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Hickory Flats WMA and May Prairie SNA

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer C
Fall A
Winter B

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Site Description and Habitats

Mature hardwood forests, consisting of oak, hickory, maple and sweet gum are found on the 800 acres of Hickory Flats WMA. Management via burning is slowly creating open savanna habitat on the unit on the south side of Asbury Rd where the property is managed cooperatively with TWRA and TDEC. From the parking lot at May Prairie SNA, follow the hiking trail for approximately 0.5 mile to two small wetland meadows with native wild flowers and wetland obligate plants. ATV trails are accessible via foot on the northern unit of Hickory Flats WMA from the "bend in the road" parking spot. ATV trails wander through the woods and provide for good wildlife watching.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Passage migrant songbirds can be common, including Canada, Blackburnian, and Black-throated Green Warbler. Vireos, thrushes, and flycatchers can be found as well.

Summer: Red-eyed, White-eyed, and Yellow-throated Vireo, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, Hooded and Kentucky Warblers.

Winter: Winter resident sparrows and kinglets are common.

Year-Round: Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, reside species

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer

Submit your data to eBird here

Other wildlife viewing opportunities
Butterflies are common and the wildflowers at the prairie on May Prairie can be very nice.

Detailed directions for birding Hickory Flats and May Prairie
From I-24 take exit 114 and travel on Hwy. 41 south toward Hillsboro. Approximately one mile from the interstate, turn east (left) onto Asbury Road. Go approximately 0.6 miles to a small parking lot on the south (right) side of the road. This provides access to May Prairie SNA. Park in the small lot and walk the trail through the woods about 0.4 miles to an opening at the prairie.

Travel further on Asbury Rd to a mild bend in the road where a gravel parking area is available for access to the mature forest on the north side of the road (south side of Hickory Flat WMA). Past the parking spot, turn left onto Clifton Scott Road and on the left (west) side of the road is the management area. A gravel parking area is available under the powerlines (35.469635, -86.008361).

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Parking lot on south side of Hickory Flat WMA: 35.46254, -86.01604
Parking lot for May Prairie SNA: 35.457061,-86.025676

Fees and Hours
No fees are required to access these areas.

The areas are accessible during daylight hours year round. Check hunting guide as access is limited or not recommended during some hunts.

For tips for safely watching wildlife during hunting seasons and year round please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates.

There are no restroom facilities.

TWRA Region II office
Ellington Agricultural Center
P.O. Box 41489, Nashville, TN 37204
615-781-6622 or 1-800-624-7406

TDEC information on May Prairie SNA

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site