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Hamilton Creek Recreation Area

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer B
Fall A
Winter A+

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Site Description and Habitats

Mature hardwoods and cedars dominate the uplands, while several lake viewing points are the main attraction to Hamilton Creek Rec. Area. The main part of Percy Priest Lake can be viewed from the public boat ramp, while the other access areas provide different views of the lake.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Waterfowl, Common Loons, Black Tern (Aug-Sept)

Summer: Summer Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-White Warbler

Winter: Common Loon, Horned Grebe, American Black Duck, Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s Gulls, Merlin, Common Goldeneye, Fox Sparrow, Purple Finch

Year-Round: Bald Eagle, resident woodland birds including Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jays, Eastern Screech-Owl

Rarities Seen at this Site: Pacific Loon, Surf Scoter, Sooty Tern (post-hurricane)

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer

Submit your data to eBird here

Detailed directions for birding Hamilton Creek Recreation Area
From Nashville, take I-40 East to Exit 219 - Stewarts Ferry Pike. Take a right on Stewarts Ferry Pike (which actually turns into Bell Rd) and travel approximately 3.6 miles to the entrance to Hamilton Creek Rec Area on your left.

From I-24 south of Nashville, take exit 59, Bell Rd, and travel east for 3.9 miles to the intersection with Smith Springs Rd. Travel 1.3 miles past Smith's Springs Rd to the entrance of Hamilton Creek Rec Area on your right.

Upon entering the recreation area, go straight to where the road dead ends at the boat ramp. Scan the lake here for the widest and best view. The marina provides access to a slough and woodlands, which can be productive. The BMX park lake access is often the least productive, but in winter is best for Common Goldeneye (fairly uncommon on the lake).

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Entrance to park: 36.107161, -86.629736
Boat marina: 36.111703, -86.62454
Public boat ramp: 36.110386, -86.617695
BMX park lake access: 36.104708, -86.62427

Fees and Hours
Open during day light hours, year round, but best fall through spring. There are no fees for access to area.

There are no facilities that are open in the off season. A port-o-john may be available at the BMX park.

Info for other sites
Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife web site