Percy Warner, A Great Training Hike
In getting ready for LeConte I tried to focus on getting distance and good climbs. That's not always as easy in the Nashville area, but I've found a few places that I highly recommend for harder hikes.
Percy Warner Parks may be the best at fitting that bill (although if you know others, please let me know). I did the Mossy Ridge Trail 2 times leading up to Leconte. It's listed as a 4.5 mile moderate hike, but with the parking and trail head it's actually 5.5 miles. I take any extra mileage I can get.
Guys, it was hard. The lovely middle Tennessee humidity and heat didn't help. Both times we drank all our water while on the trail. I personally like to finish a trail with water and that was partially due to poor planning on my part. Pro Tip: Pack extra water in the summer, or ya know, anytime.
But, this trail is also beautiful. It's busy with runners, and walkers, and fellow hikers. There are moments when you can hear the traffic and see cars on the busy road. Then there are times you forget that you're right in the middle of everything and you wonder how so many people miss out on this beauty.