Radnor Lake State Park provides scenic, biological, geological and recreational opportunities not found in other metropolitan areas of Nashville’s size. L&N Railroad Company impounded Otter Creek in 1914 to create the lake. The reservoir was constructed to provide water for the L&N steam engines. The surrounding forest provided excellent habitat for waterfowl and other birds and animals. Migrating birds began wintering there. In 1923, L&N’s executive vice president stopped all hunting on the land and declared it to be a nature preserve. The company sold it to developers in 1961.
Radnor Lake became the first State Natural Area in 1973, with a diversity of natural habitats ranging from the lake to streams and placid sloughs, as well as wildlife and numerous species of plants in abundance. The 90-acre lake is surrounded by steep hills rising as high as 400 feet, showcasing wildflowers in the spring and migrating birds in winter.
Today, Radnor Lake is a state park, readily accessible to Nashville’s urban population. It provides more than twelve miles of hiking trails, including the Ganier Ridge trail, named in honor of Albert Ganier, founder of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. The park is noted for its plethora of spring flora, tranquil lake setting, and scenic topography.
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