The state capital of Tennessee and also the state’s most populous city, Nashville is one of the most iconic locations in all of America. The undisputed home of country music, this city is a real hotspot for music enthusiasts and tourists of all kinds. With a beautiful skyline, gorgeous surrounding scenery, and a lot of big landmarks to visit, Nashville is one of the most vibrant cities in the entire United States and a great spot for outdoor activities like kayaking.
With the famous Cumberland River running right through the tour and many other lakes and rivers in the surrounding area, Nashville has a lot to offer for kayak and paddle enthusiasts. In fact, it's easily arguable that the best kayaking in all of Tennessee can be found in Nashville, so if you're in the area and want to hit the water and do some paddling, Music City is the place to be. Things to do in Nashville TN
Best Places to Kayak in Nashville
With so many great kayaking spots all around the city, simply choosing where to start kayaking can be quite a big decision. With that in mind, here are some of the top kayaking spots in Nashville.
1.Cumberland River – Obviously, no mention of kayaking in Nashville would be complete without the Cumberland River. This is the number one kayaking spot in the town with a good mixture of calm and choppy waters, the Cumberland River can be well-suited for all kinds of kayakers. The calmer sections tend to be in the western side of town, while those looking for a more intense kayaking section can try paddling against the current.
2.Old Hickory Lake - Not far outside downtown Nashville, Old Hickory Lake is a lovely spot to do some kayaking. With coves to explore and all sorts of birds and marine life to spot, this is a really nice location for nature enthusiasts, and the nearby Spencer Creek can help you extend your kayaking adventure.
3.Percy Priest Lake - Just a little way east of Nashville, Percy Priest Lake is well-suited for kayaking with numerous drop-in spots all around the shoreline. Kayak rentals are also available in this area and it tends to be less crowded than other kayaking spots, giving you a little more intimacy for calm kayaking sessions with your loved ones or friends.
Kayak Rentals and Tours in Nashville
If you’re looking to rent a kayak or head out on a pre-planned kayaking tour of Nashville, these are the people to call.
· Cumberland Kayak - 2 Victory Ave, Nashville, TN 37213 (615 800-7321)
Cumberland Kayak, as the name suggests, focuses along Nashville's famous Cumberland River. Often regarded as one of the prettiest rivers in all of Tennessee, the Cumberland River is surrounded by a lot of stunning scenery and beautiful wildlife.
Kayakers paddling along these routes will be able to take in all of the natural and man-made views as well as potentially spotting some turtles, herons, beavers, fish, and more. This operator runs several different kayaking at great prices, including skyline and nature tours, so there's always a reason to come back for more and try something new.
· River Queen Voyages - 2 Victory Ave, Nashville, TN 37213 (615 933-9778)
River Queen Voyages is one of the top kayaking operators in downtown Nashville. This company runs two different self-guided kayaking tours along the Cumberland River, allowing you to take in all of the sights and sounds of Nashville from the water, while paddling at your own pace and being able to pause for photos and breaks as you wish.
The 1-hour route won an award for providing the 'Best View of the City' and focuses on Nashville's riverwalk, while the 2-hour route is more rural, taking in forests and farms along Shelby Bottoms. Both routes are a lot of fun and enjoyable for kayakers of all ages.
· Paddle Dog Adventures - 1008 Westhaven Blvd, Franklin, TN 37064 (615 975-0732)
A little way south of downtown Nashville sits Paddle Dog Adventures. This welcoming kayak and paddle company runs paddle, canoe, and kayak rentals on Westhaven Lake, as well as the Harpeth River.
These are some of the top kayaking spots in the surrounding Nashville area, with crystal clean, calm waters that are wonderful to kayak along, especially for younger kayakers and families who simply want to take their time and enjoy the ride. Harpeth River kayaking tours last two hours and are by appointment only. The Paddle Dog Adventures team will set you up with your kayaks and drive you out to the launching spot for your adventure before sending you on your way.