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When you look across Reelfoot Lake, imagine that this entire countryside was once a dense cypress woodland, pierced only by Native American trails and crudely constructed roads. The history of Reelfoot Lake is a dramatic one. In the winter of 1811-1812, the 150-mile long New Madrid fault line produced a series of four earthquakes so powerful that the Mississippi River was said to have flowed backward for 10-24 hours. This intensity created Reelfoot Lake, and shocks were felt as far away as Quebec. They remain the largest earthquakes ever recorded in the eastern United States. The lake is 20 miles long and seven miles wide, encompassing 15,000 acres, with an average depth of 5.5 feet, the maximum depth being 18 feet. A natural wonder of the world, Reelfoot Lake is noted for its bald cypress trees and its nesting pairs of bald eagles. It is the site of Reelfoot Lake State Park. Lake Isom, a similar, smaller lake to the immediate south, is a National Wildlife Refuge area. Today the area is a peaceful preserve and features year-round hunting ,fishing, bird watching, canoeing, kayaking & hiking.

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Reelfoot Lake


1605 State Rt. 21 E.
Tiptonville, TN 38079


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Open Year-round
Dates Closed
Sunday and Monday

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