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A Flooded Forest in Tennessee

By Linda Tancs

Tennessee’s Reelfoot Lake State Park has an ecosystem unlike any other in the state. That’s because it’s a flooded forest, resulting from a series of violent earthquakes in the early 1800s that caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards for a short period of time, which created the lake. A variety of aquatic plants and flowers occupy the shoreline and saturate the shallow water, together with towering cypress trees with submerged stumps. As you might expect, the lake also hosts an array of shore and wading birds as well as eagles. Boating is a key activity here; scenic pontoon boat tours are offered May through September.

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