Experience The Big South Fork

The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is a 123,000-acre national park nestled atop the Cumberland Plateau in north-central Tennessee, straddling the Tennessee/Kentucky border.

Big South Fork Rocks

The park is the fifth-largest national park unit east of the Mississippi River and is widely visited by outdoors recreation enthusiasts seeking a place to ride their horses, hike, paddle their boats and pedal their bikes. The BSF is also a renowned destination amongst rock climbers, hunters and anglers, and those who simply enjoy beautiful scenery.

Often called the "quiet alternative to the Great Smoky Mountains," the Big South Fork offers scenery that is just as stunning as the larger national park two hours further east, with smaller crowds to contend with.

The park is perhaps best known for its unique geological landscapes and features. The Twin Arches (pictured above) are among North America's largest natural land bridges, while the park is also home to hundreds of smaller natural arches, rock houses and waterfalls. The Big South Fork River, which empties into the Cumberland River in Kentucky, is one of the nation's few rivers that flow south-to-north and is among the few rivers in the South that have not been tamed by dams.

Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat borders the Big South Fork, with tens of thousands of acres of the Big South Fork backcountry and trails directly out the back door of the cabins at the retreat.

The Big South Fork hosts two festivals each year: the Spring Planting and Music Festival each April and the Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival each September. The neighboring towns of Jamestown and Oneida host several festivals each year, as well.

For more information, please visit the Big South Fork official website at http://www.nps.gov/biso