Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do In Murfreesboro, TN

  • Published 2022/12/30

Originally named Cannonsburgh, the city of Murfreesboro is the county seat of Rutherford County, just 30 miles southeast of Nashville.

Murfreesboro became a settlement area towards the end of the American Revolution.

The city is also named after a friend of Colonel William Lytle and a donator of the land, Colonel Hardy Murfree.

Murfreesboro also played a huge part during the Civil War, with a lot of the sites still seen in the city.

But along with these historical landmarks are other attractions that are free to explore.

Check out 15 of the free things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Explore Stones River National Battlefield

Cannons at Stones River National Battlefield

Jeffrey M. Frank /

The city of Murfreesboro is filled with historical sites that played significant roles during the Civil War, one of which is the Stones River National Battlefield.

The Stones River National Battlefield can be found on Old Nashville Highway and stands as the most prominent battlefield where Civil War conflicts occurred.

As you embark on a self-guided tour, you’ll see several sites with various stories during the war.

Monument at Stones River National Battlefield

EWY Media /

Stop by the Hell’s Half Acre site, where the oldest intact battlefield monument erected during the Civil War can be found.

You’ll also see the remnants of union artillery at the McFadden Farm, which also happens to be the site where the last Confederate attack occurred.

Other sites include the Slaughter Pen, Holding Fast, and Eve of Battle.

Headstones at Stones River National Battlefield

EWY Media /

Go on a Self-Guided Tour at Cannonsburgh Village

Unearth Murfreesboro’s age-old stories when you embark on a self-guided tour around the famous Cannonsburgh Village on South Front Street.

Touring the Cannonsburg Village usually requires an admission fee, especially for educational purposes; however, self-guided tours are free.

Take a step back in time and discover Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from 100 years ago, with the many displays you’ll find around the area.

You’ll see structures from the 1830s to 1930s, like a gristmill, schoolhouse, caboose, and wedding chapel.

There’s also a museum, general store, blacksmith’s shop, and the World’s Largest Cedar Bucket.

Reconnect with Nature at Old Fort Park

Enjoy a quiet, natural setting in the embrace of tree-lined pathways, grassy fields, and a tranquil atmosphere when you visit Old Fort Park.

It’s a 50-acre community park on Old Fort Parkway where you can relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Read your favorite book while leaning against a giant tree, and sip your favorite drink while lounging around in nature.

Old Fort Park also offers visitors the chance to witness the most amazing sights in Murfreesboro while riding their bikes or walking around.

There are also a couple of facilities to check out, including the picnic pavilion, tennis complex, and open play space.

Swing by Fortress Rosecrans

Fortress Rosecrans along Golf Lane is one of the many places you can visit in Murfreesboro with stories of the Civil War.

The massive fortification was named after General William S. Rosecrans shortly after the Battle of the Stones River.

The fortress encompasses 200 acres of land, preserving vital railroad fragments and warehouses that held supplies during the war.

Fortress Rosecrans mainly stood as a supply base for the Federals to seize and hold Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was then a rail junction town.

Not much is left of Fortress Rosecrans, but visitors are very much welcome to walk along the paved paths and boardwalks to get a feel of the war-torn area.

Get Lost in the Wild at Murfreesboro Greenway System

Aside from the war fragments left within the areas of Murfreesboro, you’ll also enjoy natural sightings that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you consider yourself a lover of the great outdoors, you’re sure to enjoy exploring the Murfreesboro Greenway System.

The system consists of 15 miles of trails, bridges, and boardwalks that capture the city’s beauty.

Feel free to walk, hike, ride a bike, skate around the area, or even bring your camera to take wonderful photos.

During your adventure at Murfreesboro Greenway System, you’ll also see many historical sites, neighborhoods, parks, and watercraft launch points that will take you to the Stones River.

Check Out the Hazen Brigade Monument

Daytime view of the Hazen Brigade Monument

Zack Frank /

Inside the Stones River National Battlefield is the historic Hazen Brigade Monument, which stands as the brigade’s cemetery in Murfreesboro.

The monument is a reminder of the position defended by the unit in 1862 during the Battle of the Stones River.

Named after Col. William B. Hazen’s brigade, the monument also stands as a symbol of the courage and integrity of his troops during the war.

Headstones at the Hazen Brigade Monument

Zack Frank /

The monument, erected in 1863, honors 55 soldiers and bears inscriptions from 1864.

The Hazen Brigade Monument is one of the three monuments scattered across the battlefield, with the other two preceding the Hazen Brigade.

History board of the Hazen Brigade Monument

Thomas R Machnitzki (, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walk along the General Bragg Trailhead

Take a scenic walk along the General Bragg Trailhead on West College Street, and leave all your troubles behind for a day.

Murfreesboro’s General Bragg Trailhead is one of the most peaceful places you can visit in the city.

This Murfreesboro attraction comes with a 1.5-mile spur trail leading to the Stones River National Battlefield and a stunning view of the West Fork Stones River.

It also has a large picnic pavilion where you can have a small gathering with your friends and family.

General Bragg Trailhead has all the amenities you need for a fun day out, such as picnic grills, fishing sites, playgrounds, and more.

Visit The Heritage Center

When you visit The Heritage Center on West College Street, you’ll learn everything about Rutherford County and Murfreesboro.

From interactive exhibits and public programs to educational events, The Heritage Center is a source of information for tourists and residents alike.

Walk around the halls and get a good look at some of the rotating exhibits that tell the age-old story of Murfreesboro.

Established in 1984, The Heritage Center, headlined by the Center for Historic Preservation, ensures rural preservation in the city and state.

The Heritage Center also engages in collaborative projects that commemorate the events of the Civil War and other historical happenings in Murfreesboro.

Swing by Miracle Field

There are dozens of parks in Murfreesboro, but Miracle Field on DeJarnette Lane is one that’ll catch your eye.

Miracle Field is not your ordinary park with simple picnic pavilions and splash pads.

Rather, it’s a facility that has an open synthetic turf area with an inclusive playground that enables play for all abilities.

The field sits in front of McKnight Park and is a collaborative project between Murfreesboro and Project One Four.

Miracle Field is also the venue for the Miracle League, a baseball league designed for kids who are differently abled.

Spend a Relaxing Day at Barfield Crescent Park

A turtle at Barfield Crescent Park

samray /

One of the many places you can visit in Murfreesboro that’s free of charge is the Barfield Crescent Park on Veterans Parkway.

Barfield Crescent Park encompasses 430 acres of land, which means you’ll have plenty of space to explore, walk around, or simply admire the surroundings.

This Murfreesboro park also has several picnic shelters perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors.

Other amenities include a baseball and softball complex, a disc golf course, hiking and walking trails, and more.

Rest and Relax at Siegel Park Natural Area

If you need to rest and relax before resuming your adventure in Murfreesboro, head to Siegel Park Natural Area, conveniently located behind the Siegel Park Soccer Field.

The natural area covers 20 acres of land with wildflowers, making it a great and Instagram-worthy photo spot.

The area also has a creek, limestone cedar glade, prairies, thickets, and wooded areas.

Siegel Park Natural Area’s tranquil setting almost makes it Murfreesboro’s best-kept secret, so be sure to stop by when you can.

Have a Photoshoot at Gateway Island

You’ll find a lot of scenic areas in Murfreesboro, but if you’re looking to go all-out on a photo shoot, be sure to check out Gateway Island.

Located along West College Street, Gateway Island makes a great venue for picnics, wedding receptions, and other events.

Check out its ethereal beauty and bring your camera along to take dozens of photos.

Find the perfect angle from the picturesque gazebo, or take a picture where you’re overlooking the lake and cascading waterfalls.

There’s also a trailhead on Gateway Island, allowing you to explore more of Murfreesboro’s attractions.

Let Your Dog Run Free at Cason Bark Park

When embarking on an adventure in Murfreesboro, your furry friends should also join in on the fun.

And what better way to do so than walk towards the nearest dog park on West College Street?

Cason Bark Park is a pet-friendly park that lets you take your furry friends on an exciting adventure while in Murfreesboro.

The fenced area also has amenities that can help you practice some skills with your furry friends.

There are also some benches and covered areas where you can take a short break.

Cason Bark Par is located near Stones River, where you can walk.

Explore Murfree Spring Wetlands

Sunset over Murfree Spring Wetlands

Eric Giles /

If you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast, you’re sure to have a great time wandering the Murfree Spring Wetlands.

Murfree Spring Wetlands is a 25-acre city park at the corner of Maney and Broad Streets and is considered a popular spot for nature and wildlife photographers.

Learn more about the wetland ecosystem as you explore Murfree Spring, and keep an eye out for your friends from the animal kingdom during your tour.

Go on a scenic walk and reconnect with nature inside the Murfree Spring Wetlands.

This Murfreesboro attraction is also a great place for children to learn more about the role of water in their everyday lives, with infrastructures like fountains and pumping equipment.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Channel Your Inner Gearhead at Nissan North America, Inc.

Gearheads and dedicated automotive enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Nissan North America Assembly Plant in Smyrna, 18 minutes from Murfreesboro.

Travel a few miles outside Murfreesboro, and you’ll find yourself in the world of engines and car body styles.

The Nissan North America Assembly Plant in Smyrna offers free tours around the entire facility.

During the tour, you’ll learn a lot about Nissan and what made it become one of the leading car manufacturers in the world.

You’ll also see how the models are assembled and the inner workings of an engine.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things to see in Murfreesboro, and while most of them require you to spend a few bucks, there are some that don’t.

Outdoor enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the city parks and other natural attractions, while history buffs can visit historical sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s past.

Make the most of your budget and trip by sticking to this list of the free things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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