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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

214 mi 345 km of trail 15 Featured Runs

Gems 2 Gems Easy Trails 53 Trails Intermediate Trails 34 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

Visitor Centers:
Visitor center hours vary by season. Note that the park spans two time zones. To see current operating hours, visit the park's website.
  • Headquarters Building: Open 8 am to 4:30 pm ET, Monday through Friday.
  • Bandy Creek Visitor Center: Open 8 am to 6 pm ET, Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Open 9 am to 5 pm ET during the winter. Closed on Christmas.
  • Crossville Visitor Center: Open 9 am to 5 pm CT, weekends.
  • Rugby Visitor Contact Station: Open 9 am to 5 pm ET, weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.
  • Helenwood Visitor Center: Open 9 am to 5 pm ET, weekends.
  • Blue Heron Interpretive Center: Open daily from 9:30 to 3:30 ET, April 1 through October 1.
  • Stearns Visitor Contact Station: Open 9 am to 5 pm ET, weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend.

Fees & Passes
There is no entrance fee to Big South Fork NRRA. However, there are several types of user fees. To learn more about these additional fees, visit the park's website.

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.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 2

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Gems

Featured Runs in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 16

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Runs

Favorite Runners navigate a bridge crossing at the intersection of Lick Creek Trail and the Sheltowee Trace.

Yamacraw 50K

34.1 mi 54.9 km • Point to Point • 2,837 ft Ascent 864.76 m Ascent

Singletrack Whitley City, KY

( 4 )
Favorite This fantastic section of the trail runs behind Yahoo Falls.

Yahoo Falls Loop

1.1 mi 1.7 km • Loop • 176 ft Ascent 53.5 m Ascent

Singletrack Whitley City, KY

( 8 )
Favorite The Big South Fork from the Angel Falls Overlook.

No Business 100

100.2 mi 161.2 km • Loop • 9,017 ft Ascent 2748.45 m Ascent

Singletrack Stearns, KY

( 3 )
Favorite The Big South Fork from the Angel Falls Overlook.

No Business 100 - Counter Clockwise

104.8 mi 168.6 km • Loop • 9,779 ft Ascent 2980.59 m Ascent

Singletrack Stearns, KY

( 3 )
Favorite Inside deep rock house

2019 NB100 Training Camp: Day 1

21.6 mi 34.8 km • Loop • 2,391 ft Ascent 728.74 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 2 )
Favorite Spectacular view from one of the overlooks.

Yamacraw 10K

6.4 mi 10.3 km • Out and Back • 904 ft Ascent 275.64 m Ascent

Singletrack Stearns, KY

( 1 )
Favorite The Big South Fork from the Angel Falls Overlook.

No Business 100 Training Run #1

30.0 mi 48.3 km • Loop • 2,947 ft Ascent 898.19 m Ascent

Singletrack Oneida, TN

( 1 )
Favorite Families hike along the Blue Heron Loop Trail near the river.

Yamacraw Kids Race

1.4 mi 2.2 km • Point to Point • 158 ft Ascent 48.29 m Ascent

Singletrack Stearns, KY

( 1 )

Trails in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 74

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4.1 mi 6.6 km #1 Honey Creek Loop
Huntsville, TN
4.1 mi 6.6 km Huntsville, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
49 days ago
25 
3.9 mi 6.2 km #2 Twin Arches Loop Trail
Oneida, TN
3.9 mi 6.2 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
16 
1.0 mi 1.5 km #3 Honey Creek Overlook Access
Huntsville, TN
1.0 mi 1.5 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
1.3 mi 2.1 km #4 Allerton Ridge Trail
Huntsville, TN
1.3 mi 2.1 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
1.9 mi 3.0 km #5 Black House Branch Trail
Oneida, TN
1.9 mi 3.0 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km #6 Cox Branch Trail
Huntsville, TN
0.4 mi 0.7 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km #7 Cliffside Loop Trail
Whitley City, KY
0.4 mi 0.7 km Whitley City, KY
Unknown
Update
0.9 mi 1.4 km #8 Kellogg's Crack Loop
Huntsville, TN
0.9 mi 1.4 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
0.9 mi 1.4 km #9 Massengale Loop Trail
Huntsville, TN
0.9 mi 1.4 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
1.9 mi 3.1 km #10 White Oak Trail
Huntsville, TN
1.9 mi 3.1 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
0.9 mi 1.5 km #11 Twin Arches Trail
Oneida, TN
0.9 mi 1.5 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
6.4 mi 10.3 km #12 Blue Heron Loop Trail
Stearns, KY
6.4 mi 10.3 km Stearns, KY
All Clear
Update
Dry
29 days ago
3.4 mi 5.5 km #13 Middle Creek Nature Loop
Jamestown, TN
3.4 mi 5.5 km Jamestown, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry: Dry apart from a couple of muddy stream crossings
30 days ago
2.0 mi 3.3 km #14 Gentleman's Swimming Hole Loop
Huntsville, TN
2.0 mi 3.3 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
5.2 mi 8.4 km #15 Grand Gap Loop Trail
Oneida, TN
5.2 mi 8.4 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
29 days ago
2.2 mi 3.5 km #16 Topside Loop Trail
Whitley City, KY
2.2 mi 3.5 km Whitley City, KY
Unknown
Update
4.4 mi 7.1 km #17 John Litton Farm Hike Loop
Oneida, TN
4.4 mi 7.1 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
2.2 mi 3.5 km #18 JMT: Honey Creek
Huntsville, TN
2.2 mi 3.5 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
4.1 mi 6.7 km #19 Burnt Mill Bridge Loop
Huntsville, TN
4.1 mi 6.7 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
2.0 mi 3.2 km #20 Fall Branch Trail
Oneida, TN
2.0 mi 3.2 km Oneida, TN
Minor Issues
Update
Some Mud, Fallen Trees
75 days ago

Photos of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 136

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