shelby bottoms bridge

In just five days, hundreds of runners and walkers will join us for the Steps of Success 5K at Shelby Bottoms Greenway. What you may not know is the history behind this 960-acre “oasis in the city” that is one of five Natural Area Parks within Metro Parks.

Located in East Nashville, within minutes of downtown, Shelby Bottoms is rich river bottom land with boardwalks over streams, wetlands and great overlooks of the Cumberland River. It has more than 3 miles of river frontage and more than five miles each of paved and primitive trails for visitors to explore and enjoy.

greenway4 Aerial view

In the early 1990s Mayor Philip Bredesen charged a small “greenspace” committee of Nashville citizens to identify lands in Davidson County which should be preserved as open space and parks. And in 1994, the Metro Council’s Greenways Commission announced Shelby Bottoms as its primary greenway pilot project. The mission and goal for Shelby Bottoms included providing preservation and restoration of the open space as a greenway and nature preserve; to preserve the unique environment of wetlands, meadows and forests; and to provide recreational opportunities for the public.

shelby bottoms

The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center provides enriched educational experiences for park visitors via free programs, exhibits on the cultural and natural history of the area, and student field trips opportunities. The open fields and wet areas give much diversity to the land with an abundance of wildflowers, birds, amphibians, and tree species. The local birding community considers the park in their top spots for bird watching field trips.

Visit the official web site of Shelby Bottoms for more information. And to get the greenway experience up close, join us this Saturday morning!