Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Big South Fork is located in Tennessee and Kentucky.
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1 Unlike most national parks, Big South Fork is open to many different types of recreation. This trail sign indicates the area is open to off-road vehicles, horseback riding, horse or mule drawn wagons, and hiking. Many trails in the park are open to mou...

Unlike most national parks, Big South Fork is open to many different types of recreation. This trail sign indicates the area is open to off-road vehicles, horseback riding, horse or mule drawn wagons, and hiking. Many trails in the park are open to mou...

Unlike most national parks, Big South Fork is open to many different types of recreation. This trail sign indicates the area is open to off-road vehicles, horseback riding, horse or mule drawn wagons, and hiking. Many trails in the park are open to mountain biking too. One of the major types of recreation in the park is canoeing, kayaking and rafting on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. 1728
2 The <strong>Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area</strong>  is located partially in Scott and Fentress counties in TN and partially in Kentucky. The southern part of the park is accessible through Oneida, TN by I-75. It is a great park for ...

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located partially in Scott and Fentress counties in TN and partially in Kentucky. The southern part of the park is accessible through Oneida, TN by I-75. It is a great park for ...

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located partially in Scott and Fentress counties in TN and partially in Kentucky. The southern part of the park is accessible through Oneida, TN by I-75. It is a great park for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There are many wildflowers in the park. map... This bridge is on the 3-mile Angel Falls Overlook trail. 3581
3 Angel Falls Overlook as seen from the river below.

Angel Falls Overlook as seen from the river below.

Angel Falls Overlook as seen from the river below. 2307
4 This huge boulder on the edge of the Angel Falls Trail has unusual holes in it.

This huge boulder on the edge of the Angel Falls Trail has unusual holes in it.

This huge boulder on the edge of the Angel Falls Trail has unusual holes in it. 2079
5 Many of the sandstone cliffs on the Cumberland Plateau have interesting weathering patterns! These look like petrified honeycombs. Look for many types of insects, spiders, and bird nests in these holes.

Many of the sandstone cliffs on the Cumberland Plateau have interesting weathering patterns! These look like petrified honeycombs. Look for many types of insects, spiders, and bird nests in these holes.

Many of the sandstone cliffs on the Cumberland Plateau have interesting weathering patterns! These look like petrified honeycombs. Look for many types of insects, spiders, and bird nests in these holes. 2398
6 The Cumberland Plateau has many interesting cliffs and rockhouses like this one.

The Cumberland Plateau has many interesting cliffs and rockhouses like this one.

The Cumberland Plateau has many interesting cliffs and rockhouses like this one. 2101
7 Big South Fork - Angel Falls Overlook<br>
The "falls" is actually a dangerous set of rapids in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The falls are not visible in this picture. Hikers can hear the rushing water from this vantage point. This is no...

Big South Fork - Angel Falls Overlook
The "falls" is actually a dangerous set of rapids in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The falls are not visible in this picture. Hikers can hear the rushing water from this vantage point. This is no...

Big South Fork - Angel Falls Overlook
The "falls" is actually a dangerous set of rapids in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. The falls are not visible in this picture. Hikers can hear the rushing water from this vantage point. This is not a good hike for small children, the high cliffs have no protective railings. Angel Falls Overlook is my husband's favorite destination in the area.
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8 It is a short, paved walk to the lovely East Rim Overlook. It is a great introduction to the park, so be sure and make the short drive off the main road to enjoy this view.

It is a short, paved walk to the lovely East Rim Overlook. It is a great introduction to the park, so be sure and make the short drive off the main road to enjoy this view.

It is a short, paved walk to the lovely East Rim Overlook. It is a great introduction to the park, so be sure and make the short drive off the main road to enjoy this view. 1925
9 Blueberries are a tasty summer treat along the trails at Big South Fork! These 2 blue ones were gone after I took this photo! Yum! Just be 100% sure what of you are eating if you nibble anything in the woods!

Blueberries are a tasty summer treat along the trails at Big South Fork! These 2 blue ones were gone after I took this photo! Yum! Just be 100% sure what of you are eating if you nibble anything in the woods!

Blueberries are a tasty summer treat along the trails at Big South Fork! These 2 blue ones were gone after I took this photo! Yum! Just be 100% sure what of you are eating if you nibble anything in the woods! 1741
10 The <strong>Twin Arches</strong> are one of the major landmarks of the park. These huge sandstone and conglomerate arches are next to each other in a large rock wall. This is not a good hike for families with small children. There are no barriers at th...

The Twin Arches are one of the major landmarks of the park. These huge sandstone and conglomerate arches are next to each other in a large rock wall. This is not a good hike for families with small children. There are no barriers at th...

The Twin Arches are one of the major landmarks of the park. These huge sandstone and conglomerate arches are next to each other in a large rock wall. This is not a good hike for families with small children. There are no barriers at the top of the arches which could result in a 100+ foot fall! There are lots of very steep steps to climb too. So, unless you can carry a child on your back, it would be wise to skip this trail. 1729
11 My friend Debbie is getting ready to climb down from the top of one of the Twin Arches. Big South Fork is famous for the 2 spectacular, huge sandstone natural arches.

My friend Debbie is getting ready to climb down from the top of one of the Twin Arches. Big South Fork is famous for the 2 spectacular, huge sandstone natural arches.

My friend Debbie is getting ready to climb down from the top of one of the Twin Arches. Big South Fork is famous for the 2 spectacular, huge sandstone natural arches. 1822
12 These steep, narrow steps at Twin Arches are not for the faint of heart or legs! This was taken from the top of the North Arch and we are descending to go under the arches. There are lots of steps and ladders in this area of the park! Some of the ladde...

These steep, narrow steps at Twin Arches are not for the faint of heart or legs! This was taken from the top of the North Arch and we are descending to go under the arches. There are lots of steps and ladders in this area of the park! Some of the ladde...

These steep, narrow steps at Twin Arches are not for the faint of heart or legs! This was taken from the top of the North Arch and we are descending to go under the arches. There are lots of steps and ladders in this area of the park! Some of the ladders are so steep they even have wire cages over them. 1877
13 <strong>North Arch</strong> at Big South Fork is one of the Twin Arches.

North Arch at Big South Fork is one of the Twin Arches.

North Arch at Big South Fork is one of the Twin Arches. 1624
14 South Arch

South Arch

South Arch 1629
15 You'll be out of breath after walking up these steps! This part of the trail takes you out of the area below the Twin Arches. See what I mean about not taking small children on this trail!?

You'll be out of breath after walking up these steps! This part of the trail takes you out of the area below the Twin Arches. See what I mean about not taking small children on this trail!?

You'll be out of breath after walking up these steps! This part of the trail takes you out of the area below the Twin Arches. See what I mean about not taking small children on this trail!? 1682
16 <strong>Slave Falls</strong> is located just 1/2-mile from Needle Arch.

Slave Falls is located just 1/2-mile from Needle Arch.

Slave Falls is located just 1/2-mile from Needle Arch. 1678
17 <strong>Needle Arch</strong> is located along a short, easy hiking trail on the western boundary of Big South Fork.

Needle Arch is located along a short, easy hiking trail on the western boundary of Big South Fork.

Needle Arch is located along a short, easy hiking trail on the western boundary of Big South Fork. 1636
18 The <strong>Charit Creek Lodge</strong> is the destination past the Twin Arches. Like the Mt. Leconte lodge in the Smokies, it is run by a concessionaire for the National Park Service. The only way to reach the lodge is to hike in or ride a horse.

The Charit Creek Lodge is the destination past the Twin Arches. Like the Mt. Leconte lodge in the Smokies, it is run by a concessionaire for the National Park Service. The only way to reach the lodge is to hike in or ride a horse.

The Charit Creek Lodge is the destination past the Twin Arches. Like the Mt. Leconte lodge in the Smokies, it is run by a concessionaire for the National Park Service. The only way to reach the lodge is to hike in or ride a horse. 1811
19 The long, spacious front porch of the Charit Creek lodge is a nice place to prop up your feet after the hike in!

The long, spacious front porch of the Charit Creek lodge is a nice place to prop up your feet after the hike in!

The long, spacious front porch of the Charit Creek lodge is a nice place to prop up your feet after the hike in! 1734
20 This cat enjoyed a nice nap on the porch of Charit Creek Lodge. This photo is available for sale on the Printroom.com link.

This cat enjoyed a nice nap on the porch of Charit Creek Lodge. This photo is available for sale on the Printroom.com link.

This cat enjoyed a nice nap on the porch of Charit Creek Lodge. This photo is available for sale on the Printroom.com link. 1799
21 If you love animals, you'll really like Charit Creek Lodge! The  dog belonged to the lodge caretaker.

If you love animals, you'll really like Charit Creek Lodge! The dog belonged to the lodge caretaker.

If you love animals, you'll really like Charit Creek Lodge! The dog belonged to the lodge caretaker. 1681
22 Many people arrive at Charit Creek Lodge by horseback. Big South Fork is a magnet for trail riders!

Many people arrive at Charit Creek Lodge by horseback. Big South Fork is a magnet for trail riders!

Many people arrive at Charit Creek Lodge by horseback. Big South Fork is a magnet for trail riders! 1806
23 The bathhouse at Charit Creek lodge has lovely gardens.

The bathhouse at Charit Creek lodge has lovely gardens.

The bathhouse at Charit Creek lodge has lovely gardens. 1804
24 Charit Creek Lodge is a short walk from a beautiful creek which can be enjoyed from the back porch.

Charit Creek Lodge is a short walk from a beautiful creek which can be enjoyed from the back porch.

Charit Creek Lodge is a short walk from a beautiful creek which can be enjoyed from the back porch. 1744
25 Homecooked meals are included in the price of a night at the  Charit Creek Lodge. The tasty meals are served family-style in the dining hall.

Homecooked meals are included in the price of a night at the Charit Creek Lodge. The tasty meals are served family-style in the dining hall.

Homecooked meals are included in the price of a night at the Charit Creek Lodge. The tasty meals are served family-style in the dining hall. 1765
26 This is one of the bunkrooms at Charit Creek Lodge. There's not a lot of privacy, so it's probably not the best choice for a honeymoon! ;)There is no electricity in the lodge, so kerosene lamps provide light at night. The heat source is the woodburning...

This is one of the bunkrooms at Charit Creek Lodge. There's not a lot of privacy, so it's probably not the best choice for a honeymoon! ;)There is no electricity in the lodge, so kerosene lamps provide light at night. The heat source is the woodburning...

This is one of the bunkrooms at Charit Creek Lodge. There's not a lot of privacy, so it's probably not the best choice for a honeymoon! ;)There is no electricity in the lodge, so kerosene lamps provide light at night. The heat source is the woodburning stove. There are also cabins available at the lodge. 2078
27 If you visit Big South Fork in June, you might be lucky enough to spot a beautiful Mountain Camillia. I found this one near the Leatherwood Ford parking area.

If you visit Big South Fork in June, you might be lucky enough to spot a beautiful Mountain Camillia. I found this one near the Leatherwood Ford parking area.

If you visit Big South Fork in June, you might be lucky enough to spot a beautiful Mountain Camillia. I found this one near the Leatherwood Ford parking area. 1739
28 My friend, Charlie, called on an unseasonably warm day in mid-December 2006 asking if I wanted to hike to Maude's Crack and then to The John Muir Overlook. The crazy name Maude's Crack has interested me for a long time, so I had to check it out!  That ...

My friend, Charlie, called on an unseasonably warm day in mid-December 2006 asking if I wanted to hike to Maude's Crack and then to The John Muir Overlook. The crazy name Maude's Crack has interested me for a long time, so I had to check it out! That ...

My friend, Charlie, called on an unseasonably warm day in mid-December 2006 asking if I wanted to hike to Maude's Crack and then to The John Muir Overlook. The crazy name Maude's Crack has interested me for a long time, so I had to check it out! That point at the left edge of the cliff on the opposite side of the ridge is the John Muir Overlook. That is our destination! map... 2195
29 We're going down <u>that</u>?!! This is the opening from the top to Maude's Crack, a large opening in the sandstone cliffside. I don't know who "Maude" was, but I'm not sure she would have appreciated having this as her legacy! :)

We're going down that?!! This is the opening from the top to Maude's Crack, a large opening in the sandstone cliffside. I don't know who "Maude" was, but I'm not sure she would have appreciated having this as her legacy! :)

We're going down that?!! This is the opening from the top to Maude's Crack, a large opening in the sandstone cliffside. I don't know who "Maude" was, but I'm not sure she would have appreciated having this as her legacy! :) 1885
30 Charlie negotiates Maude's Crack. It was not as difficult to walk through as I thought it would be!

Charlie negotiates Maude's Crack. It was not as difficult to walk through as I thought it would be!

Charlie negotiates Maude's Crack. It was not as difficult to walk through as I thought it would be! 2073
31 The look back at Maude's Crack from the lower trail.

The look back at Maude's Crack from the lower trail.

The look back at Maude's Crack from the lower trail. 1974
32 Odd patterns in the sandstone below Maude's Crack.

Odd patterns in the sandstone below Maude's Crack.

Odd patterns in the sandstone below Maude's Crack. 1637
33 There are bands of Conglomerate rock in the sandstone cliffs of Big South Fork. Millions of years ago this area was the beach of an ocean.

There are bands of Conglomerate rock in the sandstone cliffs of Big South Fork. Millions of years ago this area was the beach of an ocean.

There are bands of Conglomerate rock in the sandstone cliffs of Big South Fork. Millions of years ago this area was the beach of an ocean. 3192
34 I'm not sure how No Business Creek got its name but I would imagine that long ago strangers weren't very welcome in the valley. "If you ain't from here, you ain't got no business bein' here!" The trails at Big South Fork are fairly well marked.

I'm not sure how No Business Creek got its name but I would imagine that long ago strangers weren't very welcome in the valley. "If you ain't from here, you ain't got no business bein' here!" The trails at Big South Fork are fairly well marked.

I'm not sure how No Business Creek got its name but I would imagine that long ago strangers weren't very welcome in the valley. "If you ain't from here, you ain't got no business bein' here!" The trails at Big South Fork are fairly well marked. 2488
35 One of the John Muir signs along his namesake trail.

One of the John Muir signs along his namesake trail.

One of the John Muir signs along his namesake trail. 1604
36 Sometimes you have to look very closely for the trailblazes! This faded sign along the John Muir Trail was hard to see on the tree.

Sometimes you have to look very closely for the trailblazes! This faded sign along the John Muir Trail was hard to see on the tree.

Sometimes you have to look very closely for the trailblazes! This faded sign along the John Muir Trail was hard to see on the tree. 1677
37 Some moss-covered steps on the John Muir Trail. Be careful walking on damp, leaf covered rocks! They can be really slick!

Some moss-covered steps on the John Muir Trail. Be careful walking on damp, leaf covered rocks! They can be really slick!

Some moss-covered steps on the John Muir Trail. Be careful walking on damp, leaf covered rocks! They can be really slick! 1582
38 A sign of Redneck Recreation! There are many old homesteads located down in the valley near No Business Creek. This old pink stove was used as a target.

A sign of Redneck Recreation! There are many old homesteads located down in the valley near No Business Creek. This old pink stove was used as a target.

A sign of Redneck Recreation! There are many old homesteads located down in the valley near No Business Creek. This old pink stove was used as a target. 1899
39 Tootsie waits for Charlie and me on the bridge over No Business Creek.

Tootsie waits for Charlie and me on the bridge over No Business Creek.

Tootsie waits for Charlie and me on the bridge over No Business Creek. 1657
40 A moss-covered rockwall along No Business Creek.

A moss-covered rockwall along No Business Creek.

A moss-covered rockwall along No Business Creek. 1858
41 Charlie crosses a couple of plank bridges on the trail.

Charlie crosses a couple of plank bridges on the trail.

Charlie crosses a couple of plank bridges on the trail. 1546
42 Some areas of the John Muir Trail are very muddy and damaged by horses. They aren't called "2000-pound cookie cutters" for nothing! Big South Fork is a popular area for trail riders.

Some areas of the John Muir Trail are very muddy and damaged by horses. They aren't called "2000-pound cookie cutters" for nothing! Big South Fork is a popular area for trail riders.

Some areas of the John Muir Trail are very muddy and damaged by horses. They aren't called "2000-pound cookie cutters" for nothing! Big South Fork is a popular area for trail riders. 1770
43 2.5 miles more to go to our destination!

2.5 miles more to go to our destination!

2.5 miles more to go to our destination! 1678
44 Big South Fork has many rockhouses along the ridges. This would be a good place to ride out a summer thunderstorm.

Big South Fork has many rockhouses along the ridges. This would be a good place to ride out a summer thunderstorm.

Big South Fork has many rockhouses along the ridges. This would be a good place to ride out a summer thunderstorm. 1602
45 "Come on, Charlie, hurry up! I'm ready to go to the top!"
Charlie's dog, Tootsie, took a detour around the side, she didn't climb the ladder!

"Come on, Charlie, hurry up! I'm ready to go to the top!" Charlie's dog, Tootsie, took a detour around the side, she didn't climb the ladder!

"Come on, Charlie, hurry up! I'm ready to go to the top!" Charlie's dog, Tootsie, took a detour around the side, she didn't climb the ladder! 1776
46 The steep 1.2 mile side trail hike was worth the spectacular view from the top of the John Muir Overlook. I would love to see this in the fall! The flat, light green area in the lower part of the valley is an old farm site. There is a cemetary in the w...

The steep 1.2 mile side trail hike was worth the spectacular view from the top of the John Muir Overlook. I would love to see this in the fall! The flat, light green area in the lower part of the valley is an old farm site. There is a cemetary in the w...

The steep 1.2 mile side trail hike was worth the spectacular view from the top of the John Muir Overlook. I would love to see this in the fall! The flat, light green area in the lower part of the valley is an old farm site. There is a cemetary in the woods behind it. We didn't have time to check it out though, it was getting late and we didn't want to hike out by flashlight. The problem with hiking in December is the short daylight time. 1728
47 Fortunately the creek water level was very low, there is no bridge at this crossing!

Fortunately the creek water level was very low, there is no bridge at this crossing!

Fortunately the creek water level was very low, there is no bridge at this crossing! 1875

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