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Cove Lake State Park

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer A-
Fall A
Winter A

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Site Description and Habitats

Cove Lake is a lake that is rapidly filling with silt, but this filling process has created one of the largest freshwater marsh systems in east Tennessee. Nature trails and bike trails lead through open grasslands and woodlands. The scenery is excellent and this is a must stop in east Tennessee.

Other excellent places nearby include Cross Mountain and North Cumberland WMA.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Tennessee, Magnolia, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Cape May, and Bay-breasted Warblers, Yellow-bellied and Least Flycatcher, Veery, Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrush, among numerous other migrants. Just about anything can drop in here.

Summer: Yellow Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Warbling Vireo, Swainson's Warbler, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Prothonotary Warbler, Great Egret, Osprey, Eastern Kingbird, Scarlet Tanager

Winter: Redhead, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Greater and Lesser Scaup are possible, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye (rare), American Wigeon, American Black Duck,Ring-billed, Bonaparte's, and Herring Gull, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin.

Year-Round: Pileated and Red-bellied Woodpecker, Barred Owl, Canda Goose, Mallard (summer birds are likely hybrid mutts), Killdeer, Song Sparrow, Common Raven (rare), Eastern Bluebird

Rarities Seen at this Site: Least Tern, Eared Grebe

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer

Submit your data to eBird here

Detailed directions for birding Cove Lake State Park
Cove Lake is accessed via I-75, exit 134. From exit 134, travel east on US 25W for one mile and turn left into park entrance. Drive straight through the stop signs to the dead end cricle. Park here and walk the shoreline trail to the paved trail through the woods (Swainson's Warbler in spring) and the overlook on the lake. The paved trail goes along the lake shore and through some wet woods and wet grassy areas. bes sure to check out these areas in spring for Baltimore Oriole, Warbling Vireo, and Yellow Warbler, and in fall look for sparrows including Swamp and Lincoln's. The area is diverse and can be good any time of the year, esp. with waterfowl fallouts in winter.

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
Restaurant: 36.3087 -84.2131
Parking at end of the road and trail access: 36.309151,-84.218704

Fees and Hours
Open year round, 8 am to sunset. No fees associated with daily use.

There are restroom facilities. The restaurant is excellent (esp. the BBQ).

Cove Lake State Park
110 Cove Lake Lane
Caryville TN 37714

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site