Reelfoot lake was formed when a series of strong earthquakes centered in New Madrid, Missouri wracked the region along the Great River Road between December 1811 and March 1812. One quake registered an 8.4 on the Richter scale, one of the strongest quakes on record in North America, with tremors felt as far away as Quebec. Witnesses reported a horribly loud grinding and rumbling noise, a thick cloud of sulphur-smelling gas and falling trees. The Mississippi River actually reversed its course, escaped its banks and pulled back in rapidly, taking with it trees, land, boats, animals, and anything else in its path. It sent giant waves along its shore that overturned ships and collapsed the banks of the tributaries. The river rushed into the forest surrounding Reelfoot River, receding to leave Reelfoot Lake.
Latitude: 36.390898 Longitude: -89.426895 Elevation: 282 ft