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  • Writer's pictureBrandi & Candace

Radnor Lake State Park

Radnor Lake State Park is has 1,400 acres, and is a Class II Natural Area. It has a visitor’s center, an aviary, and a small amphitheater for educational programs. In the summer, park rangers hold two-hour long canoe tours. It has a total of 10 trails, totaling 7.7 miles- the Access Trail (.25 mile), the Dam Walkway (.2 mile), the Ganier Ridge Trail (1.65 miles), the Hall Road Trail (.4 miles), the Historical Valve House Tail (.15 mile), the Lake Trail (1.35 miles), Otter Creek Road (1.05 miles), South Cove Trail (1.4 miles), South Lake Trail (.9 mile), and the Spillway Trail (.25 mile). It took us an hour and a half to walk the perimeter of the lake, which was done by walking the South Lake Tail, then going up Otter Creek Road, then taking the Lake Trail, and the Dam Walkway.

The land was used during the Civil War as a hiding spot for both Confederates and Union armies at differing times. Radnor Lake specifically was where Confederate General John Bell Hood and his troop licked their wounds after they were crushed at the Battle of Franklin. In 1913, the land was purchased by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, who created a dam and used the lake to power their steam engines. When the train made the switch to diesel instead of steam, they sold the land to a developer, after having owned it for sixty years. It was purchased by the Oman Construction Company whom had the plan to develop a lakefront community of homes, but the neighbors decided they wanted to try to preserve it. For two years, Boy Scouts had lemonade stands, and housewives had bake sales, and there were dozens of fundraisers, raising $513,000. In a true group effort, the state of Tennessee pitched in $1.3 million, and the Federal Government provided $1.9 million. In 1973, the land was officially declared Tennessee’s first official State Natural Area. Since then, the Friends of Radnor Lake have worked hard to raise funds to purchase neighboring plots of land to expand the park, adding 550 acres since 1973. You can donate to the Friends of Radnor Lake at or by paying an extra $35 for a Radnor Lake themed car license plate.

This park is N-A-T-U-R-E. No frills, no plastic here. Just go and soak it all in. You won't regret it; we adored every minute.

Name: Radnor Lake State Park

Address: 1160 Otter Creek Road, Nashville, TN 37220

History: 3 out of 5

Walkability: 5 out of 5

Kid Like-ability- 3 out of 5

Date Night-ability- 5 out of 5

Charm: 5 out of 5

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