Radnor Lake State Natural Area
|Radnor Lake State Natural Area|
|Location||Davidson County Nashville, Tennessee|
|Area||1,200 acres (4.9 km2)|
|Operated by||Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation|
The 1,300+ acre (5.26 km²) nature preserve lies in the heart of Nashville, unusual for a major American city. Five miles of unpaved trails wander through the woods surrounding the lake. Otter Creek Road runs through the middle of the park and is now closed to traffic. Visitors to Radnor Lake enjoy wildlife native to Middle Tennessee, including river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, bobcat, coyote and the white-tailed deer. There is a visitor's center open daily.
Radnor Lake was created by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company in 1914, and was initially used for watering steam locomotives and supplying the watering pens for shipped livestock. Afterwards, it became a local sportsman's club for L & N executives and guests. Efforts to preserve the Radnor Lake area began in 1923 when the executive vice president of L&N Railroad declared the site a “Wildlife Sanctuary” at the request of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. Executives with the railroad and their friends (The Sportsman’s Club) used the sanctuary for fishing, but a reverence for the beauty of the area was present even then among L&N families and neighbors who lived in the surrounding hills. In 1962, the property was sold to be developed but initial work proved to be problematic and public pressure influenced the state to purchase the property in 1973 and create the State's first Natural Area.
Any hunting within the natural area is illegal.
Radnor Lake State Natural Area is a Class II State Natural Area, meaning it is a day use area only, and there is no camping or picnicking allowed.
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