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About Center Hill Lake
Located in Middle Tennessee just a little over an hour east of Nashville, Center Hill Lake is quickly becoming a popular vacation destination for locals. The lake, actually a reservoir, boasts nine different marinas to accommodate boats, and it features a state park on its shoreline as well as and multiple recreation areas dotting its surroundings. Water activities like fishing and boating combined with parks, events and festivals are helping to make this lake appealing to more than just locals. Check it out for yourself and see what Center Hill Lake has in store for you.
Things to do in Center Hill Lake
The most notable park in the Center Hill Lake area is Edgar Evins State Park. It’s located on the Eastern Highland Rim right along the lake and spans some 6,000 acres, providing access to both hiking and biking trails and to the shores of Center Hill Lake. Hike the Merritt Ridge Trail, a 5.5-mile loop, or the Millennium Trail, a 2.5-mile loop, and you may catch a glimpse of bald eagles, hawks, or the rare Cerulean Warbler. Check out the different trees in the park, including Buckeye, Wild Cherry, and Tulip Poplar. Head to the observation tower at the Visitor Center for a stunning view of the lake and the natural beauty surrounding it. In the park, there’s even a marina featuring a restaurant and gift shop. If you’re a fan of festivals and events, Center Hill Lake is you go-to place in the summer and fall. The Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree and Crafts Festival takes place every July and features more than 35 music and dance performances, streets chock full of hand-made crafts for sale, and a dozen food booths. Enjoy live bluegrass music while you stroll through the warm summer night. Every year in October, the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour. This unique event celebrates the dozens of local artists who call Middle Tennessee home and takes attendees on a tour of their studios to meet the artists and explore their work. Check out these and many other festivals and events happening year-round in the Center Hill Lake area. Fishing in the Center Hill Lake area is a popular activity. The lake has an abundance of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, and walleye, as well we brown and rainbow trout, three types of crappie, and spotted bass. Fishing enthusiasts love the Caney Fork, which flows into Center Hill Lake at the northern point. This fork has cooler waters, release by nearby Center Hill Dam, which make it one of the most productive trout fisheries in the state.
Day Trips from Center Hill Lake
Rock Island State Park is just a 40-minute drive south of Center Hill Lake, and is a great place to spend the day exploring nature. The park is known for whitewater kayaking and canoeing, especially in the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam, and attracts some incredible professional kayakers from across the globe. Check out the Great Falls Dam, a 30-foot horseshoe waterfall and it’s definitely worth a visit. Hike along one of the nine trails in this state park and spot Great Blue Herons, wildflowers, and songbirds. Rock hop in the Caney Fork Gorge area or picnic in the Blue Hole picnic area. Spend the day in this park and experience the great outdoors!
Center Hill Lake Accommodations
From modest, one-bedroom homes on the shores of the lake to 4-bedroom houses that will accommodate everyone in your party, Tripping.com is the place to go for your vacation rental. Stay toward the northern part of the lake to be near Edgar Evins State Park and Caney Fork, or on the western side of the lake to be close to the festivals and events in Smithville.
Transportation in Center Hill Lake
If you’re coming from out of state, fly into Nashville International Airport. From there, it’s best to rent a car and make the one-hour drive to your accommodations. While on vacation, a rental car will come in handy, as it is the most efficient way of traveling around Center Hill Lake and to nearby towns.