I recently was in Knoxville, Tennessee, and I had a bit of extra time so I decided to visit Seven Islands State Birding Park. This day-use park is in Kodak which is a 20-minute drive from Knoxville. (1) Founded in 2013, it's the newest Tennessee State Park, and it's the state's first park dedicated to birdwatching. (2) The majority of the park is on a peninsula bordered by the French Broad River. (3)
When I arrived, I was surprised that the park does not have a visitor's center. (4) Instead, I drove to a large gravel parking lot next to the Bluebird Barn, one of three barns at the park. (5) It's surrounded by a native plant garden and has information panels inside explaining the different habitats and birds at the park. (6)
I'm not very knowledgeable about birds so I was glad to see panels listing which birds visitors may see in the park and even particularly interesting sightings:
Immediately behind the barn, I found some restrooms and a sign listing trails:
I continued walking straight ahead on the paved Bobwhite ADA trail, almost a mile in length one-way. (7)
I admired the flowering fields surrounding the trail, and I especially loved seeing the bees pollinating the flowers:
I didn't get to hike as I didn't have much time, but I plan on returning and spending more time in the park. I saw different types of trails; for instance, the Hickory Ridge Loop Trail is in a forest, and the Upland Trail Inner and Outer Loops go through fields.
Maybe I'll see you out there!
(2) https://tnstateparks.com/parks/info/seven-islands and interpretative panel inside the park's Bluebird Barn.
(6) Interpretative panels inside the Bluebird Barn.