When it comes to hiking at Radnor Lake, they only way to guarantee a parking space and not be stuck waiting in line for 30 minutes or more is to arrive early. So when I found myself awake on Saturday much earlier than normal, I knew this was a perfect chance, despite the fact that it was only 34ºF outside. Not willing to waste the free morning and parking opportunity, I bundled up and head out.
I was also breaking in new hiking shoes, so I although I didn’t want a trail that would be too easy, I didn’t one that would be too long either in case the shoes started rubbing the wrong way. South Cove Trail fit all of those criteria – it’s only 1.4-mi one-way, but there’s also a very steep climb approximately halfway through, which causes the trail to be rated as moderate.
The morning hike was exactly what I needed to help recoup from a stressful week at work. Even though there were many other hikers out-and-about, the trail wasn’t crowded by any means, and the woods in general were very peaceful. Even the deer grazing next to the trail seemed wholly unconcerned. I’ve said many times before that I’m an introvert at heart, so there’s something about a quiet hike in the woods that helps me recharge. And this is why despite the parking nightmares, Radnor Lake will always be one of my favorite hiking places in Nashville.