OBED WILD & SCENIC RIVER
Within national parks is room in which to find ourselves… - Enos Mills
Encompassing over 5,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, and 45.2 miles of stream corridor, the tributary streams and rivers in the Obed Wild and Scenic River, a unit of the National Park Service, flow through some of the most rugged and undeveloped terrain in Tennessee. The watershed within the park includes the Obed River, the Emory River, Daddys Creek and Clear Creek; all offering outstanding whitewater paddling opportunities.
The erosional forces of free-flowing water have carved spectacular gorges with 200-foot cliffs towering above the streams; offering excellent opportunities for rock climbing on the vertical bluffs and overhangs of the gorge. With nearly 500 named climbing routes in 5 different areas of the park, the Obed is one of the most popular destinations for climbers in the southeast.
Another unique geologic area is the Lilly Boulder Field; where huge sandstone boulders are nestled in a shady forest of hemlocks and hardwoods; popular with climbers who prefer climbing that is closer to the ground, but often involves intense overhanging boulder faces.
Eighteen miles of hiking trails are located in the Lilly Overlook and Nemo areas of the park, including 15.3 miles of the Cumberland Trail. The trails include peaceful forests and riverside walks, as well as, panoramic overlooks of the river gorge and unique natural features such as the Lilly Arch.
Camping in the park includes backcountry camping, or camping in the Rock Creek campground which includes 11 sites. An overnight or late night visit to the Obed offers an opportunity to see the Obed’s outstanding night sky. Dark sky conditions in the park result in spectacular views of the stellar constellations, planets, the moon, and the Milky Way.
Hunting and fishing are available in the park with the proper permits and licenses.
Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area encompasses more than 24,000 acres of wilderness area and is named for a 3,324-foot peak in the Cumberland Mountains, the top of which is often shrouded in ice or snow in the winter months. The impressive entrance leads visitors into a vestige of densely forested, unspoiled mountain splendor — once common throughout the Cumberland Plateau.
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. and is located in both Tennessee and Kentucky and joins or contains portions of six counties, one of which is Morgan County Tennessee in which you will find Historic Rugby with places to stay and eat.
The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
Big South Fork is managed to promote its vast array of recreational opportunities. It is truly a four-season park for people to use and enjoy. Come often and see the different faces the park wears during each season.
Big South Fork preserves and protects a huge variety of natural and cultural resources,there is something to interest almost anybody.
Lone Mountain State Forest is located on the Cumberland Plateau in east-central Tennessee, in Morgan County, about four miles south of Wartburg, just west of U.S. Highway 27. It is approximately 15 miles north of the Tennessee River/Watts Bar Lake and 35 miles west of Knoxville.
Recreational uses of the Forest include hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Approximately 15 miles of trails exist on the Forest, including an interpretive nature trail.
Rugby Swimming Hole - Big South Fork National River & Recreational Area
The Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail is a long distance hiking trail that follows the Cumberland Plateau. Wartburg is the only town that the 300+ mile trail passes directly through. 36.5 miles of the trail are in Morgan County.