What to do in Reelfoot Lake State Park

Reelfoot Lake State Park, located in the northwest corner of Tennessee, is one of the greatest hunting and fishing preserves in the nation. The lake encompasses 25,000 acres (15,000 of which are water) and harbors almost every kind of shore and wading bird, as well as the golden and American bald eagles. Other animals are also diverse and abundant here. Its many species of flowering and non-flowering plants attract botany enthusiasts from all over the country. Cypress dominates the margins of the lake, but many other trees and shrubs are also present. Campgrounds, bathrooms, boardwalk, fishing piers and picnic areas are wheelchair accessible.

Reelfoot Lake State Park operates two campgrounds on Reelfoot Lake. All sites have 30 amp electric service, water, picnic tables and grills; all are level. These sites are rented on a first-come, first-served basis; no reservations. Stay is limited to two weeks. Both campgrounds have a small number of primitive sites with water accessible and picnic tables only.

Naturalists offer Pontoon Boat Cruises from May through September. Three-hour cruises depart daily at 9:00 a.m. and short cruises are offered on weekends and holiday afternoons. Reservations are required.

Reelfoot Lake State Park has three hiking trails that are very popular and an auto tour that circles the lake.

Fishing at Reelfoot Lake can be a year-round thing. Crappie fishing is best toward the end of March through the first part of May. Bream and Bluegill fishing usually starts getting active around May and will continue through early July. Largemouth Bass fishing is good from March through late October. Yellow Bass or Striped Jack as the locals call them is the fish you can catch from July through September. Catfishing is done during the spring and summer months using yo-yos, limb lines and trot lines.

Reelfoot Lake is a flooded forest – full of submerged cypress stumps. While boating on Reelfoot , expect to hit some of the stumps. You will be okay unless you are running at full throttle. People boat on this lake using 40 horsepower motors and up, but they go slow, no water skiing or jet skiing is done on Reelfoot Lake. Canoes can be used on Reelfoot Lake. Jon boats are used the most.

The park also features activities such as basketball, horseshoes, several playground areas, tennis courts, and volleyball.

Reelfoot Lake State Park is located in Lake and Obion counties. The park's 280 acres are broken into 10 segments located along 22 miles of the Reelfoot Lake shoreline. The Airpark Inn is located on State Highway 78, ten miles north of Tiptonville. The other sections of the park - including the visitor and interpretive center with its auditorium, picnic and camping areas - are located along State Highways 21 and 22.

Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees. Summer's full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cool fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant fall colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall foliage.

3120 State Route 213
Tiptonville, TN 38079

Phone: 731-253-7756

Email: ask.tnstateparks@state.tn.us
  • Reelfoot Lake State Park Travel Q&A