As Nashville becomes increasingly urban – and urbane – it’s sometimes fun to step back in time and catch a glimpse of what Nashville was like before our rural areas became suburban neighborhoods and started spilling over the county lines. In Northwest Davidson County, the community of Joelton offers just such a glimpse.
This semi-rural town has just over 8,000 residents, and has managed to escape the development boom in other parts of Metro Nashville. Driving through Joelton is not an entirely pleasant experience – abandoned buildings and ramshackle houses with tarp-covered vehicles dot the landscape. In the high school superlatives of life, Joelton might be Most Likely Place to Hear a Car Horn Playing ‘Dixie.’
But Joelton boasts some of the prettiest areas of Davidson County. One such place is a small managed-fishing area called Marrowbone Lake, located just 2.5 miles from Highway 41-A (aka Clarksville Pike). I never have considered myself a fisherman, but even I would enjoy sitting by Marrowbone Lake for the better part of a day with a line in the water. This is where Sheriff Andy Taylor would take Opie to fish.
This is a fishing lake. Swimming or wading are prohibited, as are motorized boats or alcoholic beverages. A lake fishing permit (required for anyone between age 16-64) is $5 per day; you can rent a boat for $8 per day at the bait shop. The lake features catfish, black bass, bluegill, trout, and crappie – in the wintertime, fishermen report catching mostly trout. If the bait shop is untended, you can just slide your $5 through the slot in the door. Fishing may begin 30 minutes before sunrise, and must end by 30 minutes after sunset.
If you’re really just more in the mood for driving around and exploring, Marrowbone Lake is still a nice spot to include on your itinerary. There’s an interesting little resort-looking area (complete with a pirate ship and chapel) just off to the left of the lake on Lake Rd. Unfortunately, the signs on the property are most unwelcoming of visitors!
There is no snack bar or visitors center at Marrowbone Lake – you can shop for a picnic lunch at Tony’s Foodland grocery store on Clarksville Pike on your way in.