Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

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83 mi 133 km

Rides

239 mi 385 km

Trails

22

Photos

Easy Trails
52 Trails
Intermediate Trails
21 Trails
Hard Trails
2 Trails

Boasting miles of scenic sandstone bluffs and river gorges, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the natural beauty of the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Covering 125,000 rugged acres of the Cumberland Plateau and spanning the states of Kentucky and Tennesee, the park is rich with history and nature, and the land has been developed to provide visitors with a multitude of recreational opportunities. Enjoy the views of pristine streams and impressive chimneys, arches, and cliffs that have been carved from the sandstone of the plateau.

To learn more about Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, visit www.nps.gov.

Details

Mountain biking is one of the more popular activities enjoyed by visitors to Big South Fork. Currently at Big South Fork, there are several trails which have been designed, built and are maintained by the Big South Fork Mountain Bike Club. In addition to bike-only trails, mountain bikes are allowed on highway edges, backcountry roads and some horse trails. This combination provides bikers of all skill levels with miles of trail options. For more information on biking in the park, click here.

Visiting Tips

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some facilities are closed or have reduced hours during the winter.

Camping and Lodging

Camping:
Big South Fork contains five developed campgrounds, including two equestrian camps. The various campgrounds offer a range of amenities and more information can be found here.

  • Bandy Creek Campground (TN): $22 per night for hook up sites, 96 sites. $19 per night for non-hook up sites, 49 sites. $100 per night for group sites, 2 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Blue Heron Campground (KY): $17 per night per site, 45 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Bear Creek Horse Camp (KY): $28 per night per site, 23 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Alum Ford Campground (KY): $5 per night per site, 6 sites. Sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Station Camp Horse Camp (TN): $22-$26 per night per site, 24 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling (931) 319-6893.

Lodging:
Charit Creek Lodge is located in the Station Camp Creek drainage and offers a full range of amenities including cabin and dormitory rentals, meals, restrooms and showers. Access to the lodge is by foot, bike, or horse only. For more information or to make reservations, visit Charit Creek Lodge's website or call (865) 696-5611.

Food and Drink

There are no restaurants located within the park, but there are a variety of dining options located in the nearby towns. For more information on dining options in the Big South Fork region, click here.

After the Ride: Local Favorites

SONIC Drive In Cherry Limeades from here are the best!
19536 Alberta St, Oneida TN — (423) 569-9338
Dairy Bar Always good food!:)
198 Main St, Whitley City KY — (606) 376-2124
Rickard Ridge BBQ Excellent BBQ, highly recommended!
131 Goose Ln, Caryville TN — (423) 907-8202
Waffle House Great service!

Other Activities

The recreational opportunities in Big South Fork are seemingly endless, and visitors can choose from a long list of ways to explore the park and the surrounding areas. From hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and kyaking, there are many ways to explore all that the park has to offer. Be sure to check out the amazing mountain biking and rock climbing in the area. If you are looking for further recreational opportunities nearby, the Obed Wild and Scenic River, Dale Hollow Lake, Historic Rugby, and a variety of local state parks offer visitors additional opportunities to explore this great area. Visit Big South Fork's website for more information.
Hiking Basics: Mar 30 - Knoxville REI
GO TAKE A HIKE! Learn about the basics of hiking - trip planning, essential items, equipment, safety precautions, along with local resources and places to go. Details
Basic Wildflower and Macro Photography: Apr 13 - Knoxville REI
This introductory class will teach you the exposure techniques and composition tips needed to capture the minute details of macro (close-up) photography that are so often lost in typical photography. Please bring your digital camera and owner's manual to the class. Details
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Featured Rides in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 5

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Trails in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 70

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7.5 mi 12.1 km
#1 John Muir
Oneida, TN
7.5 mi 12.1 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
It had rained a few days and the trail had drained nicely. Great place to ride even when it's wet. Just damp leaves and lots of good riding.
82 days ago
Oneida, TN
7.0 mi 11.2 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Pine Knot, KY
2.1 mi 3.4 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
3.1 mi 4.9 km
#4 West Bandy
Oneida, TN
3.1 mi 4.9 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
5.8 mi 9.3 km
#5 Collier Ridge
Oneida, TN
5.8 mi 9.3 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
1.3 mi 2.1 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
9.8 mi 15.8 km
#7 Kentucky Trail
Pine Knot, KY
9.8 mi 15.8 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
Pine Knot, KY
1.6 mi 2.6 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
Pine Knot, KY
4.7 mi 7.6 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
2.1 mi 3.4 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
1.1 mi 1.8 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
3.8 mi 6.1 km
#12 Lee Hollow Loop
Pine Knot, KY
3.8 mi 6.1 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
12.9 mi 20.7 km
#13 Laurel Ridge Road
unknown, unknown
12.9 mi 20.7 km unknown, unknown
Unknown
Update
Stearns, KY
2.8 mi 4.6 km Stearns, KY
Unknown
Update
Jamestown, TN
4.6 mi 7.4 km Jamestown, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
1.6 mi 2.6 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
7.9 mi 12.8 km
#17 Divide Road
Jamestown, TN
7.9 mi 12.8 km Jamestown, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
10.4 mi 16.7 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
4.1 mi 6.6 km
#19 Bear Creek Road
Pine Knot, KY
4.1 mi 6.6 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
Pine Knot, KY
2.2 mi 3.5 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update

Photos of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 22

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