Radnor Lake – An Urban Escape

Looking for a way to ‘unplug’ with your family?  Then Radnor Lake is the place for you. Located in Nashville, the Radnor Lake Natural Area is 1200 acres of natural preserve.

Radnor Lake Trails

There are several trails throughout the area.  Most of them are NOT stroller or wheelchair accessible.  There is one paved trail that surrounds the lake.  It is closed to cars so it has ample space for biking or walking.

There is no camping or picnicking allowed at Radnor.  This is mainly to protect the large variety of wildlife that call the area home.  On any given trip you could see river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, or white tailed deer.  On our trip, we saw several deer.  The deer at Radnor are so accustomed to people that our presence didn’t startle them at all 🙂

The  walking trails are well marked.  The trail signs indicate the level of difficulty involved in that specific trail.  The trail we chose was around 3 miles.  It took us about three hours to walk.  Note that we were taking a very moderate pace and made frequent stops to enjoy the landscape and wildlife.  Basically, we weren’t in any hurry.  If time is an issue for you, there are trails that could be completed much more quickly.

Walking the boardwalk at Radnor Lake

There are plenty of observation areas where you can stop to rest and enjoy.

The trails are heavily wooded so there is LOTS of shade.  Let’s be honest here.  If its 108 degrees outside, it’s still going to be hot at Radnor.  But it will be a few degrees cooler just due to the dense foliage.  We went on a late afternoon in August and it was hot but not unbearable.

Visitor Center

Try to plan your visit during office hours at the visitor center and one of the employees can help you plan the best hike for your particular situation   The Visitor Center also has some great exhibits on display.  They also have a large map of the entire area.

Radnor Lake - overview map display at the Visitor's Center

There is ample parking at Radnor.  Bathrooms with changing stations are available at the Visitor center.

Also, don’t forget that Volunteer Days are held once a month at Radnor.  On the 4th Saturday of every month from 8AM – 12PM, volunteers meet to mulch and repair trails.  If you are looking for a way to give back to your community, this would be a great place to start.   A natural area of this size is very rare in a big city.

Don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy this great place!

Family Fun Facts

Radnor Lake  (Map)

Natural Area trails and parking lots are open daily from 6 AM until dark.

Visitor Center is open Thursday – Monday 9:30AM until 5:30PM.    Closed Noon -1PM for lunch

Cost : FREE

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Rachel is a Middle Tennessee native, born and raised in the Nashville area and having lived in Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, and Mount Juliet. She is mom to 3, step mom to 4 and Grandma to one (so far!)

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