Reelfoot Lake State Park

2595 State Route 21E
Tiptonville, TN 38079


Reelfoot Lake State Park is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee and is noted for its fishing, boating and wildlife viewing. The 15,000 acre lake was created by a series of violent earthquakes in 1811-1812 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a short period of time, creating Reelfoot Lake.  

The park’s ecosystem is unlike any other place in Tennessee. Reelfoot lake is a flooded forest. While Majestic Cypress trees rise above the water, below the surface are many submerged Cypress stumps. A variety of aquatic plants and flowers occupy the shoreline and saturate the shallow water. The lake harbors almost every kind of shore and wading bird as well as golden and American bald eagles.

During January and February, Reelfoot Lake is home to thousands of American bald eagles. Experienced park naturalists lead daily bald eagle and waterfowl tours and the annual Reelfoot Eagle Festival in February is a bird watching destination. In March and April, deep swamp canoe trips are offered and scenic pontoon boat tours are offered May through September. Every fall, hundreds of white pelicans stop at the lake on their seasonal migration. More information about the tours can be found under the activity section.

While the shallow lake offers many opportunities for boating and fishing, swimming in the lake is not permitted. The park has several hiking trails that are popular for bird watching and wildlife viewing. There are two campgrounds at Reelfoot Lake State Park. Campsites provide water, electricity, tables and grills with many campsites located on the lake shore.

The Ellington Hall Auditorium is ideal for banquets, reunions and meetings. The 3,700 square foot, air conditioned hall has kitchen facilites and can seat approximately 400 people theater style or 240 banquet style. Some audio/visual equipment is available and outside catering can be used to provide food and beverages. Reservations are accepted up to 12 months in advance.

Interpretive programing is available at the Reelfoot Lake State Park’s R.C. Donaldson Memorial Museum and Nature Center. The center’s attractions include non-releasable raptors, snakes and other wildlife of the area. The museum is open year-round excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Admission is free.


One of the best ways to experience Reelfoot Lake is by boat. Reelfoot Lake which is ideal for canoes, kayaks and jon boats when the winds are calm.

Reelfoot Lake has several easy hiking trails that are fun for the whole family!

Tennessee’s only natural lake is nationally known for crappie and bluegill fishing. Fishing is best for these panfish in April and May.

While Reelfoot Lake is known for its eagles and Eagle Festival, White Pelicans also make the park home during their annual fall migration.



The campground is located on Tennessee Highway 21-22, on the south end of Reelfoot Lake. There are 86 RV and tent campsites. All are paved. Sites have 20,30,50-amp electrical hookups and water hookups. There are three bathhouse with restrooms. Two bathhouses have hot showers and one has a washer, dryer, and dish washing area. There is a dump station located at the entrance. Please Note: The South Campground is extremely busy during April and May.

Campground Host available 24 Hours
Camper Check-in Station with ice nearby
Boat Launching Ramp Area
Fish Cleaning House with electricity and water
Bait - 2 mile (privately owned bait shops with fishing supplies)
Boat – Available for rent from private facilities (within 1 to 5 miles)
Interpretive Programs during the summer months


There are 14 RV campsites (up to 35 feet) with 30-amp electrical hookups and water hookups. There are also 10 primitive tent only campsites. A dump station and a bathhouse with hot showers and heat are nearby.

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