3,850-acre park has three lakes with ample space for paddlers and beachgoers. Lake Acorn and Lake Woodhaven are great for kayaking. The size of these lakes makes them well suited for intermediate kayakers as the centers can become unpredictable. The park also offers seven hiking trails, a golf course, restaurant and cabin rental.

Long Hunter State Park

Hermitage, TN

For a quiet, tranquil paddle that’s a nature filled paradise, Long Hunter State Park is highly recommended. Here you still have access to Tennessee’s popular Percy Priest Lake, a 14,000-acre reservoir in the middle of Tennessee that’s a favorite among anglers, water-skiers, boaters and paddlers, but from a quieter location that offers more opportunities for spotting wildlife. If you really feel like being alone on the water, you can also visit the park’s much smaller but tranquil 110-acre Couchville Lake.

Nashville Kayak Storage Racks

Nashville offers the perfect kayaking destination for every kind of kayaker, and Log Kayak Rack offers the perfect storage for every kind of kayak. Log Kayak Rack’s hand-crafted kayak and canoe racks are made from norther white cedar logs. As beautiful as they are practical, our kayak racks will keep your shoreline neat and orderly and your kayaks at the ready. The durable frames are naturally weather resistant and can safely store up to eight kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution that will meet your Nashville kayak storage needs.