• View of Garner Lake from a drone
  • Houses on Garner Lake
  • A quaint house on Garner Lake
  • Fisherman at Sunset

Garner Lake

Lakeland, TN

At 241 acres, Garner Lake, often called Lakeland Lake, is the largest lake in Shelby County. It's 1.1 miles long, has 8.44 miles of shoreline, and has 264 lakefront homes.

The lake is fed by Scott’s Creek entering at the south end as well as runoff from approximately 777 acres. An Artesian well helps maintain the water level during dry months. Depth is over 50 ft along the dam extending a few hundred yards down the middle.

The lake is clear and clean, and surface water temperatures hover in the 80s in the summer, making it ideal for swimming, floating on a raft, or "riding a noodle" with refreshments and friends.

Sailboat on Garner Lake
Two paddleboarders on Lakeland Lake
Great Blue Heron in the top of a tree

 

 

 

Residents share the lake with an assortment of ducks, geese, heron, kingfishers, eagles, otters, migratory ducks and birds, and many other animals.

An abundance of fish inhabit the lake including bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish, and have earned the lake a wide reputation among fishermen. It is fished only moderately as fishing is limited to property owners and guests accompanied by property owners.

Six geese standing on a wall
Bald Eage in a tree on Lakeland Lake
A fisherman holding three large bass

Over 500 boats are home on the lake. Pontoons are ubiquitous but kayaks, run-abouts, fishing boats, paddle boats, and sailboats are also popular. Boats travel at leisurely speeds as there is a 15 hp limit on motors.

In summer boaters often tie up together to swim, share drinks and dishes, and socialize.

Spreadsheet of the types and numbers of boats on Garner Lake
Sailboat on Garner Lake
Five pontoons tied together on the lake
Twelve swimmers in the lake
A sunset on Garner Lake from a patio

 

 

 

Sunsets are a spectacle to celebrate almost every evening.  The sky is often painted in yellow, orange, and reds over a 270° arc, all magnified by water reflections.

Paddleboarder on Garner Lake
A sunset on Garner Lake in Lakeland
by Sean Carrick
A light array from a sunset on Garner Lake
a view of Garner Lake from a drone
Houses on Garner Lake
A spreadsheet of houses in subdivisions on Garner Lake
Houses in East Shores subdivision on Garner Lake in Lakeland TN

 

 

 

Six subdivisions border the lake with a total of 625 homes, 261 of them lakefront.  36 lakefront lots remain along with 39.5 undeveloped acres at the south end.

A quaint house on Garner Lake
A view looking over a house on Garner Lake in Lakeland TN
A fireworks display over Lakeland Lake

 

 

Holidays and weekends are special on the lake.

The Fourth of July celebration features one of the largest fireworks shows in the area, enhanced by water reflections and lake ambiance, as well as an abundance of food, drink and socializing.

Then there are boat parades, BBQ contests, decorating/lighting contests—and many spontaineous parties.

Twenty people lined up to jump into Garner Lake
A Fourth of July display with a flag
People sitting on a patio on Lakeland Lake
A view of Lakeland Amusement Park from the 1960s
A promotional poster showing the plans for Lakeland Lake and Amusement Park
A promotional poster of Lakeland Amusement Park

 

 

The lake—and the city of Lakeland—have a history that often surprises. The lake was created from farmland in 1959 as the central feature of Lakeland Amusement Park which operated from 1961 to 1978; the lake was named after the park's creator/promoter, Louis Garner. 

Garner also spearheaded the incorporation of Lakeland, mostly to enable his plans to build a horsetrack with pari-mutuel betting. The track didn't work out—but the lake and city did.

See more of Lakeland Amusement Park and read about it's history.

 

A picture of Huff'n Puff Railroad, the Skyride, and the Paddlewheeler on Lakeland Lake