Guide to Shelby Bottoms Park

Guide to Shelby Bottoms Park

Tucked in the northwest corner of Nashville is the amazing Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and Park.  Featuring programs, hiking and biking trails, GreenBikes rentals and more, the park is a great little resource that offers many a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the outdoors.  Here's the guide to Shelby Bottoms Park so you can get the most out of one of Nashville's best resources.



Shelby Bottoms Park Information

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center (and Shelby Bottoms Greenway Main Trailhead) is located at:

1900 Davidson St. Nashville, TN 37206

Hours of Operation: 

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday and Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday and Monday

Shelby Bottoms Greenway is open dawn-dusk every day, 365 days per year


Park Overview

The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is an environmental education and recreation facility of the Nashville Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation.  The Nature Center is a place where people can enjoy learning about our natural and urban landscape, the flora and fauna that call it home, the cultural history of the area, and the many complex interactions of what we so simply call “nature.”  It is a place to learn (or remember!) that we are a part of nature and not apart from it.  

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center:

  • Provides a great starting point for exploring the more than 950 acres of Shelby Bottoms Greenway and 336 acres of adjacent Shelby Park.
  • Offers a wide range of free public nature and environmental education programs, school field trips, educator training workshops, outdoor recreation programs, individual and group volunteer opportunities, student internship possibilities, Girl and Boy Scout programs, and other special activities for people of all ages.
  • Serves as a natural history and education reference center for individuals and groups.
  • Promotes and serves as a resource for organic and urban community gardening, rain gardening and “green” building.
  • Operates as a Nashville GreenBikes station at which residents and visitors of Nashville can “check-out” a free bike to ride on the Shelby Bottoms and other connected Greenways and bike lanes.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park from the airThe SBNC facilities include the nature center which houses natural and cultural history exhibits, programming space, art and photography exhibition space, and a library with many field ID guides, natural and cultural history titles and children’s books; an organic demonstration and teaching garden; a Cumberland River Compact rain garden; a children’s Nature Play area and trails; and the main trailhead for approximately five miles each of primitive hiking trails and paved ADA accessible trails.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Shelby Park are located in urban East Nashville; less than 4 miles from Printers Alley, The District and historic Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, home of Nashville’s Honky Tonk Row, as well as other nightlife, shopping, dining and sports venues.


Maps andTrails





Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is one of several locations in Nashville which offers a free bike rental program.  Nashville BikeShare was launched in 2010 with 25 bikes at two locations: GrayLine of Tennessee’s Riverfront Station and right here at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center.

This project was an initiative of the Mayor’s Office and operated as a partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Metro Parks, Metro Public Works, Metro Nashville Police Department and GrayLine of Tennessee.

In 2011, Regions Bank committed to donating 100 green bikes to the program to be phased in 25 at a time over the next few years.  The administration of the program by this time had been adopted by Nashvitality, a project which addresses obesity and nutrition and is made possible through funding from the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant awarded to Nashville by the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The daily program operation is still led by Metro Parks and Grayline of Tennessee, at whose sites you may check out, for free, a cruiser-style bicycle for a 4 hour block of time.   Seven locations are operating now and more Metro Parks locations are to come! 



Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Michael Gonzales in Guides, Parks