Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge is an animal lover’s paradise and wildlife refuge in Dover, TN. Established in 1962, the refuge offers not only protected habitat for migratory birds, but a wealth of activities for visitors to explore. While the refuge is closed during winter months to preserve its status as a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl, visitors can explore from March 15- November 15 each year. Visitors can view wildlife, hunt, fish, and take part in interpretive and educational programming on the refuge’s grounds.
Wildlife lovers, birders, hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activity at this NWR.
Cross Creeks NWR is a destination for a host of diverse wildlife, including migratory bird species, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and endangered species. Visitors can view this wildlife from various vantage points throughout the park.
The NWR is home to over 250 avian species, making it a “birding lover’s dream come true”. The NWR was created with the protection of migratory waterfowl in mind, but hosts a variety of other shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds. Catch glimpses of duck, sandpiper, sparrows and more during your visit!
Various mammals also call the refuge home. Visitors can see red fox, white-tailed deer, beavers, and more during their visit.
Be sure to look out for snakes, frogs, turtles and lizards who live on the waterways and land within the refuge. Along with these reptiles and amphibians, the refuge is habitat for a number of endangered species. Lucky visitors will be able to observe piping plovers, Indiana and gray bats, and the least turn during their time at the NWR.
The most popular place to see wildlife is on the Woodpecker Interpretive Trail. This short trail gives visitors views of songbirds and mammals of all sorts.
Cross Creeks offers abundant public hunting opportunities for hunters, offering woodland and water habitats for deer, small game, turkey, and waterfowl hunting.
Turkeys can be hunted in the spring and fall. Deer season takes place in October; permits are issued by lottery. Duck hunting is abundant due to the refuge’s attraction of waterfowl. Waterfowl hunting is not permitted during winter months.
Check the NWF’s website for more details about hunting seasons, safety, and information.
Fishing is a popular activity at the refuge, as anglers will find over 80 species of fish in the waterways, which include the Cumberland River.
These species range from catfish to gar to the sought after white bass.
Check the refuge’s website to make sure you are following all fishing regulations before you cast your lines.
Cross Creeks NWR offers a number of self-guided walks, ranger-led programs, and other mixed media exhibits, signs, and brochures to educate visitors on the refuge’s wildlife, habitats, and history.
In addition to this interpretive programming, the refuge offer environmental education programming for school groups, youth groups, and environmental groups. This programming takes advantage of the outdoor classroom that is the refuge and provides opportunities for hands-on learning activities.
The abundance of wildlife and beauty at Cross Creeks NWR has made photography a popular activity within the refuge. Novice and professional photographers make their way to the refuge to document the hundreds of animal and plant species who call the area home.
The refuge invites photographers of every skill level and speciality to try their hand at documenting the special habitats and wildlife at Cross Creeks NWR.