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Colditz Cove SNA

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer B
Fall A
Winter B

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Site Description and Habitats

Colditz Cove is a 165-acre natural area located approximately two miles east of Allardt, Tennessee in Fentress County. Its most impressive feature is Northrup Falls. This is one of Tennessee's most stunning waterfalls plunging more than 60 feet over a protruding rock ledge into a scenic, narrow, gorge along Big Branch Creek. The waterfall is named for the family who settled here and operated a mill above the falls in the 1800's. The hike to the falls offers a dense canopy cover with large old growth hemlock and white pines along the route.

The dry ridges above the falls support a mixed oak-hickory forest dominated by white oak with Virginia pine scattered throughout. On the more xeric southwest bluff, oaks, hemlock, Virginia and short leaf pine are common with a shrub lay of mountain laurel underneath. The spray field from the falls creates a unique habitat on the rock ledges underneath and in the vicinity of the falls. Several species of ferns, sedges, rushes, and plants like grass-of-parnassus and alumroot are associated with this waterfall-gorge habitat.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Nearly all warblers, vireos, and thrushes can be found, including Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Tennessee, Blackpoll (spring only), Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, and Hooded Warbler, Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrush, and Philadelphia Vireo. Great crested Flycatcher and Eastern Wood-pewee can be found through summer.

Summer: Eastern Phoebe nest on the cliffs around the falls, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler

Winter: Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush

Year-Round: Barred Owl, Pileated and Hairy Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee,White-breasted Nuthatch

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Detailed directions for birding Colditz Cove

Follow Hwy 52 to Allardt, TN. The turn off for this site will be just to the West of town and is called Northrup Falls Road (County Road 1636). The sign for Colditz Cove State Natural Area is on the right about one mile down Northrup Falls Road. Follow the signs to the parking area. Hiking trails are provided and they are awesome!

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Parking area:
36.35772, -84.86886

Fees and Hours
Open daylight hours, year round.

There are no restroom facilities. Hiking trails and parking are available.

Tennessee Dept. Environment and Conservation - State Natural Area

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site