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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » East Tennessee
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Brainerd Levee

Site Directions: Take I-75 N to exit 4, Highway 153. Go north on Highway 153 to Shallowford Road exit, turn left (west) on Shallowford Road then two miles to intersection of Shallowford and North Moore Road. Parking lot is at the corner.
Lat: 35.04151°N Long: -85.21082°W
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: The Brainerd levee and retention area were built in the 1970's to prevent flood waters from South Chickamauga Creek from damaging the neighborhoods in Brainerd. This stormwater control structure has created a freshwater marsh and seasonal mudflats. Habitats include a cattail marsh, seasonal mudflats, wet fields, wet woods, shallow ponds, fields with shrub and shrubby edges, and riparian woods. Access is via a paved trail atop the 2.6 miles long levee. Late afternoon viewing is best as the sun drops below the horizon.



Wildlife to Watch: Marsh birds are the highlight of this location. Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Bittern are the special bids of this site, in season. Over 23 species of shorebirds have been documented. Marsh and Sedge Wrens are found here as well, both uncommon to rare birds in Tennessee. Palm warbler is a rare, but regular wintering bird. Common Yellowthroat and Orchard Orioles breed here and waterfowl can be abundant in winter.

For more information:

Tennessee Ornithological Society - Audubon Important Bird Area site description

Chattanooga Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society site description

Birds of Brainerd Levee via eBird submissions


Submit your data to eBird and help us add to the 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.