Reelfoot Lake State Park Offering Deep Swamp Canoe Floats
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 08:02am
Guided Spring Tours Offer an Up-Close View of Diverse Ecosystem
NASHVILLE – Spring is in the air and there’s no better way to celebrate nature’s resurgence than a deep swamp canoe float at Reelfoot Lake State Park. Every weekend through April 30, the park’s experienced naturalist staff will be guiding half-day canoe floats through seldom-explored areas of Reelfoot Lake.
Canoeists will observe the old-growth cypress forest unique to the area, a heron rookery and an American Bald Eagle’s nest during a leisurely paddle through the swamp. Along the way, an expert naturalist will be on hand to discuss the history and wonders of this natural phenomenon – discussing the variety of aquatic life, birds and other creatures that make Reelfoot Lake their home.
“From large fish to ducks taking flight to the occasional snake appearance, there is a little excitement around every bend,” said West Tennessee Regional Naturalist David Haggard. “A variety of bird life such as songbirds, ducks, herons, owls and eagles usually show up to check out the paddlers. It is truly one of the more unique outdoor adventures offered in West Tennessee.”
The canoe trips depart from Reelfoot Lake State Park's Visitor Center at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays throughout March and April and last about three hours. There is a cost of $20 per boat if a park canoe is used and private canoes are no charge. Participants should pack snacks, drinks, a change of clothes, camera and binoculars in a waterproof, floatable container. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the Reelfoot Lake State Park's Visitor Center at (731) 253-9652.
Designated a national natural landmark, Reelfoot Lake was created by a series of violent New Madrid fault zone earthquakes in northwest Tennessee during the winter of 1811-1812. Reelfoot Lake State Park offers outstanding recreational activities, such as wildlife viewing, fishing, boating, hunting and hiking. The park is located in Lake and Obion counties near Tiptonville. The park’s 280 acres are divided into 10 segments along 22 miles of the Reelfoot Lake shoreline. The park’s visitor and interpretive centers, auditorium and picnic and camping areas are located along State Highways 21 and 22.
For more information about Reelfoot Lake State Park, including lodging and activities, please call the park’s visitor center or visit www.tnstateparks.com/reelfootlake.