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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » West Tennessee
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Reelfoot Lake - Phillipy Pits
About 1.5 to 2.0 miles due west of the town of Phillipy, TN just south of the KY State line (along levee road) Lake County, TN
Site Directions: From Tiptonville, TN, take TN highway 78 northeast about 9.5 miles to the town of Phillipy (look for sign). Turn west at Phillipy onto Cates Landing Road (Google Maps shows "Levee Phillippy Rd) and go about 1.2 miles to the Mississippi River Levee. The "borrow pits" from which this site takes its name are located north and south of the intersection of Cates Landing Road and the Mississippi Levee Road. These are more or less low spots in the farmland that hold water, but can be dry and farmed.

See information below about the nearby "Ibis Hole."
Lat-Long: 36.4837, -89.4058 (Mississippi River levee at the Pits)
Seasonality: Year round
Hours: daylight hours
Landmarks: Mississippi River Levee

Site Description: The "pits" are small borrow areas excavated to build the adjacent Mississippi River Levee. They are shallow depressions alongside Levee Road and are surrounded by cultivated farmland. The "pits" may be planted in crops if water levels permit. When flooded, they are used by a variety of birds.

To the southeast of the "pits" is located a shallow natural depression surrounded by farmland called the "Ibis Hole" (36.477861,-89.395623). This spot is on Earl Trim Road just south of Cates Landing Rd (aka Levee Phillippy Rd.). There is a low area on the west side of Earl Trim Rd that often is farmed, but holds water and is used heavily by waterbird and shorebirds. Three species of ibis have been seen at this location along with numerous other wading birds.

Wildlife to Watch:
The "Pits" area is known by local birders as a good spot to see rare species in NW Tennessee (if water level conditions are suitable).

NOTE: Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.


For more information:

Phillippy Pits Map

Tennessee Ornithological Society - Important Bird Area web page


Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site


Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.