Grab a pair of binoculars, lace up your boots, and let’s go birding in Hardeman County! Whether you are looking for colorful migratory birds, songbirds, or waterfowl, we’ve got several hotspots for bird watching in our county.
Chickasaw State Park – Henderson, TN
You’ll find Chickasaw State Park on Highway 100, just west of Henderson, TN. With 1,400 acres of mixed hardwoods, pines, open areas, and two large lakes, there are lots of places to go birding.
Lake Lajoie at Chickasaw State Park is a bird watching hot spot with over 97 bird species reported including summer and scarlet tanagers, American redstarts, several warbler species, rose-breasted grosbeaks, golden-crowned kinglets, and many more.
Lone Oaks Farm – Middleton, TN
Encompassing 1,200 acres of pasture, woods, trails, and lakes, Lone Oaks Farm is a working farm owned and operated by the University of Tennessee. The Farm offers STEM Education programs, lodging, meeting and event space, and includes The Clays at Lone Oaks Farm.
Access to the Farm is restricted. Guests staying overnight at Lone Oaks Farm can walk the 15 miles of trails to bird watch. The diverse habitat on the Farm have led to 102 species being observed including prothonotary warblers, summer and scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, wild turkey, Cooper’s hawks, bald eagles, and so many more songbirds, water birds, and migratory birds.
Gray’s Creek WMA – near Bolivar, TN
This wildlife management area is open for big game and small game hunting during statewide seasons so caution is required for those visiting the area. The 288 acres that make up Gray’s Creek WMA are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Birds such as Sora and Hooded Mergansers have been sighted here.
The Hatchie River is the longest free-flowing tributary of the lower Mississippi River at 238 miles. It flows from the northwest edge the Hardeman County along the outskirts of Bolivar and south below Hornsby.
The canebrakes, sloughs, lakes, and other habitats that make up the river and its shore provide a variety of spots for birding. Birders can find songbirds and waterbirds along the river. Canoeing or kayaking on the river provides an excellent opportunity to bird watch.
Big Hill Pond State Park – Pocahontas, TN
Big Hill Pond State Park in nearby McNairy County covers 4,138 acres of pines and hardwood, floodplains, swamps, and oxbows. The park is bordered by the Tuscumbia River and Cypress Creek. The divers habitats provide visitors the opportunity to view songbirds, waterfowl, water birds, and raptors.
Some of the more popular spots in the park for bird watching including Turkey Call Trail’s boardwalk, Tuscumbia Trail’s Lookout Tower, Fox Hollow Trail, and Rocky Knob Trail. Birds spotted at these locations include Louisiana waterthrush, prothonotary warbler, vultures, hawks, osprey, cormorants, grebes, herons, egrets, pine siskin, wild turkey, wood and hermit thrushes, and occasionally a bald eagle.
Hatchie River National Wildlife Refuge
Located just over the county line in Haywood County, the Hatchie River NWR follows along the scenic Hatchie River, encompassing 11,566 acres. Habitats at the refuge include lakes, bottomland hardwoods, swamps, and floodplains. Visitors can expect to see waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors throughout the refuge at different times of the year. Over 200 species of birds have been recorded at the Refuge and it has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.
For the Love of the Outdoors, For the Love of Tennessee, Stay Safe!
So come find your outdoor fun in Hardeman County this season. And for the love of the outdoors, for the love of Tennessee, stay safe!