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Exploring the Great Outdoors: Family-Friendly Activities in Williamson County, TN

Exploring the Great Outdoors: Family-Friendly Activities in Williamson County, TN

As springtime ushers in warmer weather in Williamson County, TN, it’s the perfect season to dive into the heart of outdoor exploration and family-friendly adventures. Here, you’ll find opportunities for nature walks, hands-on educational experiences, refreshing water activities, and fun seasonal festivals that celebrate the joys of spring. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, this guide offers a glimpse into some of the attractions that make Williamson County, TN a haven for outdoor family fun.

Family-Friendly Parks and Playgrounds

Discover the charms of local parks in Williamson County, where nature and community activities come together to offer something for everyone.

Pinkerton Park

Pinkerton Park in Franklin is a must-visit with its accessible playground and scenic walking trails that meander along the Harpeth River, perfect for a family stroll. On Saturday, April 13th from 10 am to 12 pm, the City of Franklin and the Franklin Tree Commission, are celebrating Arbor Day at the park with family activities, tree climbing, environmental education, and free tree saplings. • 405 Murfreesboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 794-2103 •

Crockett Park

In Brentwood, Crockett Park is a hub for community events like the Summer Concert Series and 4th of July fireworks. Facilities include sports fields, courts, a nature trail, and a community playground. The park also offers a Wonder Trail, where signs along the way encourage learning and exploration. • 1500 Volunteer Pkwy, Brentwood, TN 37027, (615) 371-2208 •

Nolensville Park

Nolensville Park offers a range of amenities for sports buffs and families, including baseball fields, a football field, and a playground. For those looking to enjoy a leisurely day outdoors, there’s a walking trail, a pavilion for gatherings, and concessions for snacks. Additionally, the park caters to canine friends with dog runs featuring obstacles and a dog water fountain. • 2310 Nolensville Park Rd, Nolensville, TN 37135, (615) 370-3471 •

Dad and daughter fishing in Williamson County, Tennessee.

Outdoor Adventure Activities

From expansive parks with rich histories and diverse ecosystems to rivers teeming with wildlife and recreational opportunities, outdoor adventure activities in Williamson County cater to nature lovers of all ages and interests.

Bowie Nature Park

Bowie Nature Park offers over 700 acres of forests, lakes, and 17 miles of trails, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities such as bicycling, horseback riding, fishing, running, and walking. The park features a Nature Center with exhibits, a museum detailing the history of the Bowie family and the park, and a Discovery Room for hands-on learning. • 7211 Bowie Lake Rd, Fairview, TN 37062, (615) 799-5544 •

The Park at Harlinsdale Farm

For fishing enthusiasts, The Park at Harlinsdale Farm features a pond stocked with blue gill, grass carp, catfish, and largemouth bass. This pond is designated as a catch-and-release fishing area and requires all anglers to have a valid Tennessee State Fishing License. • 239 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 794-2103 •

Harpeth River

The City of Franklin Parks Department provides several access points along the Harpeth River for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming, including Williamson County Recreation Center, The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, Pinkerton Park, Eastern Flank, and Ladd Park/South Carothers at the bridge. Visitors will find mile markers along the river to aid navigation. 

Children enjoying nature activities for kids in Franklin, Tennessee.

Educational and Nature Exploration

Embrace the beauty and adventure awaiting at local parks, where outdoor activities meet rich history and environmental education. Whether you’re a fan of hiking or simply seeking a peaceful retreat into nature, these parks provide the perfect backdrop for adventure and exploration.

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

Spanning 300 acres, Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary is home to over 2,000 species and offers educational and recreational opportunities for all ages. Funded by donations, its efforts focus on habitat restoration, educational programs, trail maintenance, wildlife care, and invasive species control. Owl’s Hill regularly hosts family-friendly events, including wildflower hikes and birdwatching. 545 Beech Creek Rd S, Brentwood, TN 37027, (615) 370-4672 •

Peacock Hill Nature Park

Amenities at Peacock Hill Nature Park include a Visitor Center with educational displays, restrooms, hiking trails, scenic overlooks, picnic areas, and sitting areas for relaxation.• 6990 Giles Hills Road, College Grove, TN 37046, (615) 368-2911•

Timberland Park

Located on the Natchez Trace Parkway, Timberland Park features an Interpretive Center with educational displays, a butterfly garden, restrooms, and hiking trails including an ADA-accessible trail, an overlook, picnic tables, and RV access. • Natchez Trace Parkway, Mile Marker 437.2 (South of the SR Highway 96 entrance), Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 232-4154 •

Kids playing golf with cart

Sports and Recreation

Embrace the excitement of outdoor sports and recreation, perfect for families and those looking to explore and challenge themselves. These activities provide a mix of skill-building and adventure against the backdrop of natural beauty.

Cheekwood Golf Club

Families can hit the greens at Cheekwood Golf Club for youth-friendly golfing. Situated along the Harpeth River near downtown Franklin, Cheekwood is an ideal spot for youth and beginner golfers to improve their skills, as well as for those looking for a quick yet challenging 9-hole round. The club features a picturesque par 33 course accessible to all skill levels, rental clubs, essential golfing supplies in the clubhouse, snacks, and refreshments. • 285 Spencer Creek Rd, Franklin, TN 37069, (615) 794-8223 •

Jim Warren Skate Plaza

Skateboarders can catch some air at Jim Warren Skate Plaza, designed for transitional and street skating. The park offers a variety of features for skaters, including a challenging skate bowl and a plaza with staircases, ramps, and ledges. Open from dawn to dusk, with adjusted closing times in fall and winter, the park emphasizes safety with mandatory helmets and recommended protective gear. • 705 Boyd Mill Ave Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 794-2103 •

Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park

A free-use mountain bike facility, Wilkins Branch Mountain Bike Park features 13 trails over about 6 miles. The park accommodates all skill levels and includes a variety of single-track, flow, and downhill trails, alongside features like jumps, berms, and a skills areas for beginners. Helmets are mandatory and no pets or pedestrians are allowed on the trails. • 5664 Wilkins Branch Rd, Franklin TN 37064, (615) 232-4154 •

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Seasonal Events and Festivals

Celebrate creativity, community, and the joys of spring through a series of festivals and events across Franklin and Williamson County.

10th Annual Kids Art Festival of Tennessee

On March 23rd from 10 am to 2 pm, the City of Franklin presents the 10th Annual Kids Arts Festival of Tennessee at Pinkerton Park, where young talent from across the state showcase their abilities through art, dance, music, poetry, and more. The festival includes interactive art stops and an art exhibit of works by K-12 students, with winning pieces displayed in downtown Franklin at the Fire Hall Art Gallery. • 405 Murfreesboro Rd, Franklin, TN 37064 •

40th Annual Franklin Main Street Festival

Taking place on April 27th and 28th from 10 am to 6 pm, the annual Franklin Main Street Festival is a spring highlight in Williamson County, attracting over 120,000 visitors to historic downtown Franklin. This event, produced by the Heritage Foundation and hosted by the Downtown Franklin Association, features a variety of art and cultural elements, including public art exhibits and performances spanning dance, spoken word, music, and more. The festival boasts a lineup of over 150 arts and crafts vendors and more than 30 food and beverage stalls, complemented by numerous entertainment stages. Additionally, the festival features special zones for children, interactive arts experiences, and a pet-friendly area. • Main Street, Downtown Franklin, TN, 37064 •

Williamson County Master Gardener Association Garden Festival and Plant Sale

On April 13th from 9 am to 5 pm, the annual Garden Festival and Plant Sale takes place at the Williamson County Agricultural EXPO Park. The sale features a variety of plants including perennials, annuals, vegetables, and herbs, many of which are grown by Master Gardeners. Attendees can also explore a garden shed with new and gently used home and garden items, receive plant diagnostics information from the University of Tennessee, enjoy food trucks and vendors, listen to educational speakers, and participate in crafts. This event supports the Williamson County Master Gardener Association’s mission to provide horticulture education and promote environmental stewardship through volunteerism. • 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN, 37064 •

Parkathon Franklin Park Trail Series

Hosted by the City of Franklin Parks Department, Parkathon highlights different Franklin parks and trails each month, with activities led by experienced community members. Participants of all ages and abilities can join for free, collect stamps at each event, and redeem them for a special prize at the program’s conclusion. RSVPs are encouraged through the City of Franklin Parks Programming office at (615) 794-2103. Click here for detailed information on the schedule, including activities and locations for each event.

Tennessee Tulip Festival

The Tennessee Tulip Festival showcases over 700,000 tulips across 100 varieties at Lucky Ladd Farms, the largest pick-your-own tulip farm in the Southeast. This event offers a prime photography spot and a chance to pick unique bouquets. Admission tickets are required for access to the tulip fields, fun park, and zoo. Estimated dates for the event are March 16th through April 14th, but visitors should check their website to confirm dates. • 4374 Rocky Glade Rd, Eagleville, TN, (615) 274-3786 •

Family paddle boarding

Unique Outdoor Experiences

Experience the thrill of adventure and the pleasure of leisure activities in Franklin with unique offerings for outdoor fun.

Paddle Dog

Enjoy hot dogs, boats, and craft beer at Paddle Dog, located on the lake at Westhaven. This locally-owned business offers a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including stand-up paddle board, canoe, kayak, and bike rentals. With live music and trivia nights, Paddle Dog is a laid-back spot for both adventure and leisure by the lake. • 1006 Westhaven Boulevard, Franklin, TN 37064, (615) 669-2605 •

SOAR Adventure Tower

Featuring an outdoor climbing structure, SOAR Adventure Tower provides a climbing experience across four levels, with more than 110 climbing elements catering to kids and adults. With difficulty levels ranging from easy to challenging, it accommodates climbers of varying skills and preferences. Additionally, the facility boasts an 18-hole miniature golf course, designed with music-themed holes. • 3794 Carothers Pkwy, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 721-5103 •

Discovering Family Fun and Adventure in Williamson County, Tennessee

Williamson County, TN, offers a treasure trove of outdoor activities for families looking for adventure, education, or simply a day out in the sun. From picturesque parks and educational adventures to historic sites and seasonal celebrations, this guide showcases the best the county has to offer for those looking to connect with nature. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your picnic basket, and set out to explore the countless outdoor opportunities that await in Williamson County.