Discover Percy Priest Lake

Percy Priest Lake, situated in the north-central part of Tennessee near Nashville, is a reservoir that offers a tremendous variety of outdoor recreational activities for visitors. Formed by the J. Percy Priest Dam on the Stones River, the lake spans 42 miles. With its beautiful waterfront and surrounding park areas, Percy Priest Lake has become a popular destination for locals and tourists.

Visitors to Percy Priest Lake can enjoy numerous marine activities, such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The lake is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, perfect for hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching while enjoying the area’s natural beauty.

With many options for adventure, this serene lake offers something for everyone, making it a perfect getaway just a short distance from downtown Nashville.

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Top 3 Facts About Percy Priest Lake in Tennessee

01

Historical Town Underwater

Interestingly, Percy Priest Lake conceals the remnants of the community named Couchville. This town was relocated in the 1960s to make way for the lake as part of a larger Tennessee Valley Authority project. Part of the main road in Couchville still lies at the bottom of Percy Priest Lake, and a recreational area on the lake is named after the flooded community.

02

Named After a Congressman

Percy Priest Lake was initially authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1946 under the name “Stewarts Ferry Reservoir.” However, an act of Congress in 1958 renamed it in honor of Congressman J. Percy Priest. The lake and its dam, completed in 1967, are named after this congressman who represented the area in the mid-1900s.

03

A Haven for Recreational Activities

Covering parts of Davidson, Rutherford, and Wilson counties, Percy Priest Lake spans 14,200 acres of water. It’s surrounded by public lands dedicated to wildlife management and offers a wide range of recreational activities. From camping and boating to hiking and fishing, it serves as a popular outdoor playground near Nashville.

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Must-See Attractions

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Nashville Shores Waterpark

Waterpark

Situated along the picturesque shores of Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Shores Water Park is a summer paradise with over 1 million gallons of aquatic fun. Visitors can enjoy a variety of thrilling water slides, a wave pool, and the expansive Kowabunga Beach water playground. For a more relaxed experience, the lazy river and beautiful beach offer the perfect spots to soak up the sun and unwind.

The Hermitage

Speciality Museums

Just a short drive from downtown Nashville, The Hermitage invites visitors to explore the life and home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. This historical site, spread over 1,120 acres, offers a glimpse into 19th-century life with a Greek Revival-style mansion, horse-drawn wagon tours, and a beautifully maintained garden. The Hermitage also features a winery and tasting room, providing a unique blend of history and leisure.​

Belle Meade Plantation

Speciality Museums

Belle Meade Plantation offers a deep dive into the history and culture of the South. The Mansion Tour explores the century-long story of the Harding and Jackson families, while the Journey to Jubilee Tour focuses on the stories of the enslaved African Americans who lived and worked there. Additionally, the Southern Food Traditions Tour offers a culinary journey through iconic Southern foods, tying the region’s history to its cuisine.

Annual Events and Festivals

June 6-9, 2024

CMA Music Festival

Experience the ultimate country music fan experience at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. This four-day extravaganza showcases a star-studded lineup, including top country artists like Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban. Across the city, you’ll find numerous paid and free concerts and plenty of side events to further ramp up the fun.

Get tickets
July 4, 2024

Fourth of July Festival

Celebrate Independence Day at Percy Priest Lake with a family-friendly festival that promises fun for all ages. Enjoy a day filled with delicious food, lively music, and a spectacular fireworks display to mark the nation’s birthday. This event is a perfect blend of community spirit and patriotic celebration.

July 16, 2024

LakeFest at Percy Priest Lake

LakeFest offers an all-ages day of entertainment at Percy Priest Lake. Featuring live music performances, a VIP meet and greet, and a variety of food options, this festival is a summertime highlight. With general admission tickets at $50, it’s an accessible way to enjoy the lake’s vibrant atmosphere and community spirit.

Top Hiking Trails

Long Hunter State Park

2910 Hobson Pike, Hermitage, 37076

This trail at Radnor Lake State Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Starting from the Granny White entrance, visitors can enjoy a scenic 2.8-mile loop through diverse habitats, offering chances to spot deer, wild turkeys, and even bald eagles. The trail, known for its peaceful environment and abundant natural beauty, winds through the forest, offering an immersive nature experience​.

Percy Warner Park

7311 Highway 100, 37221

Located in the scenic Percy Warner Park, the Mossy Ridge Trail is a moderately challenging 4.5-mile loop, ideal for hiking and running. This trail takes you through lush woods and over rolling hills, providing a great workout amidst the tranquility of nature. Hikers can enjoy diverse flora and fauna along the trail, which is known for its natural beauty and serene atmosphere​.

Radnor Lake – Ganier Ridge Trail

1132 Otter Creek Rd., 37220

The Couchville Lake Trail in Long Hunter State Park offers a leisurely 2-mile paved loop around the picturesque Couchville Lake. This trail is perfect for families and includes educational opportunities with the Couchville Arboretum, identifying various tree species. The highlight of the trail is a 400-foot bridge that offers stunning views and a perfect spot for family photos.

Best Golf Courses

Pine Creek Golf Club

1835 Logue Rd, Mt. Juliet, TN

Just a twenty-minute drive east of downtown Nashville in Mount Juliet, Pine Creek Golf Club offers a tranquil escape with its secluded setting and log cabin clubhouse. Known for its excellent playing conditions, the course features pristine fairways and some of the finest greens in the Nashville area, complemented by bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. The course is enhanced by a recently developed practice facility and a well-maintained putting green.​

Visit their website for more information

Nashboro Golf Club

1101 Nashboro Blvd, Nashville, TN

Nashboro Golf Club in Nashville is a classic course designed by Benjamin J. Wihry. Known for its challenging 6887-yard layout from the Championship tees, the course features premium Mini Verde greens and carefully manicured Bermuda fairways. Tree-lined fairways, scenic tee box views, strategically placed water hazards, and large bunkers make this course both beautiful and demanding​.

Visit their website for more information

Smyrna Golf Course

101 Sam Ridley Pkwy E, Smyrna, TN

Owned and managed by the Town of Smyrna, this golf course is a mere 20-minute drive from Nashville’s heart. It features an 18-hole regulation course and a 9-hole Executive Course, recognized as a First Tee facility, making it ideal for golfers of all skill levels. The course also boasts comprehensive practice facilities, including a large putting green, driving range, and a fully stocked pro shop, enhancing the overall golfing experience.

Visit their website for more information

Water Sports

Cap’n Dave’s Water Sports

Rentals

Located at Percy Priest Lake, Cap’n Dave’s Water Sports offers a variety of thrilling water activities, making it a go-to destination for both adrenaline junkies and nature lovers. They provide rentals for jet skis, paddleboards, single and double kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats, ensuring something for everyone.

Visit their website for more information

Nashville Flyboard

Flyboard experience

Just 15 minutes from downtown Nashville at Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Flyboard delivers an unforgettable outdoor adventure. They specialize in Hydroflight rental, where you can experience the thrill of Flyboarding – a unique activity where you soar above the water with the aid of water jets. Suitable for ages 13 and up, with weight restrictions, it’s an exciting activity that combines safety with exhilarating fun, perfect for beginners and experienced enthusiasts​​.

Visit their website for more information

Nashville Shores Waterpark

Waterpark

Nashville Shores Waterpark, situated on the banks of Percy Priest Lake, is a family-friendly destination offering over 1 million gallons of aquatic fun. The park features a vast wave pool, exciting water slides, kid-friendly Kowabunga Beach, and a massive water treehouse. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the park also has a lazy river and a beautiful beach for sunbathing, providing all-day entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Visit their website for more information

Winter Activities

Winter Fishing & Boating

Despite cooler temperatures, Percy Priest Lake remains a year-round haven for fishing enthusiasts. The lake’s diverse fish population, including bass and crappie, promises a rewarding experience for anglers. Boating enthusiasts can also enjoy the serene winter waters, though it’s advisable to dress warmly and check weather conditions before setting sail.

Winter Hiking

The area around Percy Priest Lake boasts several parks and trails ideal for winter hiking. Long Hunter State Park, in particular, offers a range of hiking trails with more than twenty miles of trekking opportunities, including views of the snowy woods and the frozen expanse of J. Percy Priest Lake.

Catch a Predators Game

For a different kind of winter excitement, consider catching a Nashville Predators game. While this activity takes you a bit away from Percy Priest Lake, it offers an exhilarating experience in Nashville’s vibrant sports scene. The energy and excitement of a live hockey game provide a perfect contrast to the peaceful outdoor activities available around the lake. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and join in the community’s spirit​​!

Where to Eat

Papa Turney’s Old Fashion BBQ

$ – $$ • Barbeque

Shipwreck Cove

$ – $$ • Beers & Burgers

Rebar at the Dam

$ – $$ • Rebar at the Dam

Where to Shop

Hippy Dippy Gypsy

Boutique Store

Northlake Village

Shopping Mall

The Opry Shop

Gift Shop

Where to Sleep

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Islandview Family Cottage

Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Sq Footage 1,350
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$250.00 / day

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Percy Priest Lake

Location and Accessibility

Percy Priest Lake is vast, offering different experiences depending on where you stay. Consider the proximity to Nashville if you plan to explore the city, or opt for a more secluded area if you prefer tranquility and nature.

Activities and Amenities

The lake area is known for its outdoor activities. If you’re interested in fishing, hiking, or boating, look for rentals that offer or are near these amenities. Some rentals might even provide gear or have agreements with local providers for discounts.

Seasonal Considerations

The experience at Percy Priest Lake can vary significantly with the seasons. Summer offers full access to water sports and outdoor activities, while winter is quieter but still offers fishing and hiking. Consider what each season offers and plan your visit accordingly.

Budgeting for Your Trip

Prices for rentals can vary based on the season, with peak prices in summer. If you’re budget-conscious, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons – spring or fall – when the weather is still pleasant and prices are generally lower.

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Jet Skiing

Going Deeper on Percy Priest Lake

The story of Percy Priest Lake is steeped in both historical and cultural significance. Its origins trace back to the mid-1950s when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertook the colossal task of creating this artificial lake. The lake is named in honor of J. Percy Priest, a Nashville congressman, commemorating his contributions to the region. Originally formed by damming the Stones River, Percy Priest Lake was envisioned as a multipurpose resource for flood control, recreation, and power generation in Middle Tennessee.

Before the lake’s creation, the area was dotted with small farms and homesteads, indicative of a simpler, rural lifestyle. The announcement of the dam project in 1949 was met with significant resistance from the local community, leading to organized protests. Despite these efforts, construction reached completion by 1968. Today, Percy Priest Lake spans over 14,000 acres and boasts over 250 miles of shoreline. It’s a rich ecosystem, home to diverse fish species like crappie, bass, catfish, and bream, and features numerous islands that were once parts of the original farmsteads.

Frequently Asked Questions About Percy Priest Lake

At Percy Priest Lake, you can enjoy a variety of activities, such as boating, canoeing, rowing, sailing, swimming, skiing, and fishing. 18,854 acres of public land surround the lake, offering additional activities like camping, hiking, and horseback riding.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

Yes, there are campgrounds around Percy Priest Lake that cater to various types of campers. You can find campsites for primitive campers, tent campers, and sites with full RV hookups.

Boat rentals are available for visitors who wish to spend a day on Percy Priest Lake. You can find rental options for different boats, allowing you to enjoy various water activities such as fishing, sailing, or just exploring the lake.

Percy Priest Lake covers 14,200 acres of water at a summer pool elevation of 490 feet above mean sea level. The lake’s depth varies depending on the location and the time of year. Please check with local authorities or park rangers for specific depth information in the area you plan to visit.

You can swim in designated areas around Percy Priest Lake, including Anderson Road Day Use, Cook Day Use, Nashville Shores, and Bryant Grove within Long Hunter State Park. However, always exercise caution and follow safety guidelines while swimming.

Percy Priest Lake itself does not charge an entrance fee, making it an accessible destination for outdoor activities. However, certain facilities like campgrounds or marinas may have usage fees, and it’s advisable to check in advance for specific costs related to your planned activities.

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