Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Clarksville, TN

  • Published 2022/12/21

Clarksville is a major city in Tennessee’s northern region and the county seat of Montgomery County.

It’s mainly famous for being one of the “Best Places to Live in America” by Money Magazine.

There are dozens of other reasons why Clarksville earned such recognition, making it a fantastic travel destination besides Nashville.

It has a rich history and a diverse community emphasizing arts and heritage.

From a visitor’s perspective, there are plenty of hidden gems in Clarksville worthy of discovering.

Most of all, it’s also a renowned budget-friendly travel destination for its attractions with no admission fee or tickets.

Since Clarksville is less than an hour away from Nashville, it’s an ideal city.

Check out this post if you’re intrigued about the free things to do in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Have Outdoor Fun at the Rotary Park

Aerial view of Rotary Park's water

Bardic Inspiration /

The Rotary Park is a massive 111.3-acre outdoor attraction along Rotary Park Drive.

This park near Sango Community boasts various sections which offer different outdoor recreational activities for everyone.

It boasts a long stretch of hiking and biking trails and a children’s playground.

Stream at Rotary Park

Bardic Inspiration /

At the same time, this park has picnic tables, grills, and pavilions for a worthwhile family picnic.

Rotary Park also features a beach volleyball court, a horseshoe pit venue, an 18-hole disc golf course, and a vast green open space if you’re into sports.

For nature lovers, this park is also home to the Wade Bourne Nature Center, which offers interactive nature-related activities for everyone.

Nature trail at Rotary Park

Bardic Inspiration /

Stroll through the McGregor Park Riverwalk

The McGregor Park Riverwalk spans over two miles featuring the magnificent riverfront promenade, which draws many visitors for a worthwhile hike.

You can visit this park along N. Riverside.

Also known as the Cumberland Riverwalk, this attraction is usually packed with parkgoers who want to experience the splendid hike to some of Clarksville’s most scenic areas.

At the same time, many people flock to this park to witness free concerts, have a lovely picnic, or pass the time.

Of course, plenty of beautiful things await you at the McGregor Park Riverwalk, and you’ll likely spend your entire day there.

Rub Elbows with Locals at the Downtown Commons

The Downtown Commons is one of Clarksville’s popular meeting areas for people who want quality leisure time with friends or family.

This place along Legion Street is also renowned for its year-round events and activities, which keep Clarksville’s community alive.

This place comprises numerous areas ranging from green open space, benches, restaurants, cafes, and other amenities that make a perfect spot to unwind.

One of its most charming sections is the Grove, which offers a breathtaking view with vibrant-colored seats, well-manicured gardens and lawns, and numerous art installations.

If you plan to hang out in Clarksville, visit the Downtown Commons.

Relive History at the Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center

Check out Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center, a unique historical attraction you mustn’t miss.

This place along Duncan Street is above a 200-foot bluff on the confluence of Cumberland and Red Rivers in Clarksville.

Historically, Native Americans settled in the area first, but white settlers arrived in the late 18th century and displaced them.

Then, the fort became a trading center and a settlement.

Confederate troops dug into the hilltop fort for their defenses during the American Civil War.

Today, the Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center is a fascinating historical attraction.

Enjoy a hike that takes you to various remnants of the old fort and interpretive signs, exhibits, and other artifacts.

Test Your Fishing Skills at the Liberty Park & Clarksville Marina

The Liberty Parks & Clarksville Marina is a small, fun outdoor park along Cumberland Drive.

This park along the Cumberland River is a famous fishing spot where many local anglers love to cast their line and spend their day waiting for a catch.

Bring your fishing gear and find the best spot at the marina to catch some trout or catfish, the two most abundant fish in Cumberland River.

If you’re not into fishing, spending your morning or afternoon at the park’s bench or picnic area is still a worthwhile experience.

Besides fishing, Liberty Park & Clarksville Marina is also famous for hiking mainly because of its riverside trail.

See Local Artworks at the Downtown Artists Co-op and Gallery

The Downtown Artists Co-op and Gallery is a group of local artists and like-minded people who established an art gallery in Clarksville’s downtown area.

Their famous art gallery along Franklin Street allows the public to see their masterpieces for free in their open-air and enclosed art gallery.

This group has around 30 members, who filled a portion of Franklin Street with street murals and other public art installations.

At the same time, it’s also where their art gallery is situated, which displays other artworks.

You can also join their regular art walks, which take you to the group’s other art installations and galleries in Clarksville.

Checking out the Downtown Artists Co-op and Gallery is a fascinating place to explore whether you’re a huge art fan or a casual tourist who wants to have fun.

Hike through the Upland Trail

The Upland Trail along Crossland Avenue is a popular urban walking path that connects Valleybrook Park and Riverwalk Park.

This trail is a famous thoroughfare for hikers, joggers, cyclists, and regular Clarksville citizens who want to get to their point conveniently.

This trail is full of history and other fascinating stuff since it traverses along historical buildings, houses, and an abandoned railroad bridge, making your hike more exciting.

The entire trail spans over half a mile.

Despite the short hike, the Upland Trail is a worthwhile attraction that features Clarksville’s old beauty.

Travel Back in Time to the L&N Train Station

The L&N Train Station, or the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Train Station, operated in 1890.

This train station along South 10th Street has been restored to preserve its historical value.

Historically, this train station was once the busiest location in the city, where civilians and soldiers arrived and departed daily.

Today, the train station remains open for public and private use.

Visiting this train station allows you to immerse deeper into Clarksville’s rich history through a self-guided tour of the area.

At the same time, you can also drop by the Montgomery County Historical Society for a guided tour through Clarksville’s other historical attractions.

Check out the L&N Train Station for some fascinating historical side trips.

Traverse the Clarksville Greenway

Pathway of Clarksville Greenway

Elijah Henderson elijahhenderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Clarksville Greenway spans over nine miles of paved trail, which once followed a railway.

You can visit this famous trail along Pollard Road.

Today, the trail served as one of Clarksville’s Rails to Trails projects.

It aims to provide the public with a safe and excellent trail that takes them to various scenic locations throughout the city.

Hiking, jogging, or cycling through this trail allows you to immerse yourself in nature.

You’ll pass densely forested areas and river corridors, which add excitement to your journey.

Pack your running gear or your bicycle when visiting Clarksville, for you should go on an outdoor adventure at the Clarksville Greenway.

Embrace the Calm of the Clarksville City Arboretum

For some relaxing time, head to the Clarksville City Arboretum.

This charming public garden along Cumberland Drive is a massive 130-acre park.

This park features a marina, a green open space, a dog park, a boat ramp, a 12.5-acre fishing pond, and plenty more.

You’ll appreciate nature’s serene atmosphere and well-maintained garden and landscape if you love nature.

At the same time, this arboretum has vast wetlands, a boardwalk, and an amphitheater which you can also check out.

Many parkgoers love to visit the Clarksville City Arboretum to take a break from their busy lives and reconnect with nature.

The arboretum is also home to over 60 species of trees and hundreds of plants and flowers.

Get Serenaded during the Jammin’ in the Alley

Jammin’ in the Alley is a popular free concert series in Clarksville’s downtown area.

This free concert series, mainly held at Strawberry Alley, happens every June and onwards, featuring various bands, singers, and musicians.

It’s a splendid experience, whether you’re a music lover or not, because of the entertaining musical performances that guarantee a lovely experience for everyone.

Most music genres played at the Jammin’ in the Alley are funk, Southern rock, pop, country, and some jazz.

Head to Strawberry Alley to catch the Jammin’ in the Alley for some excellent musical experience.

Play Disc Golf at the Barbara E. Johnson Park

Barbara E. Johnson Park offers more than your typical park amenities.

This park near the Clarksville Airport is famous for its disc golf course, which features nine holes.

The park spans over ten acres and features a walking trail, a children’s playground, and a picnic area.

However, your primary intention in visiting this park is to enjoy a game of disc golf through its top-notch course.

You can play alone or with local disc golfers for a more enjoyable experience.

Remember to list Barbara E. Johnson Park when visiting Clarksville for a round of disc golf.

Enjoy a Lovely Picnic at the Billy Dunlop Park

If you haven’t had a worthwhile picnic with your family or friends, seize the moment at Billy Dunlop Park.

You can visit this park along E. Boy Scout Road.

Like most parks in Clarksville, this one has a gorgeous picnic area, well-maintained greenery, a children’s playground, and plenty of open space for relaxation and outdoor recreation.

Besides picnicking, the park also has a fishing pond where you can cast your line to catch some fish as your meal or for the trophy.

Since the park spans over 30 acres, don’t forget to take a hike with your loved ones or fur baby.

Besides picnicking, there are plenty of exciting activities at Billy Dunlop Park, making it one of Clarksville’s loveliest places to check out.

Showcase Your Skills at the Heritage Skate Park

You must check out Heritage Skate Park if you’re an avid skater.

This skate park along Peachers Mill Road is where most of Clarksville’s local skaters spend their day practicing or displaying their skills.

Its amenities make the park worth checking out.

It boasts a concrete course with ramps, quarter-pipes, rails, stairs, and a bowl.

With that in mind, it’s an excellent place to enjoy skateboarding by yourself or with your friends.

At the same time, you can even hang out with local skaters or catch a local competition.

Drop by the Heritage Skate Park for an action-packed skating session.

Pedal through the North Ford Street Mountain Biking Trail Park

Head to the North Ford Street Mountain Biking Trail Park for one last outdoor adventure before returning home.

You can find this Clarksville hidden gem along N. Ford Street.

This bike trail park is an excellent venue whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker or a newbie since it features various courses for all skill levels.

The course spans over 3.5 miles and features bench-cut trails, drops, wooden jumps, and a fast course.

Thanks to the Clarksville Area Mountain Bike Alliance, local and visiting bikers have a wonderful place to test their mountain biking skills in the city.

Above all, the North Ford Street Mountain Biking Trail Park asks for zero admission fees.

Final Thoughts

Clarksville is a charming city that is unique to other cities in Tennessee.

It boasts both the beauty of nature and some fascinating history.

Plan your trip today and discover the free things to do in Clarksville, Tennessee!

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