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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

231 mi 372 km of trail 5 Featured Rides

Easy Trails 52 Trails Intermediate Trails 20 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.

Local Info

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 & 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): 96 hook up sites. 49 non-hook upsites. 2 group sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Blue Heron Campground (KY): 45 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Bear Creek Horse Camp (KY): 23 sites. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
  • Alum Ford Campground (KY): 6 sites. Sites are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Station Camp Horse Camp (TN): 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 & 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.

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.

Featured Rides in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 5

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Rides

Favorite There aren't many technical sections on Grand Gap.  The ones that you will find travel through spectacular settings.

Grand Gap Loop

6.4 mi 10.4 km • Loop • 875 ft Ascent 266.56 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 30 )
Favorite There aren't many technical sections on Grand Gap.  The ones that you will find travel through spectacular settings.

Big South Fork - IMBA EPIC

34.2 mi 55.0 km • Loop • 2,249 ft Ascent 685.54 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 25 )
Favorite Riding sandstone on Collier Ridge trail

Collier Ridge/ West Bandy / Duncan Hollow at Big South Fork

13.3 mi 21.4 km • Loop • 1,377 ft Ascent 419.57 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 8 )
Favorite Cruising through dense forest along the John Muir Trail.

Chestnut Ridge Loop

11.2 mi 18.1 km • Loop • 770 ft Ascent 234.56 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 5 )
Favorite Descending rocky ledges into Difficulty Creek.

Kentucky Trail Loop

18.6 mi 29.9 km • Loop • 1,810 ft Ascent 551.82 m Ascent

Singletrack Pine Knot, KY

( 3 )

Trails in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 69

MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Trails

7.5 mi 12.1 km #1 John Muir
Oneida, TN
7.5 mi 12.1 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
70 days ago
11 
18.0 mi 28.9 km #2 O&W
Oneida, TN
18.0 mi 28.9 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
3.4 mi 5.5 km #3 Station Camp Creek Trail
Oneida, TN
3.4 mi 5.5 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
7.0 mi 11.2 km #4 John Muir Trail: Chestnut Ridge Portion
Oneida, TN
7.0 mi 11.2 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
70 days ago
9.8 mi 15.8 km #5 Kentucky Trail
Pine Knot, KY
9.8 mi 15.8 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
2.1 mi 3.4 km #6 Chestnut Ridge Trail
Pine Knot, KY
2.1 mi 3.4 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
5.8 mi 9.3 km #7 Collier Ridge
Oneida, TN
5.8 mi 9.3 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
3.1 mi 4.9 km #8 West Bandy
Oneida, TN
3.1 mi 4.9 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
1.3 mi 2.1 km #9 John Muir Trail (Segment K)
Oneida, TN
1.3 mi 2.1 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
0.9 mi 1.5 km #10 Longfield Branch Trail
Oneida, TN
0.9 mi 1.5 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
4.7 mi 7.6 km #11 Laurel Hill Multi-Use Trail
Pine Knot, KY
4.7 mi 7.6 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
4.6 mi 7.3 km #12 Duncan Hollow Road
Oneida, TN
4.6 mi 7.3 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
1.1 mi 1.8 km #13 Charit Creek Horse Trail
Oneida, TN
1.1 mi 1.8 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
2.0 mi 3.2 km #14 Alfred Smith Road
Oneida, TN
2.0 mi 3.2 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
1.6 mi 2.6 km #15 Watson Branch Trail
Pine Knot, KY
1.6 mi 2.6 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
2.1 mi 3.4 km #16 Duncan Hollow Bypass
Oneida, TN
2.1 mi 3.4 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
10.4 mi 16.7 km #17 Cumberland Valley Loop
Oneida, TN
10.4 mi 16.7 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
12.9 mi 20.7 km #18 Laurel Ridge Road
unknown, unknown
12.9 mi 20.7 km unknown, unknown
Unknown
Update
3.8 mi 6.1 km #19 Lee Hollow Loop
Pine Knot, KY
3.8 mi 6.1 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update
4.6 mi 7.4 km #20 Fork Ridge Road and Trail
Jamestown, TN
4.6 mi 7.4 km Jamestown, TN
Unknown
Update

Photos of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 30

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