Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge

Containing over 51,000 acres of water, forests, farmland and grasslands, this refuge is located on and around Kentucky Lake in Northwest Tennessee. The refuge’s three units, Big Sandy, Duck River, and Busseltown, stretch for 65 miles along the Tennessee River. Established in 1945, the refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge provides a major wintering area for migrating waterfowl. Currently the refuge habitats include agricultural crops; natural plants that grown in moist soil conditions, vegetated wetlands, and forest lands. The resulting combination of agricultural grains, natural foods and protected areas sustains waterfowl through the winter months.

The refuge also provides habitat for resident wildlife species and other migratory birds. The refuge’s diversity of habitats also supports breeding, wintering and migration habitat for 301 bird species and habitat for 51 mammals, 89 reptiles and amphibians and 144 species of fish. White-tailed deer can be found throughout the area, along with smaller animals such as raccoons, foxes, squirrels, beaver, rabbits and wild turkey.

In addition to being a home to wildlife, the refuge offers many recreational opportunities such as: hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography. The refuge offers three hiking trails, four wildlife observation decks, multiple boat ramps and fishing decks. The refuge also provides the perfect outdoor classroom for environmental education and interpretation activities. Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge is open during daylight hours.


January 10, 2015: Waterfowl/Bald Eagle Tour at Duck River Bottoms

Join us for a special Saturday afternoon at the refuge as we allow visitors to go back into the heart of closed areas for one afternoon only! A great event for the whole family.

Special features:

  • View waterfowl and bald eagles
  • Sip hot apple cider
  • Learn how to identify waterfowl
  • Free wildlife posters and more!

Click here to download our flyer with a map, directions, and more information.


For Hunters and Anglers

To review our hunting regulations and apply for a permit, please visit our Hunting and Fishing page here.


Barron Crawford, Refuge Manger
Troy Littrell, Deputy Refuge Manager
1371 Wildlife Drive
Springville, TN 38256
(731) 642-2091
Fax: (731) 644-3351
Email: FW4 RW Tennessee@fws.gov

Last updated: December 17, 2014