Seven Islands State Birding Park

While most parks are designed to attract people, Seven Islands State Birding Park is specifically managed to attract wildlife...especially birds.

Most of the time, when you think of parks, images of beautiful natural places designed to attract people come to mind..hiking trails, picnic areas, campsites, playgrounds, swimming holes. But this is a story about a new park where people are not the main attraction. It’s called Seven Islands and yes, people are certainly welcome. But unlike most parks, this one is specifically managed to attract wildlife…especially birds. Wild Side Guide Alan Griggs takes us to a premier birding destination that also happens to be our newest state park.

In case you are counting, Seven Islands State Birding Park is the 56th park in our state. While it will still be managed primarily as a wildlife sanctuary and refuge for native plants and flowers, work is also being done to add more trails for people. And for folks who like to wet a line or do some paddling from time to time, there is a small canoe and kayak launch there on the French Broad River.

If you are interested in learning more about bird watching opportunities in the Knoxville and East TN area, contact the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society. Their website is

The Tennessee Butterfly Monitoring Network is a citizen science project of Knoxville Zoo and is a member of the North American Butterfly Monitoring Network.  Its goal is to monitor butterfly habitat to aid in land management decisions, increase awareness of the importance of pollinators and to promote pollinator conservation. If you are interested in learning more about the project, you can contact Steve McGaffin at the Knoxville Zoo at or by phone at 865-637-5331 ext. 1360.

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