In 1913 the L & N Railroad Company purchased a thousand acres of land in the Overton hills south of Nashville for the purpose of constructing an earthen reservoir large enough to supply water for its steam engines and livestock at nearby Radnor Yards.
It was also intended to provide a private hunting and fishing preserve for L & N officials and their guests. But, soon after construction, birds discovered the haven too and began feeding and resting there during their annual migration.
Efforts to preserve the Radnor Lake area began in 1923 when an L & N executive stopped all hunting and fishing and declared the site a "Wildlife Sanctuary" at the request of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. The beginning of Radnor Lake as we know it today was born.
Sixty years later. . .creative thinking, fundraising, political action, grassroots work and last minute heroics by dedicated conservationists and leaders, 747 acres of land were preserved in 1973 as Radnor Lake--Tennessee's first natural area and protected eco-system.
AppleJack and I go to Radnor Lake frequently. We have put many miles on our walking shoes hiking the trails. We have solved problems, planned trips, listened to birds, watched the ducks and turtles. It is a peaceful haven.
Nashville was flooded in 2010. Think about 17 inches of rain falling in two days. Parts of Radnor and Nashville are still recovering from the 2010 flood.
In spite of the flood damage, I encourage everyone to go find your city's hidden gem. It is a treasure you are giving to yourself.