11 Lakes Near Nashville: Your Ultimate Guide to Water-Based Adventure

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

Venture beyond the hustle of Nashville’s music scene to discover a wealth of water-based adventures. Sunny weekends offer the perfect opportunity to explore scenic lakes and meandering nature trails, uncovering a different side of Music City. So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 11 lakes near Nashville!

Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake, Nashville
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Looking for a beach resort in Nashville? Well, Percy Priest Lake is your best option! With a sandy beach and 42 miles of lake, it’s a great alternative to a beach vacation. Make sure to arrive early during the warmer months to secure a parking spot and pack a picnic lunch so you can spend the whole day relaxing.

Radnor Lake

Radnor Lake - Lakes Near Nashville
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Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Nashville, Radnor Lake offers a tranquil sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Tennessee’s capital. Hike across the park’s five miles of unpaved trails and keep your eyes peeled for river otters and white-tailed deer. Head over to the Visitor Center to learn more about Radnor Lake and its impressive wildlife.

Center Hill Lake

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Center Hill Lake, Nashville’s second largest lake, invites visitors for a day trip of water-based activities and nature appreciation. About an hour’s drive from the city, the lake caters to boating, fishing, and swimming enthusiasts. Opt for a weekend getaway at one of Center Hill Lake’s various campgrounds and make the most of spotting wildlife right at your doorstep!

Couchville Lake

Two men fishing
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Couchville Lake, located in Long Hunter State Park, offers a host of activities from fishing and kayaking to bird watching. Begin at the fishing pier, rent a boat, or follow the 2.2-mile trail around the lake, taking in the rich ecosystem and wildlife. Don’t forget to pause at the scenic wooden bridge for a photo and to enjoy the view across the gorgeous lake.

Sevier Lake

Sevier Lake, Tennessee
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Find tranquility and the thrill of fishing at Sevier Lake, nestled amid the serene landscape of Shelby Park in Nashville. Begin your day with a peaceful fishing session at dawn, followed by a leisurely stroll around the water’s edge. Wrap up your visit with a picnic on the lake’s bank, enjoying the calm view over the water.

Marrowbone Lake

Kettle boiling in forest
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Marrowbone Lake, located near Joelton Tennessee and a short but scenic drive from Nashville, offers a delightful blend of leisure activities. Launch off one of the many boat ramps for an afternoon of fishing, venture on a hike through the nearby Beaman Park, or simply relax in their designated picnic area.

Cheatham Lake

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With 320 miles of shoreline and a wide variety of outdoor activities available, Cheatham Lake is a must-visit. From boat launches and fishing for Largemouth Bass and Rockfish to exploring trails on foot, bike, or horseback, Cheatham Lake caters to every outdoor enthusiast. The lake also has marinas, boat ramps, picnic sites, campgrounds, and playgrounds, making it the perfect spot for some time back in nature.

Old Hickory Lake

Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee
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25 miles upstream from Nashville sits Old Hickory Lake a favorite recreation area and world-class fishing destination. Enjoy casting a line or head out on the many hiking trails for a better view of the beautiful lake. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or a peek into Nashville’s music legacy, Old Hickory Lake delivers.

Tims Ford Lake

Tims Ford Lake, Tennessee
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Tims Ford Lake is a 3,546-acre gem, known for its breathtaking views and top-tier bass fishing. During the summer months, it provides the perfect destination thanks to the warm water and relaxing scenic backdrop. With 250 miles of shoreline, you shouldn’t struggle to find yourself the perfect spot on a sunny day to unwind!

Cordell Hull Lake

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Venture to Cordell Hull Lake, a picturesque outdoor attraction located in the Cumberland River basin. Enjoy a wide array of outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, horseback riding, and more, owing to its temperate climate and long recreation season. The 12,000-acre gorgeous lake serves as a blissful outdoor playground, inviting millions of visitors every year.

Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake, Tennessee
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A bit of a journey from Nashville, but worth every minute of the two-and-a-half-hour drive, Pickwick Lake is a unique reservoir created by the Pickwick Landing Dam. Straddling the borders of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, the lake is a popular spot for fishing noted for record-setting smallmouth bass and catfish. Boosting its allure, the lake is further flanked by two state parks, Pickwick Landing State Park in Tennessee and J P Coleman State Park in Mississippi, offering miles of hiking trails and other outdoor activities.

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Apostle Islands
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Havasu Falls
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Olympic National Park Hoh Rainforest
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