Must-see birding on the Great River Road

The Great River Road is one of the world’s premier spots for birding. The road traces the Mississippi Flyway, a migration route followed by 40 percent of North America’s waterfowl and shorebirds. The Great River Road is flanked by vast refuges, expansive forests and beautiful parks that provide rich habitat and protection for these beautiful creatures.

Travelers on the Great River Road have the opportunity to encounter an abundance of species and there are endless places to relax and take in the beauty of the flyway’s birds.

Here are some great places to enjoy a birding adventure on the Great River Road:

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Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge
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Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge
Natural Area | Fish and Wildlife Refuge or Sanctuary
This refuge—located in southeastern Arkansas—was created in 1935 specifically to protect migratory birds. Birders can find countless species among the beautiful forests and lakes.

Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge was established on September 5, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the purpose to protect and conserve migratory…

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Reelfoot Lake State Park
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Reelfoot Lake State Park
Natural Area | National or State Park or Forest
Located in the northwest corner of Tennessee, Reelfoot Lake was created by a series of earthquakes in the early 1800s and today is a magnificent wildlife viewing and birding location. You’ll find many varieties of shore and wading birds here and white pelicans and eagles pay seasonal visits to the park.

Reelfoot Lake State Park, located in the northwest corner of Tennessee, is one of the greatest hunting and fishing preserves in the nation. The lake encompasses 25,000 acres (15,000 of which are water) and harbors almost every kind of shore and…

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Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
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Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
Natural Area | Fish and Wildlife Refuge or Sanctuary
In western Kentucky near Benton, this 8,500-acre refuge contains bottomland hardwood forests used by over 200 species of neotropical songbirds for a migration stopover spot or for nesting.

Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1997 and the first track of land was purchased in 1998, so it is relatively new refuge. It is the only National…

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National Eagle Center
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National Eagle Center
Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center | Visitor or Interpretive Center
Want to get up close and personal with an eagle? Pay a visit to Wabasha, Minn., where you can meet bald and golden eagles at daily demonstrations or take a look at eagles perched above the Mississippi River from the observation deck.

The National Eagle Center is a world-class interpretive center located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN. It is home to rescued bald and golden eagles. During a visit to the National Eagle Center, you can experience these…

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North Country National Scenic Trail at Itasca State Park MN
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North Country National Scenic Trail at Itasca State Park MN
Outdoor Adventure | Hiking Trail or Trailhead
The home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, Itasca State Park in Minnesota, hosts birds in its boreal forests and mixed hardwoods. Established in 1891, Itasca State Park is Minnesota’s oldest park. With 222 species found here, it’s also one of Minnesota’s premier birding locations.

From North CountryTrail, the hiker will be able to take spur trails to Douglas Lodge, DeSoto Lake and Lake Itasca, headwaters of the Mississippi River. Campgrounds and services can be found in the Park.

Striking views of DeSoto Lake…

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Great River Road

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Trip Plan Details

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In This Trip Plan

1 Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge
2 Reelfoot Lake State Park
3 Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
4 National Eagle Center
5 North Country National Scenic Trail at Itasca State Park MN