• Glowing sunset view from overlook - Photo by Jason Barnett Photography

    Big South Fork

    National River & Recreation Area KY,TN

Park Statistics

Redbud in bloom
Redbud in bloom offers a splash of color in the spring.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area was authorized by Congress on March 7, 1974. At that time the park was the first unit in the National Park System to be designated as a National River and a National Recreation Area.

Legislative boundaries for Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area allow for the protection of 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau. Approximately 116,000 acres are currently owned by the Department of the Interior.

Economic Impact
Based on current visitation and using the Money Generation Model developed by Michigan State University, Big South Fork contributes over $10 million dollars yearly to local economies.

Annual Budget
$4.366 million base budget in Fiscal Year 2012.

Developed Campgrounds
Big South Fork contains 3 general campgrounds with 233 sites, 97 with water and electric hook-ups, 100 tent sites and 36 sites in group camping. In addition there are 2 equestrian campgrounds having 49 sites with water, electric and stalls.

Backcountry Trails
141 miles of hiking trails, 182 miles of horse trails and 24 miles of mountain bike trails

121 total, 20 paved and 101 unpaved

244.13 miles of streams.

Approximately 40 permanent and 25 seasonal employees.

205 volunteers donated 8271 hours in Fiscal Year 2012.

Annual Visitation Statistics

Did You Know?

Black bear now live in and around Big South Fork.

In the mid-1990's black bear were released in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area to study relocation techniques and to determine whether adequate habitat existed in the area. There are now an estimated 40 - 50 bear living in and around the park. More...