Reelfoot Lake Public Wildlife Area
The Reelfoot Lake area offers spectacular year-round wildlife viewing in a setting of haunting beauty. Extensive bottomland forests, marshes, and bald cypress swamps rim the lake, formed during the violent New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812. A fissure opened between the Mississippi River and Reelfoot Lake's cypress bottoms and the Mississippi River flowed backwards for three days, inundating the bottoms and forming the lake. Native Americans have an alternate explanation for the formation of the lake.