Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area


The free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries pass through ninety miles of scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide range of natural and historic features. The area offers a broad range of recreational opportunities including camping, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, and fishing. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with its experience in managing river basins, was charged with land acquisition, planning, and development of facilities. Now completed, these lands and facilities are operated and maintained by the National Park Service for the benefit and use of the public.


Seasonality / Weather

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located in a humid climatic region, typified by mild winters and moist warm to hot summers. Storm systems typically bring heavy rains from December through March which may cause flooding. Summer thunderstorms are common. Winter snowfall occurs intermittently in the area and averages 17 inches per year. Wear comfortable clothing for the season and bring clothing for the possible extremes.



The area is most easily reached by car. Southbound on I-75 take KY 461 south to KY 80, take 80 west to U.S. 27, take 27 south to Oneida and follow TN 297 west into the park. From I-75 northbound, take TN 63 west to U.S. 27, take 27 north to Oneida and follow TN 297 west into the park. From I-40 westbound, exit at U.S. 27, travel north to Oneida and follow TN 297 west into the park. From I-40 eastbound, exit at U.S 127 and travel north to TN 154, take 154 north to TN 297 and follow take 297 east into the park.


The closest commercial airports are in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky.

Public Transport: 

No Public Transportation is available.