Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Trail Run Project Logo

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Area suggestions or local tips? Tell us!

Difficulty
Easy Difficult
Distance
mi
 - 
mi
Rating
Distance
mi
 - 
mi
Difficulty
Easy Difficult
Rating
Popular Near Here

Weather Averages


High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w/
 
J F M A M J J A S O N D

202 mi 325 km of trail 12 Featured Runs

Gems 2 Gems Easy Trails 54 Trails Intermediate Trails 23 Trails Hard Trails 4 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 - 13

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

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

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

4.1 mi 6.6 km
#1 Honey Creek Loop
Huntsville, TN
4.1 mi 6.6 km Huntsville, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
12 days ago
21 
Oneida, TN
3.9 mi 6.2 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
22 days ago
13 
Huntsville, TN
1.3 mi 2.1 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
Huntsville, TN
1.0 mi 1.5 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km
#5 Cox Branch Trail
Huntsville, TN
0.4 mi 0.7 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
1.9 mi 3.0 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
98 days ago
Whitley City, KY
0.4 mi 0.7 km Whitley City, KY
Minor Issues
Update
Mostly Dry, Fallen Trees
71 days ago
Oneida, TN
5.2 mi 8.4 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Stearns, KY
6.4 mi 10.3 km Stearns, KY
All Clear
Update
Dry - The leaves are changing color but there was still a lot of green. The deck on some of the overlooks is slippery. A few of the stairs have: missing handrails loose handrails missing step
14 days ago
0.9 mi 1.5 km
#10 Twin Arches Trail
Oneida, TN
0.9 mi 1.5 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud: Some drizzle and clouds earlier on but that cleared up by early afternoon and the sun peaked out
25 days ago
Huntsville, TN
2.0 mi 3.3 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
Jamestown, TN
3.4 mi 5.5 km Jamestown, TN
Unknown
Update
Whitley City, KY
2.2 mi 3.5 km Whitley City, KY
Minor Issues
Update
Mostly Dry, Fallen Trees
71 days ago
Oneida, TN
4.4 mi 7.1 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
2.2 mi 3.5 km
#15 JMT: Honey Creek
Huntsville, TN
2.2 mi 3.5 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
Huntsville, TN
4.1 mi 6.7 km Huntsville, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
2.5 mi 4.0 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Oneida, TN
2.4 mi 3.9 km Oneida, TN
All Clear
Update
Some Mud
35 days ago
Oneida, TN
14.4 mi 23.1 km Oneida, TN
Unknown
Update
Pine Knot, KY
0.5 mi 0.7 km Pine Knot, KY
Unknown
Update

Photos of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area - 131

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

Classes & Events Near You

Find More Classes and Events

Shop REI Adventures

Find More REI Adventures


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running