From Knoxville or points west via I-40: Take I-140 south to US 129. Then take US 129 south past the Knoxville airport. A few miles past the Knoxville airport, US 129 merges with US 411. Continue south on US 129/411 to a stoplight at which the highways split. Turn left, staying on US 129 South for 7.5 miles to the intersection with Garland Road on the right. Turn right (east) onto Garland Road. The refuge property starts on the right in about 0.8 miles. From the east on I-40: Exit at US 129-Alcoa Highway and stay on US 129 towards the Knoxville airport. Follow above directions. From the south on I-75: Take exit #60 (Madisonville, TN 68). Go right at the end of the ramp, onto TN 68. Follow to US 411 and go north on US 411. After crossing over Tellico Lake, take a right on TN 72. At the fork in the road, go right onto Kyker Road or go left onto Big Gully Road and turn into the paved parking lot.
Kyker Bottoms Refuge is a 350-acre area in southern Blount County owned and managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It lies along Nine Mile Creek a few miles west of Tellico Lake and features fields, wetlands, and thickets managed primarily for small game and waterfowl. For the birdwatcher, Kyker is one of the best places in the East Tennessee area from fall through spring for a large variety of hawks, sparrows, and, depending on water conditions, waterfowl and shorebirds. Rare birds recorded at Kyker include Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, LeConte's Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird. Kyker Bottoms Refuge is closed to all entry from November 1 through February 14. During this period, use of the hilltop observation platform and parking areas along Garland Road is allowed. Many birds can be seen and heard from these locations, making for an easy birding trip for those with mobility limitations.
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