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Explore the beauty of Big South Fork Country

iStock_000009431571XSmallWhether your idea of relaxation is a quiet stroll on a peaceful river bank or you like to experience life full-throttle, our area has something for you! Oneida, Tennessee is located in the heart of Big South Fork Country, nestled on the northern Cumberland Plateau in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. To the west is the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, the fifth-largest national park in the eastern United States, popular among horseback riders, whitewater paddlers, hikers and nature-lovers. To the east are the Cumberland Mountains and the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, one of the nation’s premier destinations for ATV and off-road enthusiasts.

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Imagine 125,000 acres of free-flowing rivers and streams, lush forests, dozens of waterfalls and natural rock arches, hundreds of “rock houses” and countless other rock formations, and cliff-lined gorges. That is the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, the fifth-largest national park in the eastern United States.

Whitewater paddlers love the Big South Fork for its free-flowing rivers, which feature rapids ranging from Class I to Class V. Horseback riders and hikers love the Big South Fork for its hundreds of miles of equestrian and hiking trails. The BSF, in fact, is the southern terminus for both the John Muir Trail and the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. Rock climbers call the Big South Fork “the South’s last climbing frontier.” One climbing enthusiast wrote, “The Big South Fork has more rock than a Metallica concert.” Mountain bikers are just beginning to discover Big South Fork; recently, the International Mountain Biking Association gave the BSF its coveted “epic” designation. The Big South Fork is the only national park in the U.S. to have mountain bike trails rated as “epic” by the IMBA. The national park is also home to a large population of black bears.

Oneida is the gateway to the Big South Fork NRRA. The entrance to the park is just a short, 10-minute drive west on S.R. 297 from Oneida Appalacian Guest House.

» www.nps.gov/biso

Brimstone Recreation

Brimstone Recreation manages 20,000 acres of property in the Cumberland Mountains. Within the property are more than 300 miles of ATV and OHV trails and roads with numerous overlooks and cultural points of interest. ATV Action called it the “Disneyland for OHV enthusiasts,” while it has also been called “the nation’s number one destination for ATV riders.”

Brimstone is located in Hutsville, Tennessee, just a short, 10-minute drive from Oneida Appalachian Guest House.

» www.brimstonerecreation.com

North Cumberland WMA

The North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area consists of 145,000 acres in the heart of Tennessee’s Cumberland Mountains. It is the state’s second-largest contiguous tract of public property, second only to Cherokee National Forest. The North Cumberland WMA is a popular destination for ATV riders, hunters and bird watchers. The WMA is home to the second-largest free-ranging elk herd east of the Mississippi River, as well as large populations of whitetail deer, wild turkey and wild boar. The WMA is bisected by New River, which eventually becomes the Big South Fork River, and is home to numerous threatened or endangered species, as well as the Cerulean Warbler songbird species. The WMA is also home to the Cumberland Trail state park. The Cumberland Trail runs from Cumberland Gap National Historic Park on the Tennessee-Virginia line to Lookout Mountain on the Tennessee-Georgia line.

Oneida Appalachian Guest House is just a 20-minute drive from North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

» www.discoverscott.com

Cumberland Falls

The Daniel Boone National Forest just across the state line from Oneida is home to the Cumberland Falls, the “Niagra of the South.” At 68 ft. tall and 125 ft. wide, the Cumberland Falls has an average water flow of 3,600 cubic feet per second. On clear nights with a full moon, the mist emanating from the falls creates a “moon bow.” Cumberland Falls is one of only a handful of locations in the Western Hemisphere where the elusive moon bow can be seen. The waterfall is surrounded by several hiking trails and a recreation area.

» parks.ky.gov/parks/resortparks/Cumberland-Falls

Historic Rugby

Historic Rugby, located on the edge of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, is both a living community and a public historic site. There, Victorian-style living survives as it existed in the late 19th Century, when Thomas Hughes conceived the village as a class-free, agricultural community for English gentry. The historic community itself is surrounded by the rugged river gorges and historic foot trails of the Big South Fork.

» www.historicrugby.org

Not to be missed

» Big South Fork Scenic Railway
» Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park
» Museum of Scott County & USS Tennessee Memorial Battleship Museum
» Tennessee’s oldest winery

For more information on things to do and places to visit in the greater Oneida area, see www.discoverscott.com.

 

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