Volunteer Trail

MODERATE 330 reviews
#1 of 10 trails in

Volunteer Trail is a 10.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hermitage, Tennessee that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
620 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

old growth

rocky

From Mt Juliet, Tennessee, take Highway 171 south. This starts out as S Mt Juliet Rd and then becomes Hobson Pike just north of the Wilson-Nashville/Davidson county line. After you cross the county line, there are signs for the Volunteer Trail. Turn right onto Bakers Grove Lane and then left on Granny Wright Lane which dead ends at the trail head and parking lot. If you pass the park's main entrance on the left you have gone too far.

hiking
3 days ago

A nice quiet hike once you clear the cove where the boats hang out. Most of the trail is well covered with foilage and fairly clear until you get to the last mile or so where the trail goes through some taller grass. Tick repellent is definitely recommended.

24 days ago

Definitely a do again,dog friendly is a plus too

nature trips
1 month ago

Nice easy walk with a great view

hiking
1 month ago

As a Mt. Juliet resident, my dog and I frequent this trail--we usually complete the 4.4 mile "day loop" portion. I would rank this trail "easy" over "moderate" for sure--there isn't a whole lot of elevation gain, and when there is it isn't for very long. The trail is well marked and well maintained, though it does get washed out a bit after heavy rain. I would highly recommend doing this one on a winter day (especially if it snows!) or during some light rain--it's really the only time you'll get any solitude. It's pretty crowded on most weekends if the weather is nice, and the parking lot will fill up by 9am in the summer. My older dog absolutely loves this trail--it's easy enough for him and the perfect length. Overall, I would definitely recommend if you're looking for an easy woodsy stroll close to town with some bonus lake views.

2 months ago

Easy and good for short morning or afternoon hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail for being less than 15 mins from Nashville. Lot of terrain change...pine/oak/cedar/exposed sandstone. Very cool. Saw a lot of wildlife...squirrels, ducks, rabbit, 2 loons and a huge owl! Very well marked and traveled.

hiking
3 months ago

Very easy hike. I packpacked a night and it was nice. There is a bit of trash on the trail, bring a bag to pack it out (please). Be sure to lock your vehicle, mine was broken into a few years ago. Great for a trail run also.

3 months ago

Not much of a “hike” if you ask me

hiking
5 months ago

Very fun for anyone

6 months ago

The trail was nice but not very well marked in certain areas. Some piles of trash along parts of the trail but overall was quite enjoyable and nice.

hiking
6 months ago

Really well marked trail, perfect for a casual hike. 4 stars since there aren't many views (other than the lake) and reaching the camp area is a bit anticlimactic

7 months ago

I recently got into hiking and think this trail has a real nice blend of terrain with a few nice lake look-out points along the way

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful scenery

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best most scenic trails I’ve been on in TN. Love the variety of trails next to the lake and big rocks to hike up. Not too busy either. Will be repeating this trail!

trail running
8 months ago

My favorite place around Nashville for trail running. The terrain varies from hilly and pretty technical along the Day Loop to relatively flat on the outer portions of the Volunteer Trail. Past the split at the bulletin board the VT can be hard to follow (especially once the leaves fall) since it is not well marked.
People have made comments about trash. A lot of it visible in lower trail elevations is from flooding which happens to varying degrees every year. The flood of 2010 which brought the lake up 10 feet above standard summer pool level. This washed flood debris far into the woods... I have seen navigation bouys 50+ yards inland. "Party Cove" along the trail is a popular weekend spot for boaters in the summer and it can get noisy. Early morning and weekdays are your best times if you want quiet.
Note: Parking at the trail head is very limited and will fill up on nice days, particularly on weekends

hiking
8 months ago

Loved the hike to the very end of the trail. The only thing we didn't like was the amount of trash and the bags of dog poop left behind from the owners walking their dogs. The views was beautiful to see.

8 months ago

Enjoyed the length and moderation of this hike and the scenery. It was very well marked and easy to navigate. Unfortunately, I second the earlier reviews in regards to trash. It was unbelievable how much trash there was! As a gal solo hiking this one, I felt very uneasy about how dumpy parts of the trail were. There was even an abandoned sleeping bag at one point (or at least I pray to god it was abandoned!). Not cool. Parts of the trail were very overgrown and neglected. I still enjoyed myself, but probably won't return unless it's with a volunteer group to clean up all that garbage.

hiking
8 months ago

Not much elevation and not a difficult trail but it is longer (if you do the whole day trail in addition to the Volunteer trail it ends up being around 13 miles). I'd echo earlier complaints about garbage; this hike could be much nicer but there's a lot of trash and people on the boats by the lake are often very loud so you might want to try to hike this on a weekday. There's no payoff; it just sorta ends at the campsites and then you walk back. The trail's pretty badly overgrown at parts especially near the end. If you're feeling tired you won't miss much by turning around early.

hiking
8 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike with varying elevation and footing. HOWEVER, dog owners PLEASE BEWARE - when I returned home with my dog, he was utterly infested with ticks. Over the span of 10 days I was able to find all of them, occasionally finding some crawling across my floor and the pin-sized ones between his toes. I ended up counting about 50 total that I picked off of him. Do not take your dog on this hike without flea/tick prevention and even an additional spray (like Adams flea and tick).

It was a nightmare, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the hike,

8 months ago

Nice, long trail. A little trashy here and there, but hey, we're in the city, where all sorts of garbage people live. So what do you want?

I hit the trailhead and headed straight for the camp. Not the most scenic hike, but I was in it for distance.

It's a little overgrown just short of mile 5 for a bit, but it's doable. Mostly plants encroaching on the path and hard to see path in places, nothing horrendous.

There's a spot where a backpack and a sleeping bag is. Kinda creepy. Can create your own story there. Mine played out perfectly with the scene.

Not much beyond that. I took the 2.6 back on the loop, and I think I did about 13 miles total. Phone died near the end of mapping the trail.

If it says anything, I went back the next day with my daughter.

hiking
9 months ago

The Volunteer Trail is littered in trash. If you hike this, please take a trash bag and help clean up the trash from boaters and a few inconsiderate campers. The campground appears to have been trashed by boaters as well: abandoned backpack, roller bag, inflatables, hammock, sleeping bags, bottles, steel cans, beer cans and plastic bins far to large to carry 5.5 miles. I carried out what I could. I'll notify the parks service about the camps.

hiking
9 months ago

A lot of trash- literally and figuratively. The beautiful lake views are tarnished by the sounds of loud and obnoxious humanity coming from the lake, and- to a lesser extent- the bottles and other trash that's been washed ashore. This will be a nice hike after the plague.

hiking
9 months ago

fun lots of views

9 months ago

Great trail along the Percy Priest reservoir. Cedar glades and hardwoods. Canopy keeps one cooler in hot weather. Some ignorant dog owners don't clean up their animal's mess which is disappointing given the park provides bags for that purpose.

backpacking
10 months ago

Me and my 3 best friends took a weekend to go backpacking and stay in the primitive site #1. It right up against the water and we LOVED it. Everything was clean and the fire pit was huge. Just remember there is no water or electricity so make sure to bring a water filter. It's not an easy hike but totally worth it. It actually ends up being 13 miles not 11. I would love to do this trail again in the fall!

walking
10 months ago

Great trail for dogs; I take my pups there about once a month and they love it!

10 months ago

Fun trail a lot of people and dogs on the trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Backpacked the volunteer trail and the day loop. We did just under 13 miles. This trail has the potential to be very beautiful, and in some places it is. It's so sad that the boaters and fisherman have dumped so much trash in the lake. Just about every opportunity we had to walk along a shoreline was ruined by the large amounts of litter. Sickening how much disrespect some people have.

11 months ago

One of the most beautiful trails in middle Tennessee. Great trail to run.

11 months ago

Good outing. Definitely on the easy side of moderate.

Load More