A Brief History of Percy Priest Lake in Nashville

Percy Priest Lake is a beautiful, serene lake located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities. But what many people don’t know is that the lake has an interesting history. In this blog post, we will be exploring the fascinating history of Percy Priest Lake and the stories behind it. From its creation to the present day, the lake has a long and interesting story to tell. So join us as we take a dive into the history of Percy Priest Lake!

The Origin of Percy Priest Lake
Located just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, Percy Priest Lake is an artificial lake created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the mid-1950s. The lake is named after J. Percy Priest, a Nashville congressman and Civil War veteran. The lake was created by the damming of Stones River, providing flood control, recreation, and power generation to Middle Tennessee.

Before the dam was built, the region was home to several small farms and homesteads. When the project was announced in 1949, the locals were not happy and organized protests against it. Despite their efforts, construction began in 1951 and was completed five years later in 1956.

The lake covers more than 14,000 acres, including several islands that were once part of the original farmsteads. It also has more than 250 miles of shoreline and is fed by several tributaries including Mill Creek and Stones River. The lake is also a popular fishing spot and is known for its large population of crappie, bass, catfish, and bream.

The Creation of the J. Percy Priest Dam
Nashville’s Percy Priest Lake has a long and interesting history. In the late 1940s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed the creation of a dam and lake in the area to provide flood control, navigation, and recreational opportunities. The dam was named after J. Percy Priest, a prominent local politician who served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The project began in 1949 and took over 20 years to complete. The J. Percy Priest Dam is a concrete gravity-type structure with a height of 92 feet and a length of 3,180 feet. The lake has 11 miles of shoreline, covering an area of over 14,000 acres.

The dam was completed in 1968, and it created a large lake for recreational purposes such as fishing, swimming, boating, camping, and hiking. The lake is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is one of the most popular recreational areas in the Nashville area. In addition to the dam, two hydroelectric power plants were also constructed on the lake.

In addition to its recreational opportunities, the lake also serves an important role in controlling flooding in the region. The Corps of Engineers regularly releases water from the lake when heavy rains cause rivers and streams in the area to swell, which helps protect homes and businesses from flood damage.

Today, the J. Percy Priest Dam remains an important part of Nashville’s history and culture. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication that went into its construction, and it continues to provide important benefits to people living in the area today.

The Recreation Area Around Percy Priest Lake
Located in Nashville, Percy Priest Lake provides plenty of recreational opportunities for visitors and locals alike. With over 20,000 acres of water and 12,000 acres of land, there is plenty to explore and enjoy. Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, kayaking, camping, and picnicking in the area.

The lake is well-known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The lake is home to many species of fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, and walleye. There are several boat launches located around the lake, allowing anglers to easily access the water and cast their lines.
If you’re looking to spend a day on the lake, there are plenty of options for you. Boaters can take advantage of the multiple marinas and boat ramps located around the lake. Kayakers and canoeists will appreciate the many coves and inlets to explore.

If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight, there are numerous campgrounds located around the lake. Most of these campsites have electric and water hookups, making them an ideal spot for a weekend getaway. There are also several private campgrounds near Percy Priest Lake that provide a more rustic camping experience.

Percy Priest Lake is also a great spot for a picnic. There are numerous parks located along the shoreline, offering picnic tables and grills that are perfect for a lakeside lunch or dinner.
No matter what type of outdoor activity you are looking for, Percy Priest Lake has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to fish, boat, camp or simply relax, you’ll be sure to find it at Percy Priest Lake. Every year, thousands of people visit the lake for vacation or just to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The calm waters and scenic views make it an ideal destination for all ages.

In recent years, there have been some major improvements made to the park surrounding the lake. A boardwalk has been built which connects various points along the shoreline, providing easy access to all areas. Additionally, a new swimming beach was added with its own changing rooms, showers, and restrooms.

The Percy Priest Lake Wildlife Refuge was established in 2019 and includes almost 8,000 acres of forests, marshes, and open lands. This refuge serves as a haven for local wildlife and plant life, allowing people to witness nature in its purest form.

With so much to offer, it’s no surprise why Percy Priest Lake continues to attract so many visitors each year. Not only does the lake provide ample recreation opportunities, but it is also surrounded by incredible natural beauty. From the towering trees to the shimmering waters, there’s something about this tranquil landscape that brings out the best in all who visit. With continued conservation efforts and maintenance, Percy Priest Lake will remain an iconic part of Nashville for generations to come.

The Wildlife That Inhabits Percy Priest Lake
Percy Priest Lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from birds to fish and mammals. The lake is an important habitat for many species of waterfowl such as ducks, geese, herons, egrets, and grebes. Fish found in the lake include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and carp. Mammals that inhabit the lake include beavers, muskrats, raccoons, and opossums.

The lake also supports a large population of aquatic insects and other invertebrates. These organisms are a critical component of the lake’s food chain and provide food for fish and birds. There are several different kinds of amphibians that live around the lake such as frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. Reptiles like snakes and turtles can also be spotted around the lake’s shoreline.

The diversity of wildlife at Percy Priest Lake makes it an ideal spot for bird watching, fishing, and other outdoor activities. In addition to providing enjoyment for people, the lake’s diverse wildlife helps to ensure a healthy and productive ecosystem.

Campsites Surrounding Percy Priest Lake
Percy Priest Lake is home to a variety of campsites, from rustic and primitive to more established campgrounds. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, secluded spot to spend the night or a place that has all the amenities, there is a campsite to fit your needs.

The Marinas at Percy Priest Lake offer two campgrounds with different levels of comfort. Anderson Road Campground is located on the west side of the lake, just off of Anderson Road, and offers 54 RV sites, 13 tent sites, and 10 cabins. This campground also features a playground and laundry facilities. There is also an adjacent store which provides camping supplies and other items. The other campground, Hickory Hollow Campground, is on the east side of the lake and has 33 RV sites, 14 tent sites, and 6 cabins. This campground also includes a playground, laundry facilities, and a store with camping supplies.

The J. Percy Priest Lake area also has four primitive campsites that are accessible by boat only. These sites are located along the shoreline of the lake and offer a peaceful escape for campers.
For those looking for a more rustic experience, there are several dispersed camping areas around Percy Priest Lake. Dispersed camping is allowed in certain areas around the lake and is free of charge. These sites are typically accessed via boat and offer no amenities, so it’s important to come prepared with all your own supplies.

No matter what type of camping experience you’re looking for, Percy Priest Lake has something for everyone. From primitive to RV sites, this lake has plenty of options for those who want to explore its beauty up close.

Local Tour Guides for Percy Priest Lake
If you’re looking for a more in-depth experience of Percy Priest Lake, hiring a local tour guide is a great way to explore the area. These tour guides have extensive knowledge of the area and can provide a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

Most local tour guides offer boat rides to explore the area, where they can point out different wildlife and explain the geological makeup of the lake. Some tour guides even take their groups to explore the many islands located in the lake, and to go fishing or swimming.

There are also tour guides that specialize in kayak and canoe trips around Percy Priest Lake. They provide kayaks and canoes, along with life vests and other safety gear. Depending on the tour guide, they may also provide food, drinks, and snacks to enjoy during your trip.

Regardless of what type of tour you choose, hiring a local guide is the best way to get an up-close-and-personal view of Percy Priest Lake. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing sightseeing tour or a more adventurous excursion, there’s a tour guide for you.

Percy Priest Lake Fishing Boat Rentals
For those looking to explore the waters of Percy Priest Lake, there are a variety of options for renting fishing boats. There are several marinas located around the lake, including Long Hunter State Park, Cedar Creek Marina, Lick Creek Marina, and Edgar Evins State Park. These marinas offer a wide range of boat rentals to suit all types of fishermen, from experienced anglers to novice fishermen.

The rental fleet at these marinas includes pontoon boats, fishing boats, party boats, and kayaks. All of these boats come equipped with the necessary safety gear and tackle, as well as seating and shelter. Pontoon boats are great for larger groups looking to enjoy some time out on the lake, while fishing boats are perfect for solo anglers or smaller groups. Party boats are also available for larger groups looking to spend an entire day out on the lake.

Kayaks are available at all four marinas and are a great way to explore Percy Priest Lake up close. Kayaks offer a unique perspective and allow you to get right up close to the shoreline, making them perfect for catching some of the larger fish in the lake. Most kayaks also come with storage space for tackle and any other equipment you may need.

No matter what type of boat you choose to rent for your fishing expedition on Percy Priest Lake, the marinas have everything you need to make your time out on the lake enjoyable and successful.

Popular Fish at Percy Priest Lake
Percy Priest Lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, and more. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are the most sought-after species, and they can be found in both the main lake and backwaters. Catfish can be found in shallow waters near rocky outcroppings, and crappie and bluegill can be found in deeper water and along weed lines. For anglers looking for an even bigger catch, muskie, carp, and hybrid striped bass can also be caught in Percy Priest Lake. Many locals like to fish for white bass and walleye, as well.

Fishing at Percy Priest Lake offers something for everyone, regardless of skill level. Anglers should be sure to check the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Fishing Guide for the most up-to-date regulations regarding size limits, creel limits, and seasonal closures. With its crystal-clear waters and abundant wildlife, Percy Priest Lake is a great place for fishing.

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