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.



Bucks running and ducks flying.

"Bucks and Ducks" at Duck River Bottoms, photo by Richard Graves


Barron Crawford, Refuge Manger
Troy Littrell, Deputy Refuge Manager
3006 Dinkins Lane
Paris, TN 38242
Fax: (731)644-3351
Email: FW4 RW Tennessee@fws.gov

Last updated: February 13, 2014