News Release

Big South Fork NRRA is Increasing Recreational Access

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Date: June 2, 2020
Contact: Christopher Derman, 423-569-9778

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Wednesday, June 3, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area will move to Phase II of the approved Reopening Plan for Charit Creek Lodge. Reservations for the lodge can be made at Access to Charit Creek Lodge is currently limited to overnight guests. No date has been set to allow for day use guests at the lodge at this time.  
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Big South Fork, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas. “We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”  

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited throughout the park. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities. 

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.   

Updates on park operations will continue to be posted online at;;; and Updates about NPS operations will be posted on 

Last updated: June 2, 2020

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4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, TN 37841


(423) 569-9778

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