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Sandhill Crane & Bald Eagle Outing #1 at Hiwassee Refuge

In the winter of 2012/13, we held our most popular outings ever at the Hiwassee Refuge. Join us as we visit the Hiwassee Refuge to watch Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, ducks and more! You'll also learn about how you can help protect nearly 20,000 acres in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest. 

The day will begin at the Refuge viewing platform at 10am.  We'll remain there until approximately 90 minutes.  Then we'll carpool 5 minutes to the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park at Historic Blythe Ferry. We'll view the displays at the park, and then walk a short distance to a viewing platform over the Tennessee River where we'll have lunch among the Cedar Trees while we watch birds on the river. 

Storyteller and Aldo Leopold expert Jim Pfitzer will be joining us, and he will recite Leopold's moving essay, Marshland Elegy. Don't miss it! 

This outing is easy and perfect for folks of all ages and physical ability.  Both the Hiwassee Refuge Platform, and the viewing platform at the Cherokee Removal Park are handicapped accessible. 


On I-75, take exit number 25 in Cleveland, Tennessee. Travel north on Highway 60 through the town of Birchwood. Approximately 1.7 miles north of Birchwood, turn right on Shadden Road. Go one mile and turn right on Blythe Ferry Road. Take the next left on Priddy Lane and follow signs.

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  • Lisa F.

    Great meeting everyone and seeing the cranes. The wind had a chill but it was worth it.

    December 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am so glad I joined this meetup group.....excellent event. A tad on the nippy side, but those that ventured out enjoyed a bird's eye (eh?)view of the sandhill cranes and thought-provoking narration from Aldo Lepold's book on the crane by Jim Pfitzer.

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Mike B.

    Was it a bit chilly? No one seemed to notice (not), but it was a fun and pleasant outing. The Sand Hill Cranes didn't disappoint us and were a wonderful sight. Jim Pfitzer was entertaining and informative with his recital, and Erin was a friendly and knowledgeable leader. Mike Bellotti

    2 · December 7, 2013

  • Natasha

    The cranes showed up and so did we, despite the windy cold air, which was tolerable, just. We were river-side, after all! (Suggestion: Bring binoculars and hand/feet warmers, those carbon packets you stick in your gloves and socks.) Well done having Jim Pfitzer share his passion and artistry for Aldo Leopold's work and on-site knowledge of crane habits. Very glad to hear there's a Sandhill Crane/Cherokee Heritage Festival scheduled for Sat-Sun, January 18-19, 2014. Look forward to seeing the Cranes (and Cherokees, vendors, wildlife demonstrations, and storytellers that usually show up, too) then, if not before.

    December 7, 2013

  • Doug P.

    Water is up. Going kayaking instead.

    December 7, 2013

  • Lisa F.

    Looking forward to it.

    December 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I know this is a great experience but I can't make it. Sorry.

    December 2, 2013

  • kathy f

    Work schedule has changed so I can't make it - hope to be at the next one

    December 1, 2013

  • Laura

    Looking forward to meeting y'all. This outing will be my first with this group.

    November 8, 2013

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