Reelfoot State Park TN in Tiptonville, Tennessee has been on my park visit wish list for some time. It is in the extreme western part of Tennessee by the mighty Mississippi River. Hundreds of eagles are reported to Winter here and seeing the biodiversity it is obvious why they this
Tennessee State Parks says “the 15,000 acre lake was created by a series of violent earthquakes in 1811-1812 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a short period of time, creating Reelfoot Lake.
The lake harbors almost every kind of shore and wading bird as well as golden and American bald eagles”. So now you know why this was on my list of stops. I will be back during the winter to see who stops here to rest and refuel since this is on the Mississippi Flyway (the 325 species bird superhighway for annual migrations). The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Bird Science) has the BirdCast website that shows ” When, where, and how far…” for migration in real time. For my fellow Bird Nerds this flyer tells the Birding locations in the area.
Our stops included the Reelfoot NWR (National Wildlife Refuge) to see the new visitors center which was closed on a Friday at 11am? Other than finding a few refuge roads closed it was phenomenal for wildlife with turtles, a water moccasin in the road, and a
baby raccoon who peeped around a tree. The Cypress, dragonflies, and Lilly pads were so beautiful. If you venture to a NWR make sure you are prepared for dusty potholed roads, no amenities, wildness and never never go with out a refuge MAP! Their roads are rarely on Google Maps and most are open at sunrise and close at sunset (the staff drives through to escort you out before locking the gates). But the ecosystems are the best!
Edgar Evans State Park get ready to park your camper or RV on a deck off the mountain over the lake! Yep that is a campsite. This middle Tennessee State Park is a must see between Murfreesboro and Cookeville. This was the last stop on the way home. The shore line is rocky cliffs down to the water, I would say cool water but it wasn’t cool. Not the warm first 8 inches I dipped my feet in – maybe 80 degrees – uck.
The thunderstorms rolled through this mountainous places the days we were there. But it had all the southern things I had been missing; lightening bugs, insect song so loud you can’t heard your camper neighbors, and our rich green plants. This also served as acclimation to our super awesome humidity of 60+ at all times.
Enjoy the TN album https://photos.app.goo.gl/pnNLneGgyExP5suv9
Where to next? I only have 12-ish states to explore so maybe to up North to the Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota & Minnesota)? Or those few to the west I missed (more of Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Colorado) or stay south only in winter to Louisiana & Mississippi?
If you missed the 2018 NE album – enjoy https://photos.app.goo.gl/WqR5ocsbyymzSzXy6