For my first travel writing piece, I will describe one of my favorite places in Nashville: the State Natural Area of Radnor Lake. Located about ten minutes from my house, you can reach it by going down Granny White and taking a left on Otter Creek. It's an unassuming road; it looks like all the other residential neighborhood entrances.
A big part of environmental activism is working to keep our natural areas free of development. In the middle of urban Nashville, a serene lake remains amidst hilly, wooded hiking trails. It is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect to natural beauty. Radnor's also a great place to exercise as I catch up with friends (depending on how fast I'm walking...). My favorite trail goes up to the ridge, but even this route is "hiking lite." All the trails are structured for safety and convenience. Jogging is not allowed on the hiking trails, but the private road that runs around the lake was made with joggers and cyclists in mind.
All along the trails, signs are posted on the various elements of nature present. In the middle of a large swath of poison ivy, a sign has been erected on how to identify the plant. In general, the trails are free of poison ivy but the forest area is left to grow wild; fallen trees are left alone unless they impinge upon the hikers' path.
In the spring, there are platter-sized mushrooms in all colors, and in the fall I love the brightly colored leaves and the crunchy sound when I walk. Deer are wary of hikers, but allow themselves to be seen from a distance.
Isn't the trail beautiful? This is what you see as you walk along the path. It winds along in the peaceful forest before it breaks into full view of the hidden lake. I urge you to visit Radnor to see Nashville's best kept secret.
Photos: Olivia Bishop