Location: Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge in Stewart County, TN, Lake Barkely/Cumberland River
Access: There are three access points for this bay: 1) From the south side of Cumberland River, turn off highway 49 at the refuge sign for South Cross Reservoir onto the refuge road 6 miles east of Dover, cross a levee bridge and bear left after the bridge to the small concrete ramp facing the Cumberland River. From this ramp you will have to paddle across the Cumberland River to enter into North Cross Creek. 2) From the north side of Cumberland River there is a concrete ramp off Commissary Ridge Road just off Indian Mound Road. 3) Travel to Indian Mound, TN on Highway 46, turn onto Lower Cross Creek Road, turn left at the Cross Creeks NWR sign, travel 1 mile to the concrete boat ramp.
Restrictions: This refuge is closed seasonally from Nov. 15th to Mar. 15th
Time Allotment: 2 hours +
Hazards: This bay can be accessed from a boat ramp on the south side of the Cumberland River and paddling across the river into North Cross Creeks Bay. However, barges run along the Cumberland and can be quite stealthy. You can see a long ways up and down river from this point, but don’t dawdle getting across the river. The current can also be a factor in getting across the river.
Scenic Area: North Cross Creeks Bay is a place to kayak where you can forget the outside world. The beauty of the scenery and the abundant wildlife just makes for a peaceful afternoon or morning.
• This bay has several small fingers that are fun to explore.
• Just to the right from the boat ramp on the south side of the Cumberland River you can paddle underneath the historic Iron Bridge which was fabricated in 1901.
• North Cross Creeks Bay is fairly protected from wind and makes for easy paddling.
• Bring snacks, water, bug repellent, and binoculars
Wildlife Viewing: Great
• This area is somewhat remote, therefore a wide variety of wildlife frequents the area throughout the year.
o Osprey and bald eagles can be seen frequently throughout the bay.
o A wide variety of songbirds are common sites along the forest and field edge.
o White-tailed deer are common along the shoreline.
o Waterfowl begin arriving on their migration route just before we close or open for sanctuary.
o Herons and other wading birds are frequently viewed along with cormorants.
o White pelicans can sometimes be seen in fall and spring.
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