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Nashville, TN: Radnor Lake Loop

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Distance: 4.3 miles


Birds (240 species) far outnumber hikers on this 4.3-mile circuit in the rolling hills of Radnor Lake State Natural Area, a real paradise for ornithology enthusiasts.
  • Radnor Lake
  • Park Sign
  • Trailhead Kiosk
  • Spillway Bridge
  • Panoramic view of Radnor Lake
  • White-Tailed Deer
  • Ganier Ridge Trail
  • Ganier Ridge Trail
  • Lake Trail - Ganier Trail Junction
  • Trail Junction
  • Lake Trail
  • Boardwalk
  • View of Radnor Lake
  • South Loop
  • Trail Fork
  • Trail View
  • Dam Walkway

Created in 1914 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company to supply water for steam engines and livestock at Radnor Yards, Radnor Lake is now home to a myriad of wildlife. This 4.3-mile loop links a handful of trails that circle the 85-acre lake and offer the chance to spot deer, turtles, frogs, migratory birds, and salamanders.

Park at the west entrance of Radnor Lake State Park and pick up the Spillway Trail near the Visitor Center; head northeast for a clockwise loop. After reaching the spillway bridge, continue straight on Lake Trail, passing a viewing deck that overlooks the lake. Less than a mile in, turn left on Ganier Ridge Trail and begin a 300-foot climb to a ridgeline with views of the lake and downtown Nashville.

After 2.1 miles, descend the ridge to an intersection with Ganier Ridge Trail and Lake Trail; turn left and follow Lake Trail to Otter Creek Road. From here, the route briefly follows Otter Creek Road before turning left onto South Lake Trail, then left onto South Cove Trail. At mile 4, South Cove reconnects with Otter Creek Road; turn left to return to the Visitor Center.

Note: This route can be hiked counterclockwise for an easier workout. Leashed dogs are only allowed on Otter Creek Road.

Info: Radnor Lake State Park and Friends of Radnor Lake

-Mapped by Kelly Stewart, Nashville Hiking Meetup

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