Big South Fork National River & Recreational Area

Many incredible outdoor adventures can be experienced in the beautiful Big South Fork National River & Recreational Area straddling the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, including hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding, hunting, floating downstream, swimming, camping and more.

Enjoy more than 125,000 acres of gorgeous mountain terrain spread across the awe-inspiring Cumberland Plateau, rich in natural and historic features. Connect with hundreds of miles of hiking trails and gear up for excitement with several exclusively designated mountain biking pathways. Head out for scenic rides along open country backroads and down rugged multi-use horse trails. Saddle up for over 200 miles of short, day, and overnight horseback riding trails and take advantage of two equestrian campgrounds and onsite Bandy Creek Stables. Cast off into the abundant Big South Fork River and reel in a variety of local fish species, such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, rainbow trout, walleye, crappie, catfish and more.

Rock climbers will find quality traditional marked routes and boulder problems scattered throughout the park. Air routes on cliffs up to 250 feet tall and hundreds of unexplored potential climbing routes across miles of vast gorges and sandstone bluffs are there for those willing to seek them out. Water thrill seekers can launch out on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River for whitewater rapids ranging from Class I to major Class IV’s, or paddle downstream on more family-friendly stretches of scenic tree-lined waterways. The Bandy Creek Pool, designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, is available for swimming in season. The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is also one of the few National Park Service areas in the country designated for hunting. Trek through the wilderness to find plentiful big and small game species, such as whitetail deer, turkey, wild boar, raccoon, squirrel, rabbit and a variety a game birds.

Relax in two developed campgrounds, stake out a top campsite in the primitive campground area, or venture further in to the hike-in backcountry lodge (can also be reached via horseback). Picnic areas with tables, grills and spectacular views are also available in this amazing outdoor playground in The Kentucky Wildlands.

Big South Fork National River & Recreational Area

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