Reelfoot Lake Information

The History Of Reelfoot Lake

reelfoot lake history

Reelfoot Lake is a natural lake and has a unique history. The lake was formed by the New Madrid earthquakes when the Mississippi River ran backward for several hours and flooded the low spot created by the earthquakes. This is what formed the famous Reelfoot Lake. The low land was covered with bald cypress trees. When the water rushed in flooding these trees it created prime habitat for crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish. Reelfoot Lake would become a commercial fishing lake for catfish and crappie for many years because of the great numbers that the lake was able to sustain.

This event took place in 1811-1812 and with very few people around witnesses were few and far between. What a sight it would have been to see Reelfoot Lake forming before your very eyes. While most people would be in awe at the sight I can see Davy Crocket grinning with visions of beaver pelts dancing in his mind and a panfish angler standing alongside him with crappie and bluegill dancing in theirs. Reelfoot lake would become a great lake for fishing guides and resorts bringing great business opportunities for the small rural town of Tiptonville, Tennessee.

Things To Do In Reelfoot Lake Area

Reelfoot Lake State Park

This park is 300 acres and a unique ecosystem. Reelfoot Lake State Park is a beautiful park on the shore of the 15,000 acre Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee. Reelfoot is a flooded forest of cypress trees. The rise in water level on the marsh-loving cypress trees caused the roots to form a new layer creating an umbrella effect at the base of the trees. The cover created by this makes the perfect hideout for all types of fish and makes Reelfoot Lake a prime fishing destination now for more than 100 years now.

The lake is also home to an array of birds including pelicans, bald eagles, and golden eagles. Reelfoot Lake State Park is home to the annual eagle festival. These are all the main attractions at the park. There’s a fully-equipped campground, a nature center, and a museum. The state park also has a banquet hall for events. More information on this park and many more can be found at the TN State Parks website.


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