Must-See Wildlife At Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat

Located near the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat offers many opportunities for guests to view the natural wildlife that call this area home. You can easily spot many different animals by air, by land, or by sea depending on your activity choices. Check out these main species that will make your vacation at Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat even more relaxing:

bird perched on a rock

By Air: Birds

There have been over 170 species of birds spotted in our area which makes Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat a great vacation spot for avid bird watchers! Spring and early summer is the best time to view the House Wren, Ovenbird, and Hooded Warbler. Other popular species that are commonly seen in the area are the Red-Eyed Vireo and Golden-Crowned Kinglet. If you’re lucky you could also spot a few unique species like the Harry or Pileated Woodpecker or even a Great Horned Owl!


By Land: Kate

There is one animal at Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat that we can guarantee you’ll see: Kate the Blue Heeler! Kate is our resident greeter to all visitors. She is a constant companion of Papaw Jack and you will find her on the back of his truck or sitting in the rocking chairs enjoying the breeze. Kate isn’t allowed to wander the retreat alone, but enjoys riding down to the end of the retreat road and running back next to Papaw Jack’s truck. She loves playing with her Jolly Ball toy and won’t ever refuse a Milkbone MaroSnack! Look for Kate the next time you check in for a welcome tail wag!


By Land: Lizard

Although it looks much like a snake, the Eastern Slender Glass Lizard is actually a legless lizard that can be seen in the area! This lizard is deemed a “threatened” species in the area and the population has dwindled in recent years. The Eastern Slender Glass Lizard enjoys sandy soil and open areas like fields. They do well in areas that have been maintained by fire in the past and prescribed fire can help to grow the population of this threatened species.


woman holding a smallmouth bass while fishing from a boat

By Sea: Fish

You may not normally think that fishing would be that great in the landlocked state of Tennessee, but the fishing in the Big South Fork area is a well-kept secret (well, until now)! Walleye can be caught in late winter to early spring with catfish caught in the summer. Late summer and early fall anglers can enjoy catching both smallmouth and largemouth bass as well. Local areas also have stocked lakes that feature other species like perch and bluegills.

Whether you fancy animals by air, land, or sea the Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat area has plenty of wildlife to enhance your next vacation retreat. See how many species of birds you can identify, bring Kate her favorite treat, or wet a line at the area’s best fishing spots for a relaxing vacation at Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat.