Seven Islands State Birding Park
|Seven Islands State Birding Park|
Park entrance along Kelly Lane
|Type||Tennessee State Park|
|Location||Kodak, Knox County, Tennessee|
|Area||425 acres (1.72 km2)|
|Operated by||Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation|
Seven Islands State Birding Park is a state park in Knox County, Tennessee located east of Knoxville in Kodak along the French Broad River. The park was created for birdwatching. The diverse grassland landscapes and the river create a habitat for more than 180 species of birds.
For much of the 20th century, the park's land was part of a farm operated by the Kelly family, whose name is still attached to the river bend and the park's main access road, and whose farm house is still standing on the property. Preservationists gradually acquired the land and donated it to the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department. The Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge was created and initially managed by the Parks and Recreation Department and the Seven Islands Foundation, and later by the Legacy Parks Foundation. The refuge became Tennessee's 56th state park on July 1, 2014. The park's name refers to a string of small islands and shoals in the adjacent river.
Species of birds found within the park include purple martins, tree swallows, common yellowthroats, yellow-breasted chats, summer tanagers, blue grosbeaks, and indigo buntings. Sparrows are common in winter, namely the field, Savannah, song, swamp, white-throated, and white-crowned species. Barn owls have been known to frequent the old barns in the area. Waterfowl include Canada geese and mallards.
Birdwatching is why the park was created but it also includes the following:
- 2 small canoe/kayak boat launch sites.
- 8 miles (13 km) of hiking trails.
- Biking and fishing may also be done at the park. Fishing can be done along the French Broad River.
The park is located approximately 18 miles (29 km) east of Knoxville, Tennessee.
The park is located along the French Broad River.
The park's address is 2809 Kelly Lane, Kodak, Tennessee 37764.
The park can be accessed from Interstate 40 via exit 402 (Midway Road).
- Friedmann, Valerie, "River and Ridge: Eco-Revelatory Design at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge." Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2012, pp. 20-21. Accessed: 29 May 2015.
- "Seven Islands State Birding Park, Knoxville News Sentinel, 1 July 2014.
- Jack Neely, "An Afternoon at Seven Islands," Metro Pulse, 8 October 2008.
- Activities," Seven Islands State Park website. Retrieved: 24 September 2014.
- "Seven Islands Bird Checklist," TNBirds.org. Accessed: 27 May 2015.
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