Ellington Agricultural Center
Site Directions: From I-65: Take Exit 78-A east on Harding Place. Turn right at the second light onto Trousdale Drive. Travel south on Trousdale for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Hogan Road at the four-way stop. Hogan Road ends at the front gates of the Ellington Agricultural Center.
Lat: 36.06512°N Long: -86.74905°W
From I-24: Take Exit 56 west on Harding Place to the Nolensville Road intersection. Turn left onto Nolensville Road and travel south 1/10 mile. Turn right onto Edmondson Pike. Travel 1.5 miles on Edmondson Pike to the east entrance to Ellington Agricultural Center on the right.
Directions to the Ag Center
Lat: 36.06330°N Long: -86.74127°W
Hours: gates open at 6:00 am and close approximately 11:00 pm
Seasonality: year round
Site Description: The Center can be separated into two general areas, the higher ground surrounding the Brentwood Hall mansion (now named the William F. Moss Administration Bldg.) and many agency buildings, and the lower Rogers Walk, a 1.6 mile loop trail. The hilltop area is more of an open, park-like setting with huge, mature trees scattered about. There are fewer birds to be found in this area, but it can be good in the early morning during migration. The Rogers Walk loop trail includes open brushy areas, woodlands, meadows, and riparian areas along 2 creeks. For birders not wanting to do the whole loop, they can turn around at any point or cut through the campus using marked connector trails to return to their starting point.
The east end of 10-Acre Meadow borders Seven Mile Creek, where portions have been restored by the Watershed Initiative. At the southeast corner of the field, take the gravel path into the woods which parallels the creek.
Wildlife to Watch: Mallards, Wood Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, and Belted Kingfishers can be found along the creek. A pair of Red-tailed Hawks has nested on the property for several years. The nest can easily be seen from the road coming in from the east side of the Center. It's at the top of a huge utility tower in the southeast field which runs along Edmondson Pike. A small pond in the northeast field along Edmondson Pike has had Canada Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Duck, and Mallards.
Walking the trails in spring can yield a variety of passerine migrants such as Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat. Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Chickadees nest in boxes erected around the Ag Center. Cooper's Hawks have nested near the TWRA office in the past. Marsh and Sedge Wrens, and Connecticut and Mourning Warblers have been a few of the highlights during migration, albeit rarely detected.
The grassy field under the power lines at the end of the gravel road that starts near the east entrance and the Region 2 TWRA office has yielded Eastern Towhee, Chipping, Field, Savannah, Fox, Song, Swamp, White-throated, White-crowned, and Dark-eyed Junco in winter.
For more information:
Tennessee Ornithological Society - Trail Information
Tennessee Ornithological Society - Bird Finding
Ellington Ag Center Bird List
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Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.