Cheatham County Exchange

’60 Hikes Within 60 Miles’ will get you outside in 2023

“60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville” will get you outside this year.Courtesy / Johnny Molloy

Looking for a way to get outside more in 2023? “60 Hikes Within 60 miles: Nashville” gives Middle Tennesseans a detailed introduction to the best hikes for a nearby excursion.

Author Johnny Molloy has curated a list of 60 trails he’s personally hiked and recommends, stretching from Clarksville to Murfreesboro and Hohenwald to Rock Island, with almost a third of the hikes in Davidson County proper.

From paved greenways in Murfreesboro and Hendersonville for the avid runner to the 11.2-mile Bearwaller Gap Trail in Carthage for the adventurer who may want to camp overnight, Molloy has something for everyone.

The Adeline Wilhoite River Trail at Henry Horton State Park is featured in

The Adeline Wilhoite River Trail at Henry Horton State Park is featured in “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville.”Courtesy / Johnny Molloy

Each hike gets a page or two describing the history of the area, notable natural landmarks or how the land was acquired.

Molloy also gives a quick rundown of what turns and landmarks you can expect to take on a hike, especially for loops he’s made out of multiple trails. He also offers options for making a hike longer or shorter when appropriate.

But if you don’t have time for the narrative, each hike gets a list with the key facts: distance, difficulty, scenery, sun exposure, traffic, trail surface, hiking time, elevation, a map, accessibility and more.

In addition, there are easy-to-use charts in the beginning of the book showing how busy trails typically are, what surface the path is, which trails are best for activities like running and even which ones are kid-friendly.

There are also simplified trail maps in the book, but I would suggest using the maps Molloy has links for if you plan to do one of these hikes. (Some of the links for the Metro Nashville parks don’t work, so you’ll need to go to



This level of detail is what makes the book stand out. While you could definitely piece together most of the information in this book from the internet, it’s nice having the historical detail and necessary information all in the same place.

While I’ve done several of the hikes featured in the book, my personal favorite is the Winding Stairs Hike in Macon County, which features several waterfalls — one of which is known as the Winding Stairs — in addition to actual stairs.

For me, the historical and natural context for each hike makes this a beneficial addition to the library of any Nashville outdoors lover. Knowing about the death of Meriwether Lewis or Fort Donelson or cedar glades or karst topography is what makes a hike more than a walk outside.

This book was received by Main Street Nashville for free as a review copy.

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