Steele Creek Park

Louisiana Waterthrush by Alan Lenk


April 21, 2023

Blue-gray Gnatchatcher by Simon Thompson

Register by clicking the ‘book now’ button above, or by contacting the Ventures office. We accept credit cards for an additional fee (2.9% for MC, Visa, Discover; 3.9% for AmEx), but you may also pay by bank transfer, cash, check, or money order. This Venture is limited to 10 participants.

Departure: We will meet at the Steele Creek Park Golf Course parking lot. The main entrance requires a fee, so we will park in the lot immediately adjacent to the main gate instead. The coordinates are 36.575090, -82.236881. Searching for “Steele Creek Park Golf Course” on a GPS will still take you through the wrong entrance. Heading south on Steele Creek Park Rd from Old Stage Rd, it is the first parking lot on the right after the road makes a sharp bend. Time: 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM Price: $60


The park is generally flat and most of the paths will be paved or gravel. Expect a lot of walking and mild inclines. Picnic areas and restrooms will be available.

Steele Creek Park is a Bristol city park covering more than 2,200 acres of land. From creeks, grassy lawns, thickets, forests, bird feeders, and a lake, there is an array of excellent habitats for viewing birds. The moist, shaly soils and steep knobs also make it home to abundant and unique plant life. Currently the most species-rich hotspot in Sullivan County, Tennessee at 208 species, there is always plenty to see at Steele Creek Park. We will spend the day exploring all the park has to offer.

We will cover a lakeside trail, which will likely produce Louisiana Waterthrush and Wood Thrush. The dry, steep hillsides found in the coves of the lake is a promising location for Worm-eating Warbler. Though most of the waterfowl will be gone, there is still a chance to see Pied-billed Grebes and Blue-winged Teal in addition to ubiquitous Mallards and Canada Geese. Spotted Sandpiper is expected. An experimental meadow was created in the park some years ago. It has since grown into an excellent birding thicket where we might find Brown Thrasher and Field and White-throated Sparrows.

Breeding activity should be ramping up. We will stop at the Purple Martin colony, Eastern Bluebird nest boxes, and will likely find recently fledged Killdeer. Additionally, early warblers like Yellow-throated Warbler should be singing. Other species that we might expect to see include Broad-winged Hawk, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Kingbird, and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.