Tennessee is filled with beauty all around. You can find some pretty amazing waterfalls, caves, and even lakes. In the heart of Tennessee in Nashville you can find one of these beautiful lakes, Radnor Lake State Park. My family and I had the opportunity to go explore Radnor Lake State Park several times.
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The first time we went to Radnor Lake was about a year ago. We had just left the Nashville Zoo after celebrating my daughter’s birthday and decided to meet up with my dad and stepmom over at Radnor Lake. I had no idea what this state park was all about or what to even expect.
As we made our way to Radnor Lake we drove pass some very expensive neighborhoods, and by expensive I mean like million dollar homes. The area is very pretty and well maintained and the people I was lucky to meet where very friendly and sweet.
When we arrived we made our way to the trail-head for a nature walk. We didn’t have much intentions of walking long as the little ones were already worn out by the zoo trip. We didn’t want to push their limits. Cranky kids don’t make happy trips and that’s the last thing I wanted for my birthday girl.
ON THE TRAIL
There are various trails at Radnor Lake. Some are rugged and others are paved running down an old broken down road. Whichever route you choose to take, the views of the lake are going to be beautiful. All the trails go around different areas of the lake and the more rugged ones lead more towards the mountain area looking towards the lake below. Hoping to do those trails soon.
We started off on a small rugged path called the Spillway Trail. This trail is about 0.25 miles in length and unites with other trails taking you deeper into the park. Spillway trail took us through the green forest up to Radnor Lake. Once we arrived to the old house, we walked down Damn Walkway towards Otter Creek Road.
OTTER CREEK ROAD
Once we reached Otter Creek Road we proceeded East towards the other end of the lake. When we arrived to the other side of the lake we decided to make this our turn around point. Otter Creek Road is a run down road with a few scenic spots and an overlook of the lake and mountains in the back. Otter Creek Road is about a 1.05 mile trail with an abundance of wildlife. This trail also leads to the trail-head of South Cove Trail, South Lake Trail, Hall Drive, Lake Trail, and the east side parking lot. At the end of this trail you will also find an access trail which will lead you to Ganier Ridge Trail.
We saw various species of birds including ducks, turkeys, and much more. We also found deer tracks on the South Lake Trail. On our second visit, my daughters, mom and I saw a beaver, and heard the loudest sounding frogs in a little swamp on the side of Otter Creek Road. We heard a few owls as well as the night started to arrive. During the summer these trails are lit up with an abundance of fireflies. It was absolutely beautiful to watch.
SOUTH LAKE TRAIL
My husband and I decided to take a quick detour while my dad and stepmom watched the girls. We quickly hiked through South Lake Trail which is about a 0.9 mile trail through the forest overlooking the lake. On this trail we saw some deer track and stopped to see if we could spot a few. Sadly no luck. We also stopped by a little stream (mostly dried) to see if we could find any arrowheads. My husband is obsessed with finding an arrowhead. No luck yet so if you have any tips we would love to hear them.
As we did the South Lake Trail my parents did the Otter Creek Road and we met back up further down on our route back to the parking lot. It was a fun little detour.
ABOUT RADNOR LAKE
Radnor Lake is a Tennessee State Park and home to 1,368 acres of land. It is well known for their wildlife encounters. It is a day use only park strictly used for photography, hiking, educational wildlife programs, and wildlife observation. You can learn more about Radnor Lake here.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PARK
Overall the park was very beautiful, clean, and well maintained. The road on Otter Creek Road was obviously run down as the lake has slowly overgrown part of the road but the park has taken precautions to make sure that everyone is safe by placing barriers in those areas. Overall watch out where you step, even on the trail. We did see a snake, several spiders, and some frogs on the trail. Best recommendation I can give you is to wear bug repellent. The mosquitoes are bad during the summer.
WHAT TO BRING
As Radnor Lake is a day time use only park, it is best to prepare for a day hike. Some of the most important essentials are:
- Day-pack to put all of your belongings in.
- Wallet with ID.
- Trail map
- Small first aid kit
- Snacks – Read here for our favorite kid snacks.
- Bug repellent
- Hand sanitizer
- Lip Butter. This will keep your lips hydrated and prevent them from cracking. I highly recommend using an organic lip balm such as Bend Soap versus a petroleum based lip balm such as Chapstick. You don’t have to keep reapplying every 10 minutes either like you do with other cheaper brands and it lasts much longer too. Use coupon code TWM10 to receive 10% off your first purchase.
I would recommend having these items on you, whether on the trail or in your car for quick access. Definitely keep a trail map, wallet with ID, hydration, camera, and lip butter handy at all times.
1160 Otter Creek Road
Nashville, TN 37220
Don’t forget to always practice Leave No Trace when exploring out in nature.
Have you been to Nashville, Tennessee? What is your favorite thing to do in this area? Any favorite state parks? Let’s chat in the comments.
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