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White Oak WMA

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer B
Fall A
Winter B

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Site Description and Habitats

This 7,000 acre WMA is primarily bottomland hardwood forests and can be heavily flooded at times. The bottomlands are second growth with some large trees. For a periodically flooded forest, the understory is developed, providing thick cover for wildlife. The uplands are mixed hardwoods with open warm season grass fields that are periodically burned. Gravel roads, some gated, provide many access points throughout the WMA. Watch high water on Sulphur Wells Rd on the southeast side as roads flood over regularly. Caution should be taken when driving through standing or flowing water. Gravel roads are worth exploring and small trails and ATV trails can be walked for additional access to the WMA.

White Oak Creek was channelized decades ago for reducing flooding on farmland; however this never really solved the problem. Starting in the early 2000's and continuing through 2008, TWRA, in partner with other organizations, removed the flow of the canal and placed it back in the historical meandering stream channel. Portions of the "canal" have been filled in completely to help maintain the reestablishment of the flow in the old channel. This project has helped reestablish natural flood control and wetland systems.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Nearly all warblers and vireos can be found here, including Blue-winged, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, and Wilson's Warbler, plus Red-eyed, White-eyed, and Yellow-throated Vireos. Wood Thrush is regaulr from mid-April through summer, while Kentucky Warblerand Acadian Flycatchers are on territory by early May.

Summer: In the floodplain, Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parula, and Hooded Warblers can be found. In the uplands and early successional forests, look for Orchard Oriole, Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting and Blue Grosbeak. Broad-winged Hawks nests on the WMA.

Winter: This is a great place for White-throated, White-crowned (possible), Field, Swamp, and Song Sparrows, both kinglets, Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren, and Yellow-rumped Warblers, among other winter birds.

Year-Round: Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Great Blue Heron,resident woodland birds.

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Detailed directions for birding White Oak WMA From I-40, take exit 108 south towards Lexington, TN. Continue south through Lexington to Milledgeville. Travel east on Hwy 69 and follow various access roads marked on TWRA map to various access points within the WMA. There are numerous ATV trails and back roads to explore.

White Oak WMA Map

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Newman Rd access: 35.3624 -88.3391
Lebanon Sardis Rd access: 35.3675 -88.2935
Sulphur Wells Rd access: 35.3386 -88.2631

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 I office
200 Lowell Thomas Drive, Jackson, TN 38301
800-372-3928; 731-423-5725

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site