Radnor Lake State Natural Area

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With its proximity to downtown as well as its brilliant natural beauty, it's no surprise that Radnor is the most popular hiking area near Nashville.

Written by

Bill Bailey

Destination Distance From Downtown

7.5 miles


1 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

1-3 hours



Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Land Website

Link to Website


Radnor Lake Natural, situated on 2,000 acres of forested land, provides hikers with 10 miles of well-manicured trails. On a Saturday in October it can be a mad house, as this is the most popular hiking area in Nashville. But because of its proximity to downtown, it is a wonderful venue to get out before or after work for a beautiful hike. This natural area provides a variety of scenic spots and a diversity of natural habitats, including the woodlands, lake, and streams. There is an abundance of wildlife and plant species native to Middle Tennessee, and Radnor is well-loved by locals as a place that provides scenic, biological, geological, and passive recreational opportunities, not available in such close proximity, in other metropolitan areas of Nashville's size. There is an 80-acre man made lake in the hills just south of town. One of the trails, Gainer Ridge, ascends to almost the highest point in Davidson County, which is a whopping 1,100 feet. You can make a really nice loop out of Gainer Ridge trail, by doing a ridge walk and then dropping back down across Otter Creek Road. Radnor's focus is conservation, and therefore does not allow trail running, nor is paddling allowed on the lake. Trails: Spillway Trail (.27m) easy Lake Trail (1.3m) easy Ganier Ridge Trail (1.55m) strenuous Access Trail (.24m) moderate South Lake Trail (.9m) moderate South Cove Trail (1.3m) strenuous Otter Creek Road (1.1m lot to lot) easy - Pets, jogging, and bicycles allowed.


Radnor Lake State Natural Area

1160 Otter Creek Road
Nashville, TN, 37220
36.05851, -86.792871

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