Harpeth River

Harpeth River watershed

About the Harpeth River watershed

Drainage Area

869 square miles

Notable Tributaries

  • Otter Creek
  • Little Harpeth


  • Cheatham County, TN
  • Davidson County, TN
  • Dickson County, TN
  • Hickman County, TN
  • Rutherford County, TN
  • Williamson County. TN

The Harpeth River watershed includes all lands and waters that drain to the Harpeth River. The Harpeth River itself is 125 miles long, originating in headwater streams near the small town of Eagleville.

 En route to the Cumberland, the Harpeth takes on the Little Harpeth, Big Turnbull Creek, and Jones Creek – all streams (along with the Harpeth itself ) listed on the Nationwide Rivers Inventory. The watershed is home to the Natchez Trace Parkway, a linear national park, and it’s where you’ll find Radnor Lake, Montgomery Bell, and Harpeth River state parks.

Harpeth River State Park is a linear state park that follows 40 miles of the Harpeth River, linking natural, historic, and archaeological points of interest along the way. Four state natural areas and two state wildlife management areas are here, as well as a majority of Nashville’s Warner Park system and Bowie Park in Fairview. 

Keep an eye out for river otter within the watershed. They’re making a comeback, and families of as many as 17 have been spotted! If it’s birding you’re into, head to Radnor. Many species of waterfowl have made the park their winter destination of choice and species include wood duck, canvasback, gadwall, bufflehead, American black duck, and more.

Explore the Harpeth River watershed