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Loving the Lake Life

Find out why so many people are making Old Hickory Lake their home.

Middle Tennessee is home to beautiful Old Hickory Lake which is the oldest man-made body of water in the state. It was formed in the 1950s via a dam as a reservoir of the Cumberland River and continues to be well maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. It spans from Davidson through Wilson and Sumner counties with 440 miles of serene shoreline. 

Old Hickory Lake offers residents a wide variety of activities including fishing, water sports, camping, and hiking making it a popular spot for entertainment year-round. There are several marinas located directly on the lake and each has its own unique restaurant fare and flair with great food and lively music. Locals give rave reviews to Sam’s Sports Grill at Blue Turtle Bay Marina as well as The Rudder at Anchor High Marina. 

No matter how you prefer to move about the lake, there are several boat and yacht clubs to explore. It’s also not uncommon to see kayaks and paddle boards in addition to pontoon boats and jet skis. Old Hickory Lake offers 40+ access sites so there are ample opportunities to explore its 22,500 acres of surface area. 

Realtor, Melissa King, says there was a big push to get out of the city in 2020-2021. Old Hickory Lake’s convenient proximity to the city of Nashville made it an ideal location to enjoy the outdoors while remaining within 25-30 miles of downtown. Some of her clients are looking to purchase a vacation home but a large majority are putting down roots with their lake home as a primary residence. 

There are many types of houses available that come with all the benefits of lake life. You can find iconic homes with a personal boat dock, but there are gated condominium neighborhoods as well. While living on the lake offers convenient activities and entertainment options, many residents find it’s the community aspect they enjoy the most. Boat owners have their favorite coves for hanging out together and some streets plan big block parties with their neighbors. Holiday events also bring homeowners together. The 4th of July fireworks show is always a hit with lots of families gathering for the festivities at various spots around the lake. 

Those who have purchased a home on Old Hickory Lake say it’s helpful to have a realtor who specializes in the niche knowledge of these types of properties. The Kowalske family says that Melissa King’s experience helped their purchase go smoothly and saved them time and research. “She walked us down to the lake and explained how the Army Corp of Engineer’s land works and knew what it would take to build a dock.” 

Jim and Kristine Van Vonderen have wanted a home on the lake for a long time as they love the calming effect of the water. They shared how watching the sunset from their deck or boat has replaced TV and their mornings are just as tranquil. They’ve even spotted a bald eagle while sipping coffee. Tonya Keen also says she sees wildlife in her backyard daily. You can find her out on the pontoon boat most every weekend or roaming around the cove with her kayak or paddle board. One thing is for sure. It seems that the perks of lake life are endless and each day offers something new to enjoy.

“I love the wildlife I see just stepping out my back door every day. I also enjoy roaming around the cove with my kayak or paddle board.” – Tonya Keen

Melissa King, Benchmark Realty: