Reelfoot Lake State Park (and viewing areas along the lake)
10 locations around Reelfoot Lake
Site Directions: Reelfoot Lake is located about 10 miles SW of Hickman, KY, 30 miles north of Dyersburg, TN and 20 miles west of Union City, TN between TN Highways 78 and 22 and to the west of TN Highway 78 in Lake and Obion counties. The park is broken into 10 segments around the Reelfoot Lake shoreline. The Airpark Inn is located on TN Highway 78, ten miles north of Tiptonville. The visitor and interpretive center is located on TN Highway 21 on the SW shoreline of Reelfoot Lake.
Lat-Long: 36.3644, -89.4314 (Spillway boat ramp)
Hours: Open 7 days a week
Seasonality All year.
Site Description: The park is a mix of developed parkland interspersed with cypress and bottomland hardwood forests around Reelfoot Lake. More remote parts of the park are accessible using hiking trails near the Airpark Lodge and at Black Bayou.
Wildlife to Watch: The Reelfoot area has been designated by the U.S. Department of Interior as a National Natural Landmark. At least 14 rare bird species may be seen including Bald and Golden Eagle, Swainson's Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, and Mississippi Kite. Over 200 species of birds may be seen during the course of a year. Up to 200 Bald Eagles winter at Reelfoot along with thousands of Mallards and other waterfowl.
Site History: Reelfoot Lake was created by the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. The area now occupied by Reelfoot Lake sank during the earthquake and the depression filled with water creating the lake.
Here is a list of some of the better viewing areas along the south shore of Reelfoot Lake.
Keystone Pocket viewing area (36.384177,-89.447036)
At the end of McCutchon Rd (see Google Maps), there is a large parking area with a boardwalk that reaches out into the lake. This is one of the best viewing locations on the lake.
Reelfoot Lake SP headquarters (36.36338,-89.432933)
The visitors center has a variety of live animals on display, including snakes, Bald Eagles, Barred Owls, and an Osprey. There is a boardwalk over the swamp and out over the edge of the lake. The short walk through the woods may yield a variety of woodland birds, incl. Brown Creepers, Swamp and Song Sparrows, blackbirds. The lake views are excellent.
Reelfoot Lake, east of spillway (36.354286,-89.3966)
This state park access area has some views of a different section of the lake.
Kirby Pocket day use area (36.395344,-89.337945)
This is boat ramp access has excellent habitat for woodcock along the entrance road. The mature woods around the parking area can be good birding.
For more information:
Birds of Reelfoot Lake State Park from eBird submissions
Reelfoot Lake State Park Map
State Park web page
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.