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Refuges are, first and foremost, for plants, fish, wildlife and their habitats, but refuges also offer wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy, such as hunting, fishing, photography, wildlife observation, environmental education, and interpretation.   

Reelfoot NWR offers multiple activities throughout the spring, summer, and fall, including, but not limited to, the Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo, Jr. Ranger Camp, various workshops, archery programs, guided canoe trips, eagle tours, quota hunts, and more!  


The “Backyard Habitat Trail” is open year round and is found at the Visitor Center.  It is a ¼  mile gravel path which showcases native warm season grasses, which is important habitat for songbirds, rabbits, quail, turkey, and other animals native to the area.   The trail ends at two ponds where Canada geese, eastern bluebirds, river otter, and other wildlife may be seen.  Interpretive signs and benches are located along the trail. Skill level: Easy 

The Grassy Island Hiking Trail is a one mile hike found just a few miles from the Refuge Visitor Center.  This trail winds through the bottomland hardwood forests and is a great place for birders!  A variety of trees and fluctuating water levels offer beautiful views on this hiking trail, which is half gravel, half boardwalk, and open year round.  Numerous interpretive signs and benches are found throughout the trial.  The best time to hike this trail is spring and fall.   

Related Documents

When you arrive at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, you may have a few questions.  What animals will I see?  Where can I go to find birds?  Where is the lake?  Do you have a map?  Can I hunt here?  Here are a few brochures and maps you may find helpful upon arrival!

Other Facilities in the Complex

Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the West Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Complex. There are four other refuges included in the Complex.


Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge4343 Hwy 157Union City,TN38261
Visitor Center
Monday - Saturday (Closed on all Federal Holidays)
8 am -4 pm
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge