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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » Middle Tennessee
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Gallatin Steam Plant

Site Directions: The Gallatin Steam Plant can be accessed by taking I-40 east from Nashville to exit 232B (SR 109N). After 11.6 miles turn right onto Odoms Bend Rd and continue about 2.5 miles. Then go right on Steam Plant Rd for 2.4 to the main plant building and check in with the shift supervisor. Formerly birders could readily access this area. In recent years restrictions have been put in place and it is almost impossible to get a permit badge and get access. You might as well consider this place closed.
The address is 1499 Steam Plant Rd, Gallatin, TN 37066.
Lat-Long: 36.3154, -86.4011
Hours: Daylight hours - *advanced permission is required.
Seasonality: Year round, with permission
Fees: None

Site Description:
Gallatin TVA Fossil Plant is located in middle Tennessee on the north bank of a bend in the Cumberland River. The plant has approximately 1.5 square miles of coal ash settling ponds and woodlands. Part of this property is designated a wildlife management area. Permission to enter the property is almost non-existant. You can try contacting the plant manager's office (615-230-4000).

Wildlife to Watch: The site has historically been good for shorebirds during migration, waterfowl during the winter, and wading birds in the summer. More recently numbers of shorebirds have been decreased due to habitat changes, but a good variety can be found with persistence. Seventeen (17) shorebird species have been observed there over the last couple years, along with 12 species of waterfowl and 8 species of waders, including a Tricolored Heron in April 2009. Other notable recent observations include Piping Plover (August 2009), Common Moorhen (August 2008), and Buff-breasted Sandpiper (September 2008). Black Terns and Caspian Terns have been observed in the summer and Bald Eagles in the fall/winter. Martins and swallows mass up on the power lines during late summer afternoons, when hundreds of waders and cormorants fly in to roost in the dead cypress trees. Wooded areas are worth checking in spring and fall for migrant songbirds.

The habitat at this site may undergo further changes as TVA transitions from wet ash storage to dry ash storage, with possible loss of mudflats favored by shorebirds.


For more information:

Gallatin Steam Plant Map

Gallatin TVA Fossil Plant website

Birds of Gallatin Steam Plant from eBird submissions


Submit your data to eBird and help add to the list of birds seen at this site

Information for this site page was generously contributed by David Kirschke.


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