The Tennessee Naturalist Programs newest chapter, a partnership between Paris Landing State Park and the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, joined our program in January of 2020. Paris Landing State Park is an 841 acre park located on the western shore of the Tennessee River, which is dammed to form Kentucky Lake (160,000 acres). The park sits on the widest part of the lake making it the perfect location for all water sports such as fishing, boating, swimming and water-skiing.
On land, there are plenty of activities including golfing, hiking, camping or just relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife. Be on the lookout for deer, turkey, fox and coyote that roam the park. Eagles are often seen in the winter months. The park offers educational and recreational programs like guided hikes, kayak and canoe tours, pontoon boat tours, bird of prey programs, snake programs, photography tours, walking tours of the park and more.
Adjacent to the Park, the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 51,000 acres stretched along 65 miles of the Tennessee River. Established in 1945, the refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was created as a conservation area for migratory birds especially wintering waterfowl.
Due to a diversity of habitats, the refuge harbors an abundance of wildlife including 306 species of birds, 51 mammals, 89 reptiles and amphibians and 144 species of fish. In addition to wildlife, the refuge offers many outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, wildlife observation and photography. Overlooking a beautiful bay of Kentucky Lake, the new visitor center is the perfect place for classes and includes a state of the art exhibit hall, auditorium, environmental education classroom, outdoor patios, trails, pollinator garden and more.