• One of the Twin Arches by Deannia Murphy

    Big South Fork

    National River & Recreation Area KY,TN

Operating Hours & Seasons

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is open year round. Some facilities close during the winter, however. To get the most out of your visit, start at one of the park's visitor centers to chat with a ranger, pick up publications, purchase a gift at the Eastern National outlets, and find out about scheduled programs, and special events.

Bandy Creek Visitor Center (Tennessee)

Location: Adjacent to Bandy Creek Campground; approximately 15 miles west of Oneida and 24 miles east of Jamestown off Highway 297.

  • Exhibits: focus on the recreational opportunities found within Big South Fork and throughout the seven surrounding counties.
  • Facilities: Bookstore; park permits; restrooms; vending machines, and ice sales.
  • Hours: Open year-round except Christmas Day. Extended hours 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Winter hours: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily.
  • Phone: (423) 286-7275


Blue Heron Interpretive Center and Mining Community (Kentucky)

Location: Located in the Kentucky via Highways 1651 and 742.

  • Facilities: The Blue Heron Mining Community can be visited at any time to view historic structures and listen to audio programs.
  • Railroad Ride: The Big South Fork Scenic Railway travels from the Stearns Depot to the Blue Heron Mining Community in a 45 minute trip. The train remains approximately an hour at Blue Heron before returning to Stearns.
  • Phone:(606) 376-3787 or (606) 376-5073


Big South Fork Scenic Railway Depot (Kentucky)

Did You Know?

Hunting is allowed in Big South Fork

Because of its designation as a National River and Recreation Area, Big South Fork allows hunting, fishing and trapping all in accordance with the appropriate state regulations. More...