Ashland City is a town in Cheatham County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 3,641 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Cheatham County. The city is situated in a bottomland along the northeast bank of the Cumberland River, a few miles upstream from the river's confluence with the Harpeth River. The Cheatham State Wildlife Management Area covers most of the hilly area on the opposite side of the Cumberland. Ashland City is centered around the junction of Tennessee State Route 12, which connects the city with Nashville to the south and Clarksville to the northwest, and Tennessee State Route 49, which connects the city to Springfield and Kentucky to the northeast and Charlotte to the west.
Sydney's Bluff, located on the opposite bank of the Cumberland River, is visible from most parts of the city, especially from the residential districts which are built on hills rising to the north of the river flood plain. This jagged cliff system, which was carved by the Cumberland River, is popular with local rock climbers and hikers. The bluff was supposedly named after a girl who fell from the bluff while trying to escape hostile Native Americans in the early 19th century. Cheatham Lock and Dam, is a large recreational area operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers that offers many outdoor experiences such as camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, water sports, swimming, and multiple children's play areas stretching along the Cumberland River. Cheatham Dam is a popular rustic weekend getaway for many surrounding areas.
The largest manufacturing operation in Ashland City is A.O. Smith (State Industries until 2001), which fabricates water heaters. Additionally, the city limits were recently extended along State Highway 12 to the Davidson County line. This expansion incorporated the Cheatham County Industrial Park, which includes Triton Boat as well as barge building operations, paper products, and concrete manufacturers along the Cumberland River. Ashland City industry is served by the Nashville & Western Railroad (which is a division of the Nashville and Eastern Railroad corporation).