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363 Radnor Lake, 2011 2011-03-20

Radnor Lake

Radnor Lake is a State Park and Natural Area in Nashville. It is a beautiful area with great trails which also makes the area crowded on weekends.

In the Tennessean an article brought attention to the Park and how it was "being loved to death" by use and overuse. On pretty days it receives many visitors hoping to enjoy the exercise and beauty of the region.

So what is the attraction of Radnor Lake?

The lake and it's wildlife are the highlights of most visits to the Natural Area. Along its shores are benches, overlooks, trails, and the road (closed to motor traffic) that allows the visitor to see the lake and it's inhabitants from every possible angle. Many visitors line the banks looking for the perfect photograph or to capture the scenery on canvas. It is a place of unspeakable beauty.

Moving away from the the Lake, trails lead to two different ridges. The trails are well maintained. We often joke that they are almost manicured; but they are the standard by which we measure other trails. The Park Staff's devotion to the quality of the trails enhances visitation. The trails are walkable, easy to follow, and engaging. You want to walk them again and again.

With an attendance of 1,000,000 visitors (from the Tennessean), it is safe to say that the small Park sees a lot of use. In fact the Park at times seems crowded. In order to help control the number of visitors, the Park has used rules to limit the use.

Parking is an issue at the Park. However, the lack of parking helps control the number of visitors.

Rules prohibit dogs, running, and bicycles in all areas other than on Otter Creek Road. These are terrible rules for dog owners, runners, or bicyclist; but the rules also help deter many visitors.

Rules also prohibit food in the Park and picnicking is not allowed. The picnickers do not understand why but they are politely told they need to go to another Park to enjoy their meals. If you want to feed a duck, find another Park.

Only a portion of the Park is used for trails. The areas south of the Lake (other than the South Lake Trail and the soon to re-open South Cove Trail) are not used for trails or normal visits.

The rules help control visitation and maintain the beauty of the original preserve. Will more rules follow? Probably, yes but, regardless of the restrictions, lovers of the outdoors will continue to visit the Park. Beautiful scenery, wildlife, and good hiking are hard to beat; especially in the city.

Happy Radnor Trails.


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