Known for its fantastic recreational activities, well-equipped campgrounds, and impressive day-use areas, J Percy Priest Lake is guaranteed to be a superb RV holiday destination. Located only 11.5 miles from the city center of Nashville, J Percy Priest Lake is a must-visit for those who love the great outdoors. The history of the lake dates back to the 1960s when the U.S. Corps of Engineers built the lake on the Stones River for flood control and power generating purposes. The lake is named after Congressman Percy Priest, who served Tennesse in the House of Representatives for 15 years.
J Percy Priest Lake has a surface area of 14,200 acres, so there is plenty of room for you to explore on the water, with swimming, fishing, and boating all being very popular activities. Off the lake, there are 19,462 acres of land within 15 different areas (such as public parks, state parks, and recreational areas). Activities in these areas include picnicking, hiking, hunting, archery, and biking. There is also a very informative visitor center on the west side of the lake that should be a must-visit for any travelers visiting the lake.
Another great feature of J Percy Priest Lake is that there are three RV friendly campgrounds for you to choose from. These campgrounds (Anderson Road, Poole Knobs, and Seven Points) have many modern amenities that will make your visit very pleasant. If you fancy some primitive tent camping, there are also numerous places for you to do so, including on the lake islands. Peak season at J Percy Priest Lake runs from the beginning of April until the end of October.
Getting to and from J Percy Priest Lake is very straightforward thanks to its handy location right near the city of Nashville. Since the lake is so large, there are many ways to reach it, and depending on where on the lake you would like to visit, there could be multiple ways for you to gain access. There are no roads that go entirely around the lake; however, the Hobson Pike will take you directly across it.
If you need to get any supplies before your adventure, there are many places to stop in, including Hermitage, La Vergne, and Smyrna. For any major supplies or amenities, you can also head to Nashville, which is only 12 miles away.
The roads in and around J Percy Priest Lake are kept in very good condition by the county, and you should have no problem navigating your RV along them. Any RVs over 40 feet in length will have trouble driving in the Seven Points Campground, and the Anderson Road Campground is known for having tight roads that are more suited for smaller travel trailers.
There are plenty of parking lots available for day trippers to the lake to use. Most of these are found near the recreational areas.
If you want to visit the lake via public transport you can do so from the city center of Nashville thanks to the multiple bus routes that are available.
Poole Knobs is the largest of the three RV friendly campgrounds that visitors can call home during their time at J Percy Priest Lake. This heavily treed campground has many sites available on the lake and plenty of space between each site.
In total, there are 88 campsites to choose from, with most having both electric and water hookups for your convenience. The campground has a boat launch for you to use, as well as a great swimming area. Other amenities within the campground include restrooms, showers, water collection points, picnic tables, laundry facilities, and a dump station. You should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks, and pets are also allowed to stay.
Reservations are recommended at Poole Knobs Campground and can be made online or by calling the park. Check-in time is a strict 3:00 PM, and the campground is open from the beginning of May until the end of September.
Seven Points Campground is the middle-sized campground at J Percy Priest Lake that is available for RV use. Located on the north side of the lake, Seven Points Campground has huge sites, but some tight turns will be difficult for RVs over 35 feet long. Each site is well spaced out, and some will have direct lake access.
There are 60 campsites at the Seven Points Campground, all of which have electric and water hookups that you can use. The campground also offers a sandy beach for swimming and a boat launch. Other amenities within the campground include showers, restrooms, water collection points, trash collection, picnic tables, laundry facilities, and a dump station. Cell phone reception should be available on all of the major networks, and pets are also allowed to stay with you at this campground.
Reservations are available online or by calling the park, and they are recommended. Check-in time is at 3:00 PM, and Seven Points Campground is open from the beginning of May until the end of September.
The Anderson Road Campground is the smallest of the three RV friendly campgrounds at J Percy Priest Lake and is suitable for travelers looking for a bit more peace and quiet. This campground is more suited to smaller rigs due to the roads being narrow and trees overhanging that could damage larger RVs.
There are 10 RV friendly campsites at Anderson Road, all of which have the option for 50, 30, or 20 amp electrical hookups. Since this campground is smaller, there are fewer amenities available. However, you will still have the creature comforts of showers, restrooms, water collection points, laundry facilities, and a dump station. You should be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks, and pets are also allowed to stay like at the other two campgrounds.
Since the campground is so small, reservations are recommended so that you can guarantee your site. Reservations can be made online or by calling the park. The 3:00 PM check-in time also applies here, and the campground is available to be used from mid-May until the end of September.
J Percy Priest Lake is one of the most popular places to swim near Nashville due to the stunningly clear and warm water. The lake is open for swimming in most areas, but it's best to stick to one of the three designated swimming areas that the U.S Corps of Engineers operate. These roped off areas are suitable for swimmers of all ages, but lifeguards do not patrol them.
If you have children, try going to either the Anderson Road and Cook beach areas as they have playgrounds.
The 14,200 acres that make up J Percy Priest Lake are absolutely fantastic for boating. The lake has no restrictions on what boats can and cannot use its waters, so expect to see motorboats, sailing boats, canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats.
For visitors who are not traveling with their own personal watercraft, there are many places that you can rent them along the lake shoreline, including from the marinas. If you do take a boat out onto the lake, a personal floatation device must be worn.
Looking to relax on the shores of J Percy Priest Lake with some friends or family? If so, you will be very happy to know that 11 picnic areas are operated and maintained by the U.S Corps of Engineers. The areas are equipped with various amenities depending on the area, but they usually include picnic tables, drinking water, power, and grills.
Seven of the shelters can also be reserved up to a year in advance, which is an excellent idea for visitors planning on having a large get together.
A good place to stop in after your arrival at J Percy Priest Lake is the visitor's center. The center is located on Bell Road, where the dam was initially created, and features friendly staff who can answer any questions you have before you get out and enjoy your time at the lake. The visitor's center is also located right near one of the four marinas on the lake, and it is open Monday through Friday all year round.
No matter what time of year that you visit J Percy Priest Lake, there will be some great fishing waiting for you to enjoy. Anglers of all ages are attracted to the lake due to its vast area that features many different fishing spots accessible via boats or from the shoreline. Some of the common species caught at J Percy Priest Lake include numerous species of bass, crappie, sunfish, trout, and bluegill. If you need any supplies, you can pick them up from one of the marinas on the lake. Remember to get yourself a fishing license before casting out a line.
Hiking lovers will have so many chances to get out and explore the lands around J Percy Priest Lake, so remember to pack your hiking boots! The U.S. Corps of Engineers has three trails that it maintains, but there are more available within Long Hunter State Park, Hamilton Creek Recreation Area, and at the Stones River Greenway. Mountain bikers can use some of the trails too, but be sure to check all signage so you correctly follow the guidelines.