Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was established to manage the upper third of Reelfoot Lake as a refuge for migratory birds. Reelfoot is a wintering ground for migratory waterfowl and bald eagles.

Visit Us

Reelfoot NWR is well-known for nature photography and birding. However, there are several ways to enjoy the refuge. You can explore the exhibit area at the visitor center, where you will be greeted with a smile and given information by resident volunteers. You may drive the 3.5-mile auto tour route, hike in the bottomland hardwood forest, and enjoy beautiful views from several viewing towers. If you have a kayak/canoe, you can glide across the still waters of Reelfoot on our established canoe trails.     

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is located on the northern portion of Reelfoot Lake, which lies within the northwest corner of Tennessee and southwest corner of Kentucky. The Refuge was established in 1941 under the terms of a lease and cooperative agreement with the State of Tennessee. Additional land purchases extended the Refuge into Kentucky to its present 10,428 acres. 

      What We Do

      The Refuge and surrounding lake provide major wintering, migrating, and production areas for waterfowl in the southeast. The refuge practices several different types of management techniques to provide optimum habitat for wintering waterfowl. Reelfoot Lake has also long been known for its large wintering population of bald eagles providing excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition, the refuge offers interpretive, educational, and wildlife recreation opportunities for the visiting public

      Our Species

      Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was specifically authorized for use as an inviolate sanctuary for migratory birds, and the refuge does just that by providing important habitat to over 283 species of birds including the endangered Least Tern. The refuge is also home to variety of mammals, from the large white-tailed deer to the busy squirrel. Many reptiles and amphibians can be seen, including the eastern box turtle which is Tennessee's state reptile. White crappie are one of the fish that is highly sought after while fishing at Reelfoot Lake.

      Our Library

      Our virtual library is a collection of refuge documents, brochures, and quota hunt applications. A one-stop-shop for all your reading needs!