U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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National Wildlife Refuge

1371 Wildlife Drive
Springville, TN   38256
E-mail: fw4_rw_tennessee@fws.gov
Phone Number: 731-642-2091
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
A pintail takes flight at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo:Clayton Ferrell
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Environmental education is a high priority for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Teachers, homeschoolers, area organizations, and groups are encouraged to use the refuge to teach young people about wildlife and habitat.

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About half of the refuge is water, primarily Kentucky Lake. Most of the refuge's waters in Kentucky Lake are open to fishing year-round. During waterfowl season some areas are closed to provide sanctuary for waterfowl and eagles. For seasonal closure dates, and other specific information, please contact the Refuge Headquarters.

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Hunting is permitted for white-tailed deer, squirrel, raccoon and wild turkey. An "Annual Refuge Hunting Permit" is required for all hunting on the refuge. Along with regular hunting seasons, quota hunts are available for white-tailed deer and are held by means of a drawing/permit system. Please contact the refuge headquarters for specific information.

At our observation decks and information kiosks located at the main entrance to each unit, interpretive signs explain the mission of the refuge to our visitors. Annual special events such as our celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week in October and special birding tours in the winter provide a chance for the public to view unique aspects of this refuge. To find out more about our special events contact the Refuge Headquarters Office in Paris, at 731-642-2091.

Wildlife Observation
A photo/observation deck is located near the entrance to the Duck River "Bottoms" area. A variety of wildlife can be observed in this area, including waterfowl in the fall and winter, shorebirds and wading birds in spring and fall, and other wildlife throughout the year. An observation deck equipped with mounted spotting scopes is available for viewing a variety of wildlife at the V.L. Childs Overlook located at the Big Sandy Unit off Swamp Creek Road. In many areas, you will find that your vehicle can be the best "blind." Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars, cameras, and field guides to fully enjoy Tennessee's wildlife.

A 2.5 mile hiking trail is located at our Big Sandy Unit near the V.L. Childs Overlook at the end of Britton Ford peninsula. This trail traverses a mix of bottomland hardwoods, high quality oak/hickory forest and overlooks scenic Kentucky Lake. An outdoor classroom is available at the trail entrance for classroom and group use.

Refuge headquarters and subheadquarters - open 7:00 to 3:30 pm Monday-Friday. Outdoor facilities, and most boat ramps are open daily, dawn to dusk from Mar. 16 - Sept. 30. Certain areas of the refuge are closed from Nov. 1 - Mar. 15 to lessen disturbance to waterfowl

- Refuge Profile Page -