Geotourism Mapguide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
  Fish and Wildlife Refuge or Sanctuary

Rankin Bottoms

Coal Tipple at Rankin Bottoms
Osprey at nest

Rankin Bottoms is a broad, fertile floodplain at the junction of the French Broad and Nolichucky Rivers,  40 miles east of Knoxville. Located at the upper reach of Douglas Lake,  the area is usually flooded from April until September.    Rankin Bottoms attracts an exceptional number and variety of birds, and is recognized as an Important Birding Area by the Audubon Society for   waterbird activity during the warm seasons.  Most of the area is within the pool of Douglas Reservoir, and habitat conditions, the numberof birds present, and the area’s accessibility by birders are greatly dependent on the reservoir’s water level.

Recreational Opportunities

Rankin Bottoms is popular for fishing, boating,  paddling, & casual visits.  TWRA manages the Rankin Wildlife Area, which occupies a portion of the bottoms, for waterfowl and fall hunting. Canoeing, kayaking, guided tours by appointment (Call 423-487-3161).                                                           


Seasons Accessible

Accessibility varies with the seasons.  Motor vehicle access is most extensive from October to March, and is very imited from May to August, when the area is best visited by boat.

Fees: No fees

 ADA Accessibility Notes

Not ADA compliant

 Pet Friendly Notes

No restrictions are in place

For More Information, Contact:

Michael Sledjeski


michael sledjeski wrote on August 05, 2016: Re: Q by hunting guy: the islands in the mouth of the Nolichucky are part of the rankin WMA.

hunting guy wrote on September 16, 2014: where is there a wildlife management area in the mouth of the nolichucky?

Michael Sledjeski wrote on August 11, 2011: The Rankin area is outstanding for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing at any time of year. There are TWRA boat ramps at Rankin Bridge, Leadvale, and Walters Bridge. During the warm season, you can loop on the lake from any of these sites: in the cool season, you can head down river from one to another, as long as you've arranged a shuttle. A side journey into the mouth of the Nolichucky, with its Wildlife Management Area, is well worth the effort.

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 36.022446700
Longitude: -83.254394500
Elevation: 999 FT (304 M)
Linda Lewanski
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Linda Lewanski
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