Where to Paddle Board in Middle Tennessee/Nashville: Bledsoe Creek State Park

Bledsoe Creek State Park is located about 35 miles Northeast of Nashville in Sumner County. There are two boat docks, one a bit past the official park entrance and one at the end of the road in the park. The second dock is for campers, but a ranger let me know it would be a good place for the paddle boards.

Bledsoe Creek and the Cumberland River are deep, wide and fairly lazy bodies of water. The creek section has a few trees and snags in the channel. It is important to pay attention to the buoys to avoid the snags and rocks.

From the put in, my group turned right and let the current take us down Bledsoe Creek to the Cumberland. It was a leisurely paddle with lots of bird watching – loons, herons and egrets – and looking at the homes along the river and creek. In the five hours on a Friday that we spent on the water, we only saw four boats. The boaters were very friendly and slowed down when passing us. We turned right onto the Cumberland River and made our way to the Cairo Bend Area. There is more to explore in this area and beyond.

Bledsoe Creek is a nice, small park with hiking trails and a large campground. This would be a great place to camp and paddle. Check the park’s web site for more information.

  • Parking: Two boat ramp areas
  • Bathrooms: At the Visitor Center and in the campground
  • Amenities: Picnic tables at the camper boat ramp, camping (reservation needed) and hiking trials.
  • Boats: very few and friendly
  • Distance from car to the water: Close – easy put in and take out
  • Single woman/solo paddler safety: The parking is safe, but I am not sure I would paddle here alone due to light boat and paddle traffic and the obstacles in the water *
  • Rentals: Kayaks and paddle boards
  • *beyond the inherent danger of paddling alone

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