Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area - Kentucky

(423) 569-9778


Encompassing 125,000 acres of the rugged and forested Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located in north central Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky, and protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Rich with natural and historic features, the park is made up of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, and natural bridges. Outdoor activities abound from camping and picnicking, to fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, paddling and canoeing, rock climbing,  swimming, white water rafting, bird watching and spring wildflower viewing, and more! The park is home to over 160 bird species and 60 fish species, and a diverse variety of wildlife that range from white-tailed deer, black bear and elk to small mammals like raccoon, bobcat and gray fox. The park also preserves and interprets the former mining community of Blue Heron, which can be reached by riding the Big South Fork Scenic Railway from Stearns. This unit within the National Park Service was established on March 1, 1974.

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