Site Directions From the junction of Hwy 12 and Hwy 49 in Ashland City

Hudgen's Slough: Travel southwest on Hwy 49 for 2.4 miles and turn right at the Bluff Creek Launching Ramp site.

Lat-Long: 36.1832, -87.1042

Dyson Ditch:
 Go north on Hwy 12 for 1.1 miles. Turn left onto Chapmansboro Road at the Sycamore Creek Recreation Area sign.

Go straight and continue over the bridge and stay right on Chapmansboro Road for 4.6 miles and turn into the parking area at the Cheatham Reservoir WMA sign.

Dyson Ditch and Pardue Pond are closed to all forms of trespass from early November through the last of February.

Dyson's Ditch Refuge: Lat-Long: 36.1845, -87.0930

Cheatham Dam: Take Hwy 12 north 7.4 miles and turn left on Cheatham Dam Road. From here, travel 4.5 miles to the lock and dam. 

Cheatham Lake - Lat-Long: 36.1912, -87.1321

The Bicentennial Trail (3.7-mile-long trail, mostly paved) runs along the edge of the WMA and is accessible via several access points in the WMA.

Hours: daylight, some access points are 6 am to 10 pm

Seasonality: year-round, however, some sites are closed to the public from 15 November through the last day of February, while other areas should just be avoided during hunting seasons.

Fees: none



Big Game, Small Game, and Trapping Same as statewide seasons on Sycamore Creek upstream from a railroad trestle, Harpeth River upstream from Highway 49, and Johnson Creek upstream from Johnson Creek Bridge.

Hunting on the remainder of Cheatham Lake WMA same as the statewide season, except during the duck season occurring in Nov. - Feb. when hunting is open only on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and the first and the last day of each segment of the late statewide duck season.

Hunting on Harpeth Island, Marks Creek, and Bluff Creek wade-in areas is not restricted to registered or staked temporary sites.

Night hunting, trapping, and fishing are prohibited in waterfowl impoundments during the waterfowl season.

The sub-impoundment units as posted are closed to all types of activity five days before the opening of the first segment of the duck season occurring from Nov. - Feb.

Waterfowl hunting is permitted only from registered blind sites and from staked temporary blind sites during the duck season occurring from Nov. - Feb.

Waterfowl (wheelchair-bound only blind site) - Applications must be received by the TWRA Region II Office by noon on Oct. 28. Persons
holding a permit for another blind are not eligible.    Cheatham Wheelchair Blind Application must be received at the Region II office, (615) 781-6622.

Dove - Same as statewide. Hunting is permitted from designated fields only.

Coyote - Centerfire can be used outside of any big game hunt and may be used during the deer gun season. Daylight hours only.

Dog training - Sept. 1 - March 15, except closed during duck seasons.


Closed to all forms of use and trespass from Nov. 15 - the last day of February. Designated observation areas will be open year round. Access by boat only.

Big Game and Small Game - Same as statewide seasons, except as noted. Archery equipment only for deer hunting. All seasons closed during refuge closure dates unless otherwise indicated. Archers must comply with legal blaze orange requirements during muzzleloader and gun seasons.

Quail - Nov. 5 - Jan. 15.

Turkey - One hunt: Oct. 3-14. Hunter quota 50. Two bearded birds.

Site Description:  Approximately 5,200 acres primarily managed for wintering waterfowl.  Many sportsmen harvest deer and turkey as well.  Prescribed fire is used annually throughout WMA.

Cheatham Lake is a large body of open water, with various sloughs and marshes connecting to the main water body. Pine and hardwood forests are on higher ground and accessible via roads.

Cheatham WMA consists of primarily upland hardwood forests with some pine stands present. There are also open fields, scrub-shrub, and food plots where wildlife may congregate.

In addition to the sites listed above, there are other units of Cheatham Lake WMA.  Camping, picnicking, restrooms, and boat launching are available at Cheatham Lock and Dam.

Wildlife to Watch: Cheatham Lake supports abundant waterfowl in winter, including Northern PintailMallardAmerican Black DuckGadwall, among others.

In wet fields in winter, you can find Horned Larks, Swamp Sparrows, and American Pipits. Pine stands to support Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and rarely Long-eared Owls in winter.

Cliff Swallows nest on Cheatham Dam in summer.  Bald Eagles have nested in the area for many years and are seen year-round at Cheatham Lake.

Contact Information

Region 2 Office: 615-781-6622
Toll-Free: 1-800-624-7406
E-mail the office
Area Manager: Eric Tummins (615) 294-5432

Interactive Map
Hunting Regulations Link
Driving Directions
Buy a license link

Cheatham Lake blind CL14

Cheatham Lake blind CL15

Cheatham Lake blind CL16

Cheatham Lake blind CL17