Blueways Blues

Blueways Blues

At Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures, we love the outdoors.  We are passionate about maintaining a clean, sustainable environment for all to enjoy, and it is our goal to get the community of Middle Tennessee involved in our efforts.  That’s why we incorporate as many community service events as we can to help raise awareness about environmental concerns.

Each year Team Green Adventures hosts multiple waterway cleanups to collect litter from our beautiful creeks and streams. In 2015, over 100 volunteers gathered for six different waterway cleanups; together we gathered 167 bags of trash and 118 tires!

Read more

Clear the Way- Trail Building 101

Clear the Way- Trail Building 101

Have you ever thought about how a trail is actually created? When I first began hiking, I was far too consumed with my natural surroundings to consider the work put in to design and construct a trail. Then I spent a Sunday morning rerouting the Fiery Gizzard Trail with Team Green Adventures, and my outlook on hiking trails was changed forever.

Hiking trails do not just appear out of thin air. They are created with in-depth forethought and are paved by nature lovers abound. Designing a trail requires proper vision with the most sustainable route in mind. Think long-term. How can we design a trail so it can be used for the next 50+ years, with the minimal amount of maintenance needed to keep it safe and functional?

Read more

Valentine’s Ideas for Active Procrastinators

Valentine’s Ideas for Active Procrastinators

So here we are, one week away from Valentine’s Weekend. If you’re like me, you probably lost track of time and have found yourself cutting it close without plans!

Don’t freak out.

It’s not too late to take advantage of some great deals for a fun-loving weekend with your sweetheart (or best friend)! This week’s Adventure Blog is a follow up to last year’s Valentine’s Dates for Outdoors Lovers blog (which still has some valid tips!)

Read more

5 Projects that are Making Nashville a Better Outdoor City

5 Projects that are Making Nashville a Better Outdoor City

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog over the last several months, then you know that we’ve got a ton of love for all that Nashville has to offer when it comes to getting outdoors. From parks and greenways to waterways and festivals, Nashville provides residents with an almost endless supply of excuses to step outside and enjoy nature. Though Middle Tennessee is a fantastic place to be for recreation lovers of all types, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement! As a city, we’re constantly thinking about the next steps to take to continue to support active outdoor lifestyles. Here are five projects on the horizon (or closer) that are helping to make Nashville just that much better for people who love to get outdoors:

1. Davidson Street Multi-Use Path (Coming July, 2015)

Over the last several years, Nashville has made great strides toward becoming a much more bike-friendly city. In 2012, Nashville was recognized as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (TM) by the League of American Bicyclists, and as of last week, Nashville now has 16 Bicycle Friendly Businesses (TM), including us! If our cycling community is to continue to grow and thrive moving forward, then there certainly needs to be an increase in infrastructure to provide riders of all ability levels with safe and accessible routes across the city. Thankfully, city officials have recognized this need and acted accordingly, recently announcing a multi-use path to be installed along Davidson Street near Shelby Bottoms. The path enhances the existing Music City Bikeway by implementing a paved path for both pedestrians and cyclists that would range between 8 and 12 feet wide and include protective bollards and wide striping to increase user safety. The path will increase connectivity between Downtown, LP Field, Shelby Bottoms, and existing neighborhoods in East Nashville, and is a fantastic resource for commuting and recreational cyclists alike!

ConceptPicture
Concept drawing of the Davidson Street path, via Nashville.gov.

2. West Riverfront Park and Amphitheater (Coming July, 2015)

If you’ve set foot in SoBro recently, then you know how hard it is to miss all the construction going on in what is becoming one of Nashville’s fastest growing commercial districts. Sitting prominently on a long-blighted piece of prime riverfront property (this site was once the home of Nashville’s Thermal Transfer Plant), the soon-to-be-completed West Riverfront Park will provide an incredible array of amenities for Nashvillians to get outdoors. Most notably, the park features a gleaming 6,500 seat outdoor amphitheater, giving the city a much-needed mid-size concert venue. The lineup for the inaugural season at the newly-named Ascend Amphitheater was just released last week, featuring more than a dozen shows ranging from Eric Church and Grace Potter to Widespread Panic and Old Crow Medicine Show, offering a little something for every musical taste. The site will also feature a dog park, outdoor wi-fi, more than a mile of greenways and paths, basketball courts and so much more, providing SoBro with access to a ton of much-needed resources to enjoy the outdoors right in the heart of Downtown.

westriverfrontpartk1
Rendering of West Riverfront Park and Amphitheater, via Nashville.gov.

3. East Bank Landing (Coming Summer, 2015)

Though West Riverfront Park has been getting most of the press recently, there are big changes happening on the other side of the river as well. East Bank Landing is currently under construction adjacent to LP Field and the Bridge Building, tucked in near the eastern end of the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. When complete, this small park will feature increased green space and shade trees, several benches, a picnic area, and a floating dock for the General Jackson. Perhaps the best feature for local outdoors enthusiasts, the renovated space will also include direct water access for launching canoes and kayaks, providing another access point to what has been a historically under-utilized Cumberland River. East Bank Landing also acts as an addition to the existing open space in nearby Cumberland Park, making for several acres of contiguous green space along the increasingly resident-friendly eastern bank of the river.

4. oneC1TY (Ongoing, some elements now open)

Tucked into a historically nondescript lot north of Centennial Park, the oneC1TY project is quickly becoming one of Nashville’s most talked about developments, and with good reason. Part of the larger redevelopment of Charlotte Avenue into a “healthy corridor,” oneC1TY seeks to become a hub for health and wellness both indoors and outdoors. The project will feature tons of sustainable elements, like a shipping container village (playfully named C1TYBLOX) full of health-oriented businesses, as well as highly-efficient office space for groups like the Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance. oneC1TY will also play host to several public outdoor elements, like walking paths, a lake with a picnic area, an amphitheater for music and other performances, and sand volleyball courts (which are already open). Overall, the project is aiming to be a LEED-certified sustainable neighborhood with both residential and commercial components, and its main goal is to be a center for innovation and collaboration on all things health and wellness in Nashville.

onecity_b11
Concept plan for a portion of the oneC1TY site, showing abundant outdoor space adjacent to the 28th/31st Avenue Connector, via Cambridgeinc.com.

5. Centennial Park Renovation (Phase 1 due in May, 2015)

One of Nashville’s oldest and most recognizable parks, Centennial Park has long been a cherished outdoor spot for many locals. Since 1897, the park has provided Nashvillians with access to walking and running paths, abundant green space, a small pond full of wildlife, gorgeous gardens, and a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon among other amenities, all in the heart of Midtown! Though the park has long been a staple of Nashville’s recreation culture, an increasingly vibrant and growing user base has spurred on the need for renovations. Construction began late last summer on Phase 1 of the project, which includes a permanent amphitheater for the Musician’s Corner concert series and enhanced parking and landscaping near the Parthenon, among other components. Future phases will provide park users with access to a stream flowing through the park, the renovation of existing monuments and addition of new sculptures, the installation of a playground, and so much more! The Centennial Park Master Plan outlines all of the changes happening throughout the park, and provides a snapshot into how incredible the park will be for all of Nashville when it’s complete.

All of these great projects have got us beyond excited to get outdoors as the weather heats up this summer, and we hope you’ll join us! Check out our calendar to find ways to get involved. Do you have a favorite local project going on that we missed? Feel free to add it in our comments section below!

See you out there, Nashville!

– Matt (Team Green’s Events Coordinator)

US Presidents and America’s National Parks

US Presidents and America’s National Parks

In honor of President’s Day this Monday, there’s no better time to take a quick look back at the history of one of America’s greatest treasures, our National Park system. Though the first National Park, Yellowstone, was actually established by an act of Congress in 1872, the Oval Office has long made significant impacts on the system as a whole. While parks continued to be established throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson, at the height of World War I, established the National Park Service to manage and oversee the ever-expanding system of federally-protected lands. Since that time, dozens of National Parks and hundreds of National Monuments have been added to the list of conserved places, with some 401 distinct areas covering more than 84 million acres across the United States and its territories.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 most-visited National Parks, as well as their year of creation and the President at the time:

1. Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Tennessee, 1926, Calvin Coolidge)

2. Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

3. Yosemite National Park (California, 1890, Benjamin Harrison)

4. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, 1872, Ulysses S. Grant)

5. Olympic National Park (Washington, 1938, Franklin Roosevelt)

6. Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado, 1915, Woodrow Wilson)

7. Zion National Park (Utah, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

8. Grand Teton National Park (Utah, 1929, Herbert Hoover)

9. Acadia National Park (Maine, 1919, Woodrow Wilson)

10. Glacier National Park (Montana, 1910, William Howard Taft)

Arguably one of the most interesting things about the National Park system is that it’s never complete. In just the last 35 years, 19 parks have been added to the list, including mainstays like Saguaro National Park in Arizona and Joshua Tree National Park in California (both were upgraded from National Monument status in 1994). In total, 18 different US Presidents have overseen the addition of National Park land to the system, spanning more than 130 years of preservation efforts.

Obviously, no discussion of conservation in the United States would be complete without mention of Teddy Roosevelt, who is widely considered to be America’s most conservation-oriented president. After taking a trip to the Badlands in 1883, Roosevelt became enamored with the beauty of the American frontier while also developing great concern for the damage being done to the land and wildlife through ever-increasing development and hunting patterns. Just over 20 years later, Roosevelt channeled his passion for the great outdoors into the passage of the 1906 American Antiquities Act, which he used to create 18 National Monuments. During the course of his Presidency, “Roosevelt used his authority to protect wildlife and public lands by creating the U.S. Forest Service and establishing 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, [and] 5 National Parks,” conserving some 230 million acres of American wilderness in the process (much of this land was protected under the jurisdiction of the National Forest Service, which was combined with the National Park Service in 1933 through an Executive Order by Franklin D. Roosevelt).

Even to this day, the quest for further conservation continues with President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which aims to promote a responsible conservation and recreation agenda through the development of closer relationships between outdoors stakeholders at all levels. So on this President’s Day, take some time to appreciate the efforts of those in the White House to protect the incredible natural beauty that exists in all corners of the United States. If you can, head to your nearest National Park, National Monument, National Forest, or any other federally-protected area and enjoy the wonder of the great outdoors! Happy President’s Day, Nashville!

– Matt (Team Green’s Event Coordinator)

Update 2/19/15: President Obama just designated three new National Monuments: Pullman National Monument in Illinois, Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, and Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii. Very cool!

5 Reasons Why Nashville is a Great City for Outdoor Recreation

5 Reasons Why Nashville is a Great City for Outdoor Recreation

According to one recent study, Nashville ranked just 29th among the 50 largest cities in the United States for recreation opportunities. While it’s no surprise that peer cities like Denver and Portland ranked ahead of Nashville, it did come as a bit of a shock that Nashville was ranked behind cities not necessarily known for their outdoor and recreation cultures, including Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City. It should be noted that the study used certain metrics like public beaches per capita, which might put Nashville at a disadvantage (and cities like San Diego at a clear advantage), but factors like music venues per capita were also taken into consideration, which would definitely help to give Nashville a boost relative to other metro areas around the country.

While Nashville certainly has plenty of room to improve in many ways, especially when it comes to things like creating more access points to utilize the Cumberland River as a recreational asset, Davidson County continues to make great strides towards being a regionally- and nationally-recognized recreation hub. Here’s a list of our top 5 reasons why Nashville is a great city to get outdoors and be active:

1. The Greenway System

Whether you’re a walker, a runner, a cyclist, a rollerblader, or just about anything else, Nashville’s greenway system is a great resource for local outdoor recreation. If you’re not familiar with them, greenways are “linear parks and trails that connect neighborhoods to schools, shopping areas, downtown, offices, recreation areas, open spaces and other points of activity,” and are “often located along natural landscape features like streams, rivers and ridges, or along built features, such as railroad corridors and scenic highways,” according to Greenways for Nashville. With more than 65 miles of greenway trails in Davidson county, it’s no surprise that upwards of 90 percent of Nashvillians live within 2 miles of a greenway access point. The best part? They’re completely free and open year-round!

Greenways
Nashville has a TON of greenways with great natural and manmade features, including this pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River, connecting the Stones River Greenway to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway in East Nashville. Photo cred: Greenways for Nashville.

2. Great Local Parks

Nashville is fortunate to have access to an abundance of high-quality parks. Ask anyone around town where their go-to place to get outdoors is, and you’re sure to hear a lot of the same answers. Percy Warner Park, Radnor Lake State Natural Area, and Centennial Park (and Sportsplex) are all common favorites among locals, providing space for walking, running, hiking, festivals and races, and other beloved community events. Places like Bells Bend Park and Cane Ridge Park (in addition to Warner Park) offer access to mountain biking trails, and dozens of other parks across the county feature everything from tennis courts and golf courses to baseball diamonds and basketball courts, providing recreational outlets for just about anyone. In total, Nashville has 108 parks and 19 greenways, adding up to more than 12,000 acres of accessible open space around town. Current projects like the renovation of Riverfront Park on both the east and west banks of the Cumberland continue to add park-based amenities to Nashville, with features like a dog park, river access, and a 6,500 seat amphitheater soon to be open for use.

Earth Day
Centennial Park is always bustling for Nashville’s annual Earth Day Festival, one of our favorite community events to partner with every year!

3. Tons of Local Waterways

For a landlocked city, Nashville has access to a plethora of water-based recreational opportunities. If you’ve spent even one summer living here, you know that it gets HOT, so taking some time to get out on a lake or river is key to keeping cool. Whether your activity of choice is grabbing a canoe and floating one of Middle Tennessee’s scenic rivers, like the Harpeth or Caney Fork, or hopping in a boat and spending a day on Percy Priest or Center Hill Lake, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the water in Nashville. Other opportunities include plenty of fishing and swimming, a growing stand up paddle board culture, and Nashville’s annual Dragon Boat Festival on the Cumberland River (seriously, check it out if you never have – it’s a blast! Here are some pictures from when we raced in it last year.).

Harpeth waterfall
This small waterfall at the Narrows of the Harpeth is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day!

4. Our Growing Cycling Community

Did you know that Nashville is one of only 18 cities in the United States with a population of 500,000 or more to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community? Over the last decade, Nashville has made a ton of progress in becoming a safer city for cyclists of both the commuting and recreational variety. Nashville has more than 140 miles of designated bikeways across the county, including the 26-mile long Music City Bikeway, which links Percy Warner Park on the west side of town to Percy Priest Dam on the east side. Nashville has also invested heavily in its BCycle bikeshare program, providing affordable access to bikes for both residents and tourists in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. The BCycle system currently features 25 stations and 225 bikes, with plans for five more stations to be installed in 2015. In the two short years since the program’s inception, more than 50,000 BCycles have been checked out!

bcycle
Check it out! We sponsor multiple BCycle stations across the county, including this one on Rolling Mill Hill just south of downtown.

5. Our Close Proximity to Nearby Recreation Opportunities

If the outdoor amenities in Nashville proper aren’t enough to keep you busy year-round, then it’s fortunate that Nashville also happens to be surrounded by incredible outdoor and recreational opportunities that are just a short day trip away! Within a 2-hour drive are plenty of world-class rock climbing destinations, including King’s Bluff in Clarksville and T-Wall and Foster Falls near Chattanooga. There’s also an endless number of nearby backpacking and hiking trails that make great weekend getaways, including the Cumberland Trail System, Savage Gulf State Natural Area, and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Nashville is also the end point of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and is just a few short hours from sections of the Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the thrilling whitewater of the Ocoee River. Seriously, there are so many recreational resources in close proximity to Middle Tennessee that there’s no way they can all be covered here, so you’ll just have to do some exploring yourself!

kings bluff
King’s Bluff, one of our favorite local climbing destinations (fall 2014).

Itching to get active in Nashville? Join us for one of our upcoming trips! We’re heading to Frozen Head State Park on Saturday, January 31st for a backpacking trip, and we’ll be at Climb Nashville for Indoor Rock Climbing every Tuesday now through the end of March!

– Matt (Team Green’s Event Coordinator)

5 Great Day Hikes in Middle Tennessee

5 Great Day Hikes in Middle Tennessee

It’s that time of year again, when the weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing, and the local trails could not be more beautiful! Take some time over the next several weeks to get out and enjoy a few great hikes before winter sets in. Middle Tennessee is one of the best places in the country to enjoy a scenic day hike, so take advantage of the abundant nearby park land and hit the trails! Here are a few of our favorite day hikes that won’t require you to go far from home:

1. Radnor Lake – Ganier Ride Loop + Lake Trail (4.5 miles, Easy-Moderate)

By now, I’m sure just about everyone in Nashville has hiked Radnor Lake, or is at least familiar with this gorgeous park located just 20 minutes south of downtown. Known for its wildlife, Radnor Lake is a fantastic place to see all kinds of feathered friends, including a wide variety of songbirds, and even a handful of bald eagles in the fall/winter. The park is in the process of installing an aviary to cater to some of the larger birds of prey, which should make this local park that much more attractive in years to come. While on the Ganier Ridge Trail, take a few minutes to stop at some of the higher elevation points, as you can get a great view of downtown on a clear day. Note that the park is a state natural area, meaning you can’t bring your pup on the hike with you, but we promise the hike won’t disappoint! The peace and quiet makes this one a great solo hike anyways.

Radnor Fall
Radnor Lake from the Lake Trail

2. Warner Parks – Mossy Ridge Trail (4.5 miles, Moderate)

Surrounded by Tennessee hardwoods and located in one of the largest and urban parks in the country, the Mossy Ridge Trail is a fantastic hike to try out in the fall, as you’ll be surrounded by beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow throughout. The longest (and often least-used) trail in the Warner Parks system, Mossy Ridge makes for a convenient local training hike and is a popular trail running destination, especially given the moderate nature of the elevation changes. Along the way, you’ll pass several opportunities to stop for a picnic, and will also encounter a spring-fed waterfall that runs best after a good rain.  It’s also a great place to take the dogs for a walk – just keep your furry friends on a leash! While at the park, drop by the nature center to learn a little more about the park’s history and wildlife.

3. Old Natchez Trace – Garrison Creek Loop (6.3 miles, Moderate)

Though Nashville marks the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace, it seems like the amenities provided by this historic and scenic roadway are often under-used by Nashvillians as a whole. Starting at Highway 100 in West Nashville (near Loveless Cafe – if you haven’t tried their biscuits, you’re missing out), the Trace winds 444 miles south to Natchez, Mississippi, making for one of the best interstate drives in the nation (the Trace is designated as a National Scenic Roadway and is managed by the National Park Service). 17 miles south on the Trace is where you’ll find the Garrison Creek trailhead, featuring picnic tables and restrooms. This hike makes for a great day trip, especially in the fall, as you can take in not only the vibrant colors, but travel back in time to relive some of the experiences of the original Trace travelers, as there are tons of historical markers along the way.

4. Long Hunter State Park – Volunteer Day Loop (4 miles, Moderate)

Like the Natchez Trace, Long Hunter State Park is an often under-used local outdoors amenity that deserves a little extra attention. On the east banks of Percy Priest Lake, Long Hunter has more than 20 miles of hiking trail, including the Volunteer Day Loop, a moderate, 4-mile hike. The trail runs along the lake for roughly half its length, making for great views of the water. There are minimal elevation changes and rock features on this trail, making it an accessible one for hikers of all skill levels. Feeling up for a challenge? Start on the Day Loop and stay along the lake to continue to follow the full out-and-back Volunteer Trail. You’ll find a backcountry campsite roughly 6 miles in, offering a great opportunity to try your hand at an easy overnight backpacking trip! Besides offering great, beginner-friendly hiking trails, the park also offers a host of other activities, including canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals, sand volleyball courts, swimming, fishing, and mountain biking, making it a great place to spend a full day!

LongHunterMap
The Volunteer Day Loop offers consistently great views of Percy Priest Lake.

5. Short Springs State Natural Area – Multiple Trails (~5 miles, Moderate)

If it’s wildflowers you’re looking for, then search no further! Short Springs is our go-to destination for wildflowers in the spring, as the preserved green space here is home to dozens of varieties of flowering plants, reaching their peak in early-mid April, depending on the weather. Though a little further from Nashville than the other four hikes mentioned here, this one is most definitely worth it! The park not only features a ton of gorgeous flowering plants, but also plays host to multiple waterfalls (spring is also a great time to catch these flowing strongly). Roughly five miles of moderate hiking takes you past abundant wildflowers, Machine Falls, and Upper and Lower Busby Falls, making for a great place to spend a leisurely spring day taking in some of the best scenery in Middle Tennessee!

short springs_full
Machine Falls at Short Springs State Natural Area

Ready to get out and do some hiking? Join us next Saturday, November 1st for our New Faces Day Hike at Radnor Lake, and keep your eyes on the calendar as we post more hikes in the coming weeks!

– Matt (Team Green’s Events Coordinator)

Don’t Leave Home Without These Essential Adventure Apps!

Don’t Leave Home Without These Essential Adventure Apps!

Life requires us to constantly be on the go. While many times our phones can distract us and waste our time, mobile apps can act as useful tools that make it easier to save time and access the outdoors from wherever we’re located. It’s our passion to connect you with the best trails, waterways and natural areas in Middle Tennessee and beyond, but when we can’t be there to do the trip with you, these mobile apps provide everything you need to work on getting outside on your own!

Local Outdoors

Record a walk, run or bike ride with NashVitality (free) to track your time, distance, pace and calories burned. NashVitality will guide you to all of Nashville’s greenways, trails and waterways. With the “Explore Near Me” and “News & Events” buttons, you can always be plugged in to the active outdoors community in Nashville.

Metro Parks (free) is a complete mobile guide to Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. Find immediate access to the natural history of the parks, an interactive map, news and events, and a photo gallery. Next time you head to Warner Parks, download this app to look out for specific plant species or find the perfect picnic table mid-hike.

With the B-Cycle (free) app, you will have no trouble finding the nearest B-Cycle station. Plan your bike ride ahead of time by checking the map for all of Nashville’s stations. The biggest advantage to having this app is that you will always know exactly how many available bikes and docks are at each B-Cycle station, meaning you’ll never end up bikeless or without a place to dock the bike you’re already riding!

National Adventure

All Trails (free) is like Yelp for hiking. All Trails has information on more than 50,000 trails across the country, so you will always be able to find the perfect route near you. Each trail has personal recommendations, reviews and photos. This app helps you create a wish list of trails and keep track of trails you have completed. All Trails also keeps you up to date on local hiking events.

Take part in protecting our wildlife with Project Noah (free), which helps you create a “mission” that others nearby can join. Each mission documents spotted wildlife and plant species. Discover innumerable organisms around the world and be on the lookout for endangered species in your area to photograph as part of this citizen-scientist project.

MotionX GPS ($1.99) will identify your location anywhere in the world on topographic and road maps. With a choice of nine maps, you are sure to find the graphic that matches your terrain. This app is worth the money because you can record your tracks for whatever sport, such as mountain biking or skiing, and replay your track in real-time. Check altitude, ascent, and descent. Mark waypoints and snap a photo to keep on your map. Some other impressive features include a compass, social media tools, and a personal tour guide via Wikipedia.

Map My Hike (free), which is much like the popular “Map My Run,” will track the pace, highest speed, split times, distance and calories burned on all of your hikes. A graph shows your pace at each elevation as well. The app features a nutrition calculator to count your calories consumed and burned, and how much water you need to stay hydrated through the end of your hike.

Chimani National Parks (free) is your mobile passport to the National Parks. This app will keep you from missing important monuments, memorials and historical sites. With a map and current news, this app is everything you need for traveling to these wonders of the world!

Feeling spontaneous? Reserve America Camping (free) is a helpful tool for finding camping grounds whether you need one in a month or tonight. Search sites in state, federal and private grounds across the U.S. and find photos and details on each site using this mobile app.

Eddie Bauer Adventure (free) is a well-rounded app every outdoors enthusiast needs. Choose the activity you want to do and the level of difficulty you desire, and then narrow your options down by time of day, distance from you, and whether you are bringing kids or a dog. The app will give you detailed guides with clear photos of the places that fit your description to help you discover your next adventure.

Outdoor Utilities

Coleman’s Camping Cookbook (free) has you covered for meal planning in the woods. With everything from breakfast burritos to s’mores, this cookbook makes it easy to amplify your camping meals so you won’t go hungry!

Sky View (free) is a simple app that allows you to point your phone at the sky to point out stars, constellations, satellites, and planets. We all know identifying celestial objects can be tough, so downloading this app means you’ll never be left stargazing again unsure of what exactly you’re looking at!

SAS Survival ($5.99) has been the go-to book for survival, but now the full text can be found in mobile form. This helpful app provides videos, photos of animal tracks, knots, poisonous and edible plants, a Morse Code signaling device, checklists, and a First Aid guide. While we still advise preparing for any extreme trek thoroughly beforehand, this app can be trusted to help protect you on your next excursion.

There is an overwhelming amount of weather apps out there, but Accu Weather (free) is a reliable source for minute-by-minute forecasts, animated radar, and more details than you could possibly need on the conditions in your location. Never get caught in the rain again!

You never know when you may need First Aid skills. If you are not First Aid certified, American Red Cross First Aid (free) will help you in case of an emergency. Videos, quizzes, and step-by-step guides will help give you a basic understanding of how to handle those backwoods medical emergencies.

Connect with Others

We know people who love the outdoors are the best kind of people. Yonder (free) connects you with people worldwide who share the same passion for an active outdoor lifestyle. Yonder is basically a fusion of Instagram with Google Maps that allows you to share your adventurous pics, get feedback, and look at other explorers’ photos before you head off to a new destination.

Suited to Your Activity

Bike Maps ($0.99) provides trails for city commuting or mountain biking. Never ride down a bad path again!

iTrail Map (free) keeps all of your mountain trail maps in one convenient place. Even better, now you can read trail maps paper-free.

Anyone who loves skiing needs Ski Tracks ($0.99). This app tells you everything about your runs, such as max speed, distance skied, your ascent and descent, max altitude, number of runs, temperatures and duration. Ski Tracks places these stats on a graph, as well as on a ski map so you can see how much of the mountain you covered.

Ski & Snow Report (free) is a clear guide to prepare you each morning before you hit the slopes. Check the number of lifts open, runs groomed, and amount of snowfall overnight to make the most of your time on the slopes.

Stay safe and catch the best waves with Surfline (free), which provides the latest conditions and forecasts across the globe.

Download the apps that fit your lifestyle and let us know how they worked out for you! If you need a little inspiration or a place to upload some fantastic pics to your new Yonder profile, join Team Green this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for a moderate hike at Radnor Lake. For more details, see our event page.

– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)

Your Guide to Nashville’s Outdoor Resources

Your Guide to Nashville’s Outdoor Resources

Nashville provides countless resources to help the community spend more time outdoors. We partners with many local outfitters, including Nashville Paddle Company, Mountain High Outfitters, and Nashville B Cycle. If it weren’t for these resources that make it easy to rent gear, or for Metro Parks’ preservation of our green spaces, Team Green would not be able to carry out our mission of building a stronger outdoor community in Nashville!

Metro Parks is the back end of Nashville’s vast amount of green space. The greenways alone cover more than 190 miles of trails in Davidson County. More than 50 miles of trails are unpaved and designated for mountain biking, hiking and equestrian use. The goal of Metro Parks’ Greenways is to provide a greenway trail within 2 miles of every community, as well as to conserve green space, particularly floodplains and scenic areas along the waterways. Metro parks’ nature centers are open year-round and offer field trips, information on Nashville’s natural history, and access to expert naturalists to answer any questions you may have. Metro Parks also offers fitness classes through the Centennial Sportsplex and other neighborhood community centers, such as aquatics classes, dance, tennis and more.

bcycle station
We even have our very own B-cycle stations – one in Hillsboro Village and another on Rolling Mill Hill just south of downtown!

Metro Parks’ adventurous opportunities include camping at Bells Bend and guided kayak and canoe excursions. In 2012, Outside Magazine named Nashville one of the “Best River Towns in America,” and Metro Parks is dedicated to offering activities for the community to enjoy and easily access these waterways. Even Mayor Karl Dean is getting in on the action, as his “Walk 100 Miles” campaign encourages the Nashville community to get outdoors and walk more…and what better place to do it than Nashville’s greenways?!

In addition to the places Metro Parks provides for enjoying outdoor activities, Nashville has many outfitters that rent gear to equip you for any adventure in Middle Tennessee. Check out the best places to rent outdoors gear in and around Nashville:

Nashville Paddle Company:  Nashville Paddle Co. offers short-term or long-term rentals, how-to classes, intermediate technique instruction, endurance race training, PaddleFit workout sessions, moonlight paddles, dragon boat race training on SUP, team building events, bachelorette parties and SUP yoga. With affordable prices, Nashville Paddle Co. makes it possible for you to spend your whole summer paddling! A portion of their proceeds is donated to organizations like the Cumberland River Compact to keep Nashville’s waterways clean.

Mountain High Outfitters:  Stand up paddleboards are available to rent for a full day or weekend-long. Mountain High also rents out backpacks, tents, sleeping pads and trekking poles for multiple days if you’re interested in hitting the backcountry but don’t want to make a huge investment in purchasing gear.

Nashville B-cycle:  B-cycle allows the Nashville community to rent bikes for a day, or you can purchase a weekly, monthly or annual membership so you can easily opt for transportation via bike instead of using your car. If you have a membership, each trip is free as long as the bike is returned to a station within an hour. Every additional half hour is only $1.50. There are 23 B-stations around Nashville, making the B-cycle program accessible to Nashvillians in several neighborhoods.

Climb Nashville:  Climb Nashville is best place for renting climbing gear and spending a couple hours climbing their enormous rock walls. You can also purchase gear, try out a fitness or yoga class, or enroll your kids in a youth climbing program. Their two new gyms (in West and East Nashville) make it easy to get your climb on no matter which side of the river you call home.

Foggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak:  Aside from easy-to-use and affordable canoe and kayak rentals, Foggy Bottom also offers primitive camping and river trips. They even have a specific river trip just for kids! Their location on the Harpeth River makes for a great day trip just outside Nashville.

Love learning about Nashville’s outdoor resources, but want to leave the trip planning to someone else? Join us in making the most of our natural surroundings at one of our upcoming events:

Buffalo River Canoe Float & Cleanup with Bridgestone Americas’ Tires4ward Program on Saturday, July 26th at 7:30 a.m. at Crazy Horse Canoe

Yoga in the Park with Kali Yuga Yoga at Centennial Park every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Beginner Mountain Biking on Tuesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at Percy Warner Park

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with Nashville Paddle Company on Sunday, August 17th at 10 a.m. on Percy Priest Lake

– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)

Book Review: Natural Nashville

Book Review: Natural Nashville

Summer entails outdoor adventures, traveling to new places and trying new activities, but we can’t forget to rest, relax and re-charge. This summer, as you spend some time by a pool or lake, pick up Robert Brandt’s Natural Nashville: A Guide to the Greenways and Nature Parks.

If you call Nashville home, then you’ve probably found your favorite trails to escape the city. Whether you are looking for more secluded places, or you want to expand your knowledge of your cherished parks, Natural Nashville has everything you need to know about outdoor adventure in Nashville, all in one convenient place!

Brandt’s fifth book on the Tennessee outdoors is an extensive guide highlighting everything you can expect to see and experience at each park or Greenway in Nashville. At the end of each section is a personal testimony from a local hiker, giving you a more intimate account of the treasures Nashville has to offer.

Natural Nashville was written in memory of Bob Brown, the founder of Tennessee Trails Association. Brown was also a leader in establishing the Cumberland Trail, the greenways program, Shelby Bottoms, Beaman Park, and Bells Bend Park. Brown passed away in 2007, but Brandt’s book is a place for recognizing and appreciating Brown’s hard work in preserving the natural environment in Tennessee.

In an interview with The Tennessean, Brandt shares his five favorite outdoor activities in Nashville:

  1. Biking the Natchez Trace Parkway
  2. Floating along the Harpeth
  3. Riding the Music City Bikeway
  4. Looping the Warner Park Trails
  5. Hiking Beaman Park

If you love Nashville and understand the joy of spending a long time roaming natural parks and trails, then you’ll be glad you opened Brandt’s Natural Nashville. Not only will this guide teach you more about Nashville’s natural environment, but it will also inspire you to continue exploring and spending time in the great outdoors.

Natural Nashville: A Guide to the Greenways and Nature Parks is $14.95 and can be purchased at BookMan BookWoman, Parnassus Books and Amazon.com. All proceeds go toward future Greenways for Nashville projects. Greenways for Nashville is a nonprofit coalition of individuals, groups and businesses that support Metro Parks greenways program, which preserves natural, scenic and cultural areas around Nashville with the help of volunteers.

ImageNo plans next weekend? You might want to check out the guided hike being led by Robert Brandt being held at Warner Parks. This event will be a great way to learn more about the book firsthand from the author, while also giving you the opportunity to snag a copy if you want one!

– Kate (Team Green’s Summer Intern)