Offering an aesthetically alluring blend of photogenic historic sites and eye-catching natural wonders, Clarksville is an Instagrammer’s dream. Downtown Clarksville is teeming with atmospheric architecture, while the region’s combination of 32 state and local parks offer an abundance of places to photograph the natural world, with plenty of trails catering to hikers, cyclists, and runners. Here are just a few of the city’s most Instagrammable spots.
1. Dunbar Cave State Park
Hidden beneath a forest of trees, the entrance to Dunbar Cave makes for a cool photo opp. Brianna Hixon
Preserving one of the region’s most historic natural assets, Dunbar Cave State Park showcases an ancient subterranean wonder–and provides an abundance of eye-catching options for visiting photographers and Instagrammers. The 144-acre state park is anchored by Dunbar Cave, an eight-mile-long fissure forged by the Red River more than two million years ago.
Visitors can admire the cave’s cavernous mouth from the park’s hiking trails, including the Short Loop Trail, and can opt for a more in-depth experience on one of the seasonal, ranger-led cave tours. Beyond Dunbar Cave, the state park’s hodgepodge of upland forest, birdlife-rich wetlands, and regenerated prairie ecosystems provide a wealth of subjects for sharp-eyed photographers.
2. Clarksville Greenway
The Clarksville Greenway is full of natural beauty making it a prime spot for photographers to capture the outdoors in all its glory. Ricci Haynes
Stretching from downtown Clarksville to the northern portion of town, the 9-mile Clarksville Greenway offers ample inspiration for Instagram-savvy shutterbugs. The historic rail-trail showcases the Red River and West Fork Creek, meanders through mixed woodlands and beneath craggy bluffs, and skirts three local parks.
Instagrammers can capture streams of sunlight filtering leafy woodlands or profile the minute details of a blooming wildflower. The Raymond C Hand Pass, however, is among the most photogenic highlights. The 600-foot pedestrian bridge provides a panoramic spot for capturing landscape shots and is perfect for framing epic sunrise or sunset snaps.
3. Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
Capture the beautiful architecture of Clarksville’s Customs House Museum & Cultural Center. Travel Mindset
Clarksville’s historic downtown is a wonderland for photographers keen to explore artsy angles and capture engaging architecture. For Instagrammers, your first stop should be the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center. It’s partially housed in a building that dates back to 1898 and originally functioned as a post office and customs house that largely served the region’s thriving tobacco trade. The second-largest general museum in Tennessee, the Customs House preserves and showcases the region’s rich history with a collection of enriching permanent and temporary exhibits.
Architecturally, the building is captivating. Its design, conceived by architect William Martin Aiken, features a mishmash of styles popular during the Victorian era. These days the dramatic dormers, ornate roof, and gabled windows on the building’s facade provide plenty of interesting lines for photographers to explore. These photos are ideal for filters with a vintage vibe.
4. Rotary Park
Rotary Park is the perfect spot to get creative with imaginative shots of the natural world. Jessica Osteen
A hub for hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers, the trail network in the 112-acre Rotary Park is an ideal spot to document stretches of stream-threading forest, blooming seasonal wildflowers, and native wildlife, including visually-stunning native birds like indigo bunting and eastern bluebirds. Get a taste of the six miles of woodland trails in the park by exploring the Bluebird Loop, a family-friendly route ideal for hikers of all ages.
5. Port Royal State Historic Park
Port Royal Trail has a wealth of history that Instagrammers can capture and share. Erica Trout
Situated at the confluence of Sulfur Fork Creek and the Red River, Port Royal State Historic Park offers plenty of history to capture on film. The 30-acre park preserves the historic Port Royal, a tobacco town founded along the Red River in 1797. It’s also one of the sites along the Trail of Tears National Historic Site, a conglomeration of locations spread over 5,043 miles in nine different states documenting the experiences of the Cherokee people on their westward trek to ‘Indian Territory’ in Oklahoma after being forcibly removed from their historic homelands in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Today, visiting photographers can explore the park’s segment of the Trail of Tears or seek out other engaging historic artifacts found throughout the park’s network of footpaths. Nestled into the woods near the Visitor Center, the Pratt Truss Bridge presents an inspiring subject for photographers at any time of year. Built in 1887, the iron bridge spans Sulphur Fork Creek and is framed by foliage, which adds rich texture. The 0.2-mile Spring Branch Trail passes beneath the historic bridge, providing plenty of photogenic angles to explore.
Whether you prefer to take selfies in the natural world or capture the historic flavor of the South, Clarksville has a wealth of photo opps for you to play with and share with your followers. Be sure to use #visitclarksvilletn when you post.