Harris Ridge Trail Project
The long-awaited trail on Harris Ridge is currently under construction.
As a result of the forethought and generosity of the Harris family, and with the help of community donors and the State of Tennessee, Friends of Radnor Lake purchased the third and last parcel available of the adjacent Harris family holdings in 2018. This six-year, $4 million initiative to acquire 89 acres guaranteed the preservation of this unique property along Radnor’s southeastern border. Since closing on this property, Friends of Radnor Lake and Radnor Lake State Park and State Natural Area have worked with numerous partners to plan, prepare, and begin the development of the Harris Ridge Trail.
We are very excited about the Harris Ridge Trail and are working with Radnor Lake State Natural Area to support the construction of a 3+ mile strenuous trail, built to National Trail Standards, which will begin at Otter Creek Road near the east end of the Lake Trail and will meander the Harris Ridge to Franklin Road. In order to build the Harris Ridge Trail to National Trail Standards, while preserving the numerous historic and vegetative elements of this land, this trail will be in progress through 2023 and into 2024.
Henderson State University geography students, led by Dr. Doug Heffington, HSU Geography Program Director, participated in week-long geography field course studies on the Harris properties annually since the acquisition in 2018. Under the direction of Dr. Heffington, students worked diligently, assisting park management by clearing invasive-exotic plants, which uncovered previously undocumented historic features on this land.
The State of Tennessee has provided critical support to this project for many years. Michael Meister, Tennessee State Parks Trails & Vista Administrator, has spent numerous days working with park staff to design and cut trail on Harris Ridge. Since 2020, Junior Rangers Interns worked to prepare sections of the new trail.
Due to the incline of the ridge, building this trail will take many man-hours of labor. Volunteer projects in 2023 and 2024 will include work on Harris Ridge Trail. Park staff will continue to dedicate their time and expertise to this project and will resume scheduled hikes for small groups on this property in fall 2023.