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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » East Tennessee
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Catoosa WMA

Site Directions: From I-40, take exit 320, Genesis Road, and travel north 8 miles to entrance to Catoosa WMA.
For specific locations and access points:
Wartburg entrance: Take Catoosa Road from Wartburg to Old Catoosa Campground, eight miles. Once inside the WMA, there are several campgrounds, wildlife and scenic opportunities. If you would like more information, you should go to the check-in station via the following directions. Turn left at Catoosa Campground. Go five miles to Bi-color Station.

Peavine Rd entrance -
From I-40, exit 322, Peavine Rd, travel north on Peavine Rd for 1.8 miles and make a left onto Firetower Rd. Once on Firetower Rd, travel 2.8 miles to the end of pavement and continue 0.6 miles more to a gate (Google maps show the road as Otter Creek Rd). This is the entrance to Catoosa WMA. Follow the road 3.1 miles to the savanna restoration site. Travel 8.2 miles past the gate to the Devil's Breakfast Table area (or 14.7 miles from turning onto Firetower Rd).

Devil's Breakfast Table area - follow Peavine Rd entrance directions. Devil's Breakfast Table parking area is on the right just across the bridge. There is a trailhead about 40 yards down the road.
Devil's Breakfast Table, Lat-Long: 36.058796,-84.792257
SW access road Lat-Long 36.03199, -84.927887
Genesis Rd Checking Station access - Lat-Long 36.07356, -84.96071
Potters Ford Rd - Lat-Long: 36.08204, -84.94926
Bicolor Rd Checking Station access - Lat-Long: 35.9938, -84.6776

Oak savannah restoration locations and directions: from Genesis Rd (Hwy 298), go east on Potter's Ford until the road comes to a T (Otter Creek Rd). Make a left and go about a mile until you reach the open savanna habitat. There is approximately 3000 acres of open savanna in the area. Several side roads provide access to other areas of open woodlands.

Potter's Ford hiking trail - there is a nice trail 3.1 miles down Potter's Ford Rd from the entrance off Genesis Rd. There is a small pull off for parking.

Hours: day light hours
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: The rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau are managed in this area for all types of wildlife. Across Catoosa WMA, visitors can find mature hardwood forest, young hardwood forest, dense vegetation along crystal clear streams, and open oak savanna. The oak savanna area is actively managed to maintain open woodlands and native grass systems that historically occurred in the region before fire was removed from the system and forests dominated the area. Other areas appear in transition due to pine bark beetle infestations and extensive loss of pine trees.

Auto viewing is a good way to see wildlife at Catoosa WMA. Hiking opportunities are plentiful with over 110 miles of gravel road and 150 miles of logging roads. Some short hiking trails are present. Ticks are abundant nearly year round, so be warned!

The Obed Wild and Scenic River runs through Catoosa and can be explored from road crossings, however there are no trails along most river access points.

The Devil's Breakfast Table is one spot to see. It is a wonderful stopping point with a great view of Daddy's Creek (home to the Tangerine Darter) as well as nice wildflower opportunities. Additionally, the area of the Catoosa WMA located west of the Devil's Breakfast Table is home to a substantial Oak Savanna Restoration project. As this project progresses, there will be unique opportunities to see birds, wildflowers and butterflies in this area.

The Wartburg entrance leads to a scenic drive that is very different from the oak savanna restoration areas. There are opportunities to get out and take in the quiet woods and birdsong, or view the rivers and streams in the area. While not in possession of especially large trees, the forest understory is outstanding, hosting high densities of bigleaf magnolia, eastern redbud, slippery elm, devil's walkingstick (Aralia spinosa), sourwood, and evergreen rhododendron. The forest canopy is dense, creating a dim, mysterious air throughout the far eastern portion of the site.


Wildlife to Watch: The oak savanna area provides habitat for uncommon birds on the Cumberland Plateau, including Red-headed Woodpecker (very high densities), Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, White-eyed Vireo, and Common Yellowthroat. Thick streamside may yield a Swainson's Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, or a river otter. Wild Turkey, White-tailed Deer, and Ruffed Grouse are present.

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


For more information:

Catoosa WMA map

Directions to additional access points

Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail


Submit your data to eBird and help us build a 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.