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White Lake Refuge
12 miles NW of Dyersville, TN east of highway 181
Dyer County, TN
Site Directions: From Dyersburg, take I-155 west to the intersection of highway 181 (about 12 miles). Exit on 181 and go north about 2 miles to milepost 17 (181 is the Great River Road). Look for a sign directing you east from highway 181 down a gravel road that leads into the refuge.
Lat: 36.1142°N Long: -89.5707°W
Hours: Daylight hours. Not open in winter because this is a refuge for waterfowl.
Seasonality: Year round access is available via the Observation Trail. Refuge roads open all year except 15 November through last day of February.
Landmarks: Milepost 17 on Tennessee Hwy 181.

Site Description:
The area contains 938 acres of farmland, shrub swamp, cypress swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, open water, moist soil management areas, and impoundments. Part of the area is under a water level management program. In summer, much of the area is dry and farmed for winter waterfowl use. Upon entering the WMA, there is a small parking lot on the right about 100m from the Great River Rd. This parking lot is a trailhead for a 1/2 mile trail to a boardwalk through cypress bottoms and some mudflats, depending on water levels.

Wildlife to Watch:
When access is available and water levels allow driving, many species of waterfowl are common to abundant with up to 40,000 waterfowl present. Shorebirds can be abundant in spring and late summer when water levels are appropriate. Black Terns have been recorded as well. Bald eagles can also be seen here year round. Grassy fields and early successional habitats provide for sparrows and other grassland species. Fall migration may yield American Redstart, Eastern Kingbird, various flycatchers, and Northern Parula.

Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.

For more information:

Birds of White Lake Refuge from checklist submitted by Glen Criswell

Mammals of White Lake Refuge from Glen Criswell

Submit your data to
eBird and help us add to the list of birds seen at this site

Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.