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Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park

Birding

The rivers are an excellent place to spot great blue herons fishing amongst the river rocks. Picnic areas bursting with wildflowers bring out an excellent variety of woodland birds as they dine on seeds, insects, and invertebrates. Bald eagles are also now occurring with greater frequency. Over 100 species of birds have been observed at the park.

Gee Creek Trail: 35.24687, -84.54034 – Spring, Fall
1.00 Miles - Natural Surface – Easy
This trail crosses hemlock and rhododendron-lined streams and ends at a waterfall complete with a plunge pool.
Featured Birds: warblers, cliff swallow, northern parula, indigo bunting, chimney swift, American redstart, scarlet tanager, Swainson’s thrush, cedar waxwing, rose-breasted grosbeak.

Hiwassee River Road (Powerhouse Road): Big Bend Overlook to Appalachian Powerhouse: 35.20074, -84.46711
2.10 Miles – Paved Surface – Easy - Spring, Fall
This section of Powerhouse Road borders a portion of the Hiwassee River with several islands and rapids.
Featured Birds: great blue heron, belted kingfisher, swallows, tufted titmouse, Carolina chickadee, and woodpeckers.

Lake Ocoee (Parksville Lake): Ocoee Scenic Byway from Sugarloaf Mtn. Park to Mac Point Beach: 35.09589,-84.65113
4.7 Miles – Paved Surface – Easy
This section of scenic byway skirts along the edge of Parksville Lake and Lake Ocoee. It is navigable by car.
Featured Birds: ring-billed gull, Canada goose, mallard, wood duck, herons, northern mockingbird, northern cardinal, northern rough-winged swallow, tree swallow, and barn swallows.

Ocoee Whitewater Center: Rhododendron Trail: 35.06649, -84.46133 – 1.00 Miles – Natural – Easy - Spring, Summer, Fall
Short trail along the Olympic course section of the Ocoee River.
Featured Birds: herons, turkey vulture, black vulture, American goldfinch, tufted titmouse, purple finch, northern cardinal, mourning dove, northern mockingbird, indigo bunting, ruby-throated hummingbird, and woodpeckers.