Reelfoot Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Reelfoot Lake State Park is located in Tennessee, within Lake County. It includes the 15,000-acre Reelfoot Lake, which formed in the early 1800s by a series of earthquakes. Because it is a flooded forest, the lake features Cypress trees and a variety of flora and fauna. Come enjoy the only large naturally formed lake in Tennessee.

One of the main attractions at this park is the large influx of bald eagles that come here every year between January and February, bringing tourists from all over to visit the area. Many other species of birds come to visit the park as it exists on a migratory bird flyway, including golden eagles and osprey.

You'll find lots of different activities to enjoy when you come to visit Reelfoot Lake State Park in your rig. There is a visitor's center complete with exhibits on native wildlife, including birds that cannot be released back into the wild. Guided tours are available on the ground and by boat, so you can take your pick. There are several hiking trails available that are all considered easy trails, meaning everyone in the family can join in.

You can enjoy boating and fishing within this state park. There are several boat launches within the park. You'll find a variety of fishing, from bluegill to bass and catfish. There are two campgrounds with plenty of campsites for you to bring your tent or RV, complete with electrical and water hookups.

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Transportation in Reelfoot Lake State Park

Driving

Reelfoot Lake State Park is located outside of Tiptonville, Tennessee, in the northwest area of the state. The park is located off of Highway 21 East. When driving to the park, you'll enter and check in at the park office and visitor's center. From there, you'll be directed to either the north campground or the south campground, or one of the premium cabins available on the side of the lake. Only two vehicles are allowed to be parked at each campsite, and there is a limit of six people per campsite.

You can bring your boat to Reelfoot Lake State Park and use it in the lake. There are five different areas where you can launch your boat in the park. These boats can be small pontoon boats, as well as small fishing boats. The lake is too shallow for larger boats and has too many stumps in the water that might cause issues.

You can drive golf carts in the campground, but they are only allowed on paved roads. In addition, they can only be driven by people with active driver's licenses.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Reelfoot Lake State Park

Campsites in Reelfoot Lake State Park

Reservations camping

Reelfoot Lake State Park Airpark/North Campground

Reelfoot Lake State Park offers a northern campground in addition to its southern loop campground. This site takes reservations and offers sites for RVs up to 35 feet in length. At this campground, there are 14 sites for RVs. There are also ten primitive sites for tent camping. The RV sites have electrical and water hookups, although they lack sewage hook-ups. Instead, there is a dump station nearby. This campground also has a bathhouse with hot showers available. No more than six people can camp at each site unless prior approval is obtained for immediate families larger than six people. At these sites, the maximum stay in 14 days. Pets are allowed in the campground area as long as they remain under leashed control.

The campground offers close access to fishing and boating on Reelfoot Lake. You can bring small boats, such as canoes or kayaks, or you can rent them from local businesses. There are multiple sites where you can fish from, including the bank, pier, and nearby boardwalk.

Reelfoot Lake State Park South Campground

Reelfoot Lake State Park offers cabins as well as campsites that you can reserve for camping. The South Campground has 86 sites for RV and tent camping. They have electrical and water hookups, with a dump station on site. There are three bathhouses with restrooms available for camper usage. Of these, two have hot showers available, while one has laundry facilities and an area to wash dishes. RVs up to 35 feet can camp here, and all of the sites are paved. Up to six people are allowed to camp at each site although exceptions can be made for immediate families. The maximum stay is fourteen days. Pets are allowed in designated areas as long as they are kept on a leash.

Near the campground, there are boat launches to access Reelfoot Lake, and boats can be rented from nearby businesses. When you're done fishing, there is a fish cleaning station near the campground. There is a nearby area to get ice as well. For picnicking purposes, there are multiple shelters and picnicking sites near the campground.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Reelfoot Lake State Park

In-Season

Wildlife Viewing and Birding

You'll be able to experience watching a great deal of wildlife if you exercise patience while in Reelfoot Lake State Park. There are many bald eagles that nest around the lake during the year, as well as other birds of prey such as golden eagles. In addition, the lake is home to numerous snakes such as water snakes, as well as turtles like sliders. You'll be able to view numerous birds and animals from trails such as the Keystone Trail.

Boating

You can bring your smaller fishing boat or pontoon boat to the state park to enjoy cruising the lake or fishing. You can also take pontoon boat tours of the lake, as well as canoe tours around the lake. You're able to fish from your boat, if you have a license to fish in the lake. You can rent boats from local businesses if you don't bring you own. Also enjoy kayaking and canoeing within the lake.

Fishing

You'll find plenty of fishing within Reelfoot Lake State Park, either from land or by boat within Reelfoot Lake. On land, you've got the option of the banks, pier, and boardwalk to fish from. You can fish for crappie, bluegill, catfish, and bass. You'll have the best luck for crappie and bluegill when in-season, from April through May. You'll need a fishing license to fish in Tennessee, but you'll also need a special lake license to fish in the lake.

Off-Season

Picnicking

There are lots of areas to enjoy picnicking during your RV stay at Reelfoot Lake State Park. There are roughly 200 different sites for picnicking within the park and many of these sites contain access to grills. For large family or work gatherings, there are also five pavilions that can hold 40-90 people. Most of these areas have easy access to restrooms and drinking facilities, as well as being located near the playgrounds for children to visit while enjoying their picnics.

Hiking

You'll find a variety of trails to explore in Reelfoot Lake State Park. These rate from easy to moderate, with the majority being considered easy trails to navigate. From these trails, you'll be able to not just view the lake but also observe wildlife in their natural habitat. Birds are an especially prevalent type of animal to find on the trails. Most of the trails are natural trails, but there is also the Visitor's Center Boardwalk trail that provides an overlook of the area.

Recreational Programs

If your park your rig at the visitor's center or the R.C. Donaldson Museum, you'll be able to learn about the park's history, as well as the culture of the area. Exhibits discuss the ecology of the area, and you'll also find numerous animals native to the area, such as birds of prey that cannot be released. There are also ranger-led learning activities that you can take part in throughout the year to learn more about the park and the animals that live there.

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