Life Is Better by the Lake: 4 Best Lakes Near Hendersonville

Whether you love to boat, swim, fish, or sunbathe, a Hendersonville lake can be a great place to spend a pleasant day. Visit one of the great Hendersonville lakes to have some good water fun today.

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Life Is Better by the Lake: 4 Best Lakes Near Hendersonville

Posted by Gary Ashton on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 at 1:04pm.

Best Lakes in Hendersonville

The city of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is a charming area in the northern part of the state, near the city of Nashville. With its proximity to Old Hickory Lake, a large man-made lake on the Cumberland River, the area has become a popular destination for boaters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts. However, other lakes near Hendersonville are equally beautiful and offer various recreational activities. Whether homebuyers moving to Hendersonville are looking for a peaceful escape, a fun day on the water, or a scenic hike, there is something for everyone in the surrounding area. Let's explore some of the best lakes near Hendersonville and highlight what makes each unique.

Old Hickory Lake

You'll find picturesque Old Hickory Lake winding through Hendersonville's best neighborhoods and serving as the city's jagged southern boundary. It's one of the most popular lakes in all of Tennessee—so much so that several famous country music stars have planted roots here, building luxurious waterfront homes.

The lake was built between 1952 and 1954 to provide the community with hydroelectric power, water supply, recreation, and environmental stewardship. Unlike many lakes in the area that are named after geographical landmarks nearby, Old Hickory Lake honors former President Andrew Jackson, whose nickname was Old Hickory.

Despite being artificial, Old Hickory Lake is perfect for outdoor adventures and a prime natural getaway. In addition to its four swimming beaches, you'll find many people boating, water skiing, hiking, mountain biking the nearby trailheads, and even scuba diving. Fishing and hunting are also popular pastimes here.

Each swimming beach has bathrooms, boat ramps, and picnic tables, so be sure to pack towels and lunch so you can spend the whole day enjoying The Great Outdoors!

There are two campgrounds at Old Hickory Lake: Cages Bend and Cedar Creek. Both are open seasonally from April 1–October 31, and each has many amenities, including RV hookups, a dump station, hot showers, and laundry facilities.

A daily fee of $5 per vehicle is required to visit Old Hickory Lake. Hendersonville residents can also buy a $40 season pass.

J. Percy Priest Lake

Visit J. Percy Priest Lake Near Hendersonville, TN

On any given day, you'll find many people enjoying the recreational activities at J. Percy Priest Lake. The lake is 18 miles south of Hendersonville and 10 miles from downtown Nashville, making for a wonderful day or even a half-day trip.

The lake stretches over 42 miles and has 213 miles of shoreline, with 24 public-use areas. You'll find picnic tables, swimming beaches, free public boat launches, seven campgrounds, and four commercial marinas. These larger marinas offer boat and "toy" rentals for things like jet skis and inner tubes, gasoline, concessions, and camping must-haves.

Fishing is also popular at J. Percy Priest Lake, with opportunities to catch various bass, catfish, and crappie. At different spots around the lakeshore, there are fishing piers and platforms, plus plenty of places to fish right from the banks.

Once you've had your fill of water activities, you can hike the trails, let the dog run off some energy at the nearby Stones River Dog Park, or try some BBQ at Papa Turney's.

Marrowbone Lake

Marrowbone Lake is a haven for Middle Tennessee fishermen, with access to a boat ramp, a fishing pier, and a bait and tackle shop. Though there's no shortage of things to do in Hendersonville, residents can reach this lake just outside the small, unincorporated town of Joelton via a quick 23-mile drive.

Fishing (primarily for bass, bluegill, and crappie) is the star attraction at Marrowbone Lake, but even if it's not your thing, the area is known for being much quieter than other nearby lakes. Some locals even describe it as the area's best-kept secret!

To try your hand at fishing here, you need to purchase a $6 daily use permit and a regular Tennessee fishing license. It's also essential to check for seasonal updates, rules, and regulations before heading out on the lake.

After enjoying Marrowbone Lake, go to the nearby Beaman Park Nature Center, just five miles away. This is a great place to learn more about the area's natural history and explore its 15 miles of trails. There are four trails, each designated specifically for hiking, running, bicycling, or horseback riding.

The park is open from dawn to dusk daily, while the nature center's hours vary depending on the day.

Radnor Lake

Visit Radnor Lake Near Hendersonville, TN

Radnor Lake, the crown jewel of Radnor Lake State Park, is nestled in the southern suburbs of Nashville, about 27 miles from Hendersonville. This is a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts, as it's protected as a Class II Natural Area. There's even a 7.75-mile trail dedicated solely to photography and wildlife observation.

Interestingly, Radnor Lake—located between the Oak Hill community and the city of Brentwood—was not initially created to be a wildlife refuge. Instead, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company formed it in 1914 to water steam locomotives and supply watering pens for livestock during shipping and transportation.

Although you can't swim or go boating in Radnor Lake, it's an excellent place to relax and enjoy the scenery. Folks wanting to be more active can hike, bike, jog, or walk their pets on the one-mile Otter Creek Road trail, while the adjacent paved 1.35-mile Lake Trail is accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. All other trails in the park are reserved strictly for peaceful observation, so bicycles, pets, and runners should only use these two.

In addition to the relaxing escape it provides, you can also stop into the Radnor Lake Visitors Center (open Thursday through Monday from 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.) or the Aviary Education Center (open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.) to check out unique exhibits and learning opportunities. The park also offers several ranger-led interpretive programs throughout the year, including hikes and canoe trips.

As with all Tennessee State Parks, entering Radnor Lake is free.

Exceptional Lake Life in the Hendersonville Area

Hendersonville is surrounded by several picturesque lakes that are worth exploring. Residents enjoy the natural beauty of Marrowbone Lake, the many activities offered at Old Hickory Lake, and Hendersonville's lakefront homes on Old Hickory Lake—and visitors will not be disappointed. Each lake offers something different, from hiking trails to water sports, making it perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Whether visitors seek relaxation, adventure, or a little bit of both, the lakes near Hendersonville have it all.

Does Hendersonville sound perfect for what you want in a home? Contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with a Hendersonville real estate agent and discover the ideal Hendersonville home for you today.

Read Our Lake Guides For Each City Below


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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