My personal favorite part of summer is creek stomping with the boys. There is so much to enjoy about nature play around a creek. Children love to explore the water flow of streams and search for shiny pebbles in the creek bed. We always bring toy boats to float in races and a large minnow net for (attempting to) catch fish. We could easily spend a whole day at the creek.
Many parents message me worried about ticks and snakes at creeks. I understand your concerns. Nature is…well…wild. There is no way to tame it. But we feel safe by visiting well-trafficked creeks, fully sprayed with bug spray, and always alert for critters. Always do a tick-check when you get back from playing outside, no matter how wooded or watery it was.
I’ve done reviews of many local creeks which you can find HERE, but I also rounded up my top 5 favorite creek-stomping destinations below. Enjoy!
Tip: Bring water shoes for creeks stomping since there are rocks and pebbles (and sometimes litter/glass) around creeks
My Top 5 Favorite Creeks for Summer
This is our favorite creek stomping spot. It’s shaded, next to a playground, and connected to a great walking path. It can get deep after heavy rain, so bring puddle jumpers just in case. This is a pretty popular spot, so there is *always* someone to play with
I just love Deerwood. It’s like the best kept secret of Nashville. Completely shaded, paved walking path, and shallow creek access…it’s a dream for summertime. It’s a very short walk from the parking lot to the creek, but I’d encourage you to bring a stroller/scooter for the walk
Edwin Warner Park
Just behind the Nature Play Area (it’s been updated!) is the best access to shaded creek play. Typically shallow and slow moving in this spot, we love wading in the creek looking for crayfish and minnows. Bring a picnic and plan to spend a large chunk of time in both the creek and the Nature Play area
Creek play doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of 12th South, but believe it or not, there is a fun little creek that runs through Sevier Park. It’s a steep drop down from the playground, but the water is typically fairly shallow and slow moving. Great for toy boat floating. Just prepare for mud!
If you’re up for a bit of a hike, the creek at Beaman is worth the trek. Shaded by beautiful trees, the entire park is simply stunning. Parts of the stream are shallow and parts can be deep. You’ll see people hanging hammocks over the creek and enjoying picnics along the banks. You will see “nature” here (creatures and critters), so just be forewarned