Kyker Bottoms Refuge

Site Directions: From Knoxville or points west via I-40: Take I-140 south to US 129. Then take US 129 south past the Knoxville Airport. A few miles past the Knoxville Airport, US 129 merges with US 411.

Continue south on US 129/411 to a stoplight where the highways split. Turn left, staying on US 129 South for about 7.5 miles to the intersection with Garland Road on the right. Turn right (east) onto Garland Road. The refuge property starts on the right in about 0.8 miles.

From the east on I-40, exit at US 129-Alcoa Highway and stay on US 129 towards the Knoxville Airport. Follow directions as above.

From the south on I-75: Take exit #60 (Madisonville, TN 68). Go right at the end of the ramp, onto TN 68. Follow it to US 411 and go north on US 411.

After crossing over Tellico Lake (which is worth a brief stop in winter for gulls and waterfowl) take a right on TN 72. At the fork in the road, go right onto Kyker Road to check the 2 gravel parking lots (described below) or go left onto Big Gully Road and turn into the paved parking lot (described below) after 0.3 miles. 

Lat: 35.600720°N Long: -84.114217°W

Hours: daylight hours 

Seasonality: year-round, however, the area is closed to all entry from 15 November through the last day of February.  

Fees: none

Blount County, 525 acres

Closed to all forms of use and trespass from Nov. 15 - the last day of Feb. except in designated observation areas.

Nontoxic shot approved by the US Fish and Wildlife Service required for small game hunting as posted.

Big game and small game are the same as statewide seasons, except as noted.

All small game hunting is Youth/Adult only.  Youths must be accompanied by a licensed adult, age 21 years or older, who may also hunt.

Blaze orange is required by small game hunters during big game muzzleloader and gun hunts (excluding spring turkey).

Deer hunting is open during archery and youth only.

Wild hogs may be taken on any deer and turkey hunt with hunting devices legal for those hunts.

Turkey is Youth/Adult only April 6–7, 2024 and weekends of the statewide season open Friday-Sunday only. Youth must be accompanied by a licensed adult, age 21 years or older, who may also hunt.

Rabbit, Quail - Nov. 1 – Nov. 14, 2023 Quail bag limit 2/day, rabbit and quail hunting closes at 4 p.m.

Raccoon - Sept. 1 - 2, 8 - 9, 2023

Dog training - Rabbit and Quail - Oct. 1 - Nov. 14, 2023 Closes at 4 p.m. each day.

Site Description:  Kyker Bottoms Refuge is 648 acres of waterfowl and upland refuge. 

Attractions include 135 acres of wetland, 513 acres of early successional plant communities and oak savannas, over 110 bird species, small game youth hunts, bird banding, educational research, and a quail demonstration area. 

Kyker Bottoms Refuge is part of The Foothills Conservation Opportunity Area

Wildlife to Watch: For the birdwatcher, Kyker is one of the best places in east Tennessee and especially the greater Knoxville area from fall through spring for a large variety of hawks, sparrows, and, depending on water conditions, waterfowl and shorebirds. 

Contact Information

Region 4 office: 423-587-7037
Toll-Free: 1-800-332-0900
Email the office

Hunting Regulations Link
Interactive Map of  the Kyker Bottoms Refuge
Driving Directions
Buy a license link
Kyker Bottoms WMA Sign