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142 Radnor Lake - Nashville 2009-10-26

Radnor Lake

Sunday, Amy was feeling a bit under the weather so I went to Radnor Lake to hike the dogless trails by myself. Radnor Lake is located in the City of Nashville, but is actually a State Park or rather a State Natural Area. Radnor is loved by many.

With near perfect weather I arrived at the West Parking Lot at 9 in the morning to find the lot full. I had to wait a few minutes until someone left so I could sneak into their newly vacated parking space. Starting my hike, I was amazed by the number of people there. At Bells Bend a few weeks ago we saw 5 people and at Beaman last week we saw about a dozen hikers. Radnor was a bit different. In the first quarter of a mile I saw more people (at Radnor) than at both of the other parks all day.

My goal was to walk all of the trails in the Park plus the closed to traffic Otter Creek Road section. With my GPS documenting my every move I quickly walked around the lake. The trail is flat, easy, and crowded, but in very good shape. After intersecting the road, I walked the road to the East Trailhead and Parking Lot. From the trailhead, the Access Trail leads back to the Ganier Ridge Trail. The Ganier Trail is rated as difficult, but the actual grade is less steep going counter-clockwise (south to north) than clockwise. After completing the loop I was back at the road and followed the pavement west to the southern trails. Ah, a little peace and solitude from the masses as the trails were not nearly as crowded as the north side trails. The southern trails are a little more rustic than the groomed north side trails, yet are still well maintained. The South Cove Trail is rated as difficult but the grade is less steep hiking from west to east than east to west. I hiked the scenic South Lake Trail (moderate) to complete the southern loop. Back on the road I finished my hike which covered about 8.35 miles. I did have to walk sections of the trail twice adding about an extra three quarters of a mile to the total distance.

A few trail notes...

  • The park is crowded.
  • The park has an extensive "no" list posted.
  • I actually saw a ranger patrolling the trail!
  • There are parking lots and restrooms at both trailheads.
  • The trail grading (easy, moderate, and difficult) are just arbitrary ratings for this park. For example, the moderate trail is a little harder than the easy trail.
  • Oddly enough I only saw groups hiking the Ganier Ridge Trail, yet mostly saw solo hikers on the South Cove Trail. I don’t have a point to make, I just thought it was noticeably odd.
  • There were many dogs on the road (they are not allowed on the trails.)
  • From Otter Creek Road there were MacMansions on the hillsides to the west of the park. It had been a while since I had been in the park and the sight was disturbing.
  • The staff at Radnor had actually placed yellow caution tape around the roots of a tree which had fallen near the trail. They are serious about offering good trails.
  • Parking was definitely an issue when I left the Park at around noon. I am not sur,e but I think the friends could make a ton of money offering valet parking!
  • The park is crowded.

Radnor Lake is a beautiful park with great trails. It is just not the place to go if you want to have a quiet moment. The park is crowded, I mean really crowded!

Happy crowded trails.


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