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Lake Isom NWR

Abour 3 miles due south of Reelfoot Lake Tiptonville, TN

Site Directions: To access the north end of the refuge, from Tiptonville, take TN Highway 21 east to Greasy Lane (near southermost point of Reelfoot Lake). Turn south on Greasy Lane and follow this road to the refuge.  An observation tower is located near the end of the road.

To access the south end of the refuge, take TN Highway 78 south from Tiptonville for about 7 to 8 miles.  Look for a sign directing you east to the refuge (about a mile north of the town of Ridgely).  Turn east on Madie Road at the sign and follow this road and Madie Thompson Road to the refuge at the end of Lake Isom Road.

Site History: The refuge was created in 1938 and the habitat present resulted from the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.

Lat-Long: 36.2984, -89.4195

Seasonality: year round

Hours: daylight hours

Fees: Free

Landmarks: Sign on TN Highway 78 about 1 mile north of Ridgely.

Site Description: The refuge consists of about 1850 acres of cultivated farmland, bottomland forests, cypress swamp, and open water.

Access is difficult into the heart of the area and is possible only by boat. There is a boat launch at the south end of the area.

Wildlife to Watch: May contain concentrations of ducks, geese, raptors, wading birds, and shorebirds at times.

Bald Eagle and Osprey nests are present. 

NOTE:  Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas. 

US Fish and Wildlife Service