Obed WSR preserves the Obed River System, one of the last free-flowing, wild river systems in the Eastern United States, while protecting its cultural and natural resources for the benefit and use of present and future generations.
Click here to read the park's General Management Plan, finalized in 1995.
Obed Wild and Scenic River was added to the National Park System, in October 1976. The National Park Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) have joined forces to protect and manage this unique area. Through a cooperative agreement, lands within Obed Wild and Scenic River that are part of the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area will continue to be owned and managed by the TWRA. The goal is to preserve the river in a free flowing condition and preserve and protect the water quality, wildlife resources, and the primitive character of the area for present and future generations. In their way, visitors today and in the future can experience and appreciate this part of wild America.
There are four principle waterways of the park’s watershed, the Obed River, Clear Creek, Daddy’s Creek, and the upper Emory River. These creeks and rivers have been running their course for thousands of years carving into the sandstone and creating spectacular gorges with cliffs up to 400 feet above the streams below. Huge sandstone boulders in the rivers and creeks create challenging whitewater rapids enjoyed by whitewater enthusiasts from around the world.
The cliffs of Obed are world-renowned with over 400 named routes that vary in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13.
For the fisherman, the park is home to many species of fish some of those are: large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, red eye, crappie, muskie, perch, drum, catfish, shad, suckers, and carp. Tennessee licensing rules apply.
A variety of wild life can be found. Along the banks of the stream you may spot signs of bobcat. Beaver, raccoon, mink, deer, or even a playful river otter. For the bird watchers there are over 100 species found in the park.
Obed contains a mixed forest of oak, hickory, poplar, pine, and hemlock. Shrubs, such as mountain laurel and rhododendron are common. In the spring, colorful wildflowers and berries can be found on the forest floor and along the streams
Please click here for a downloadable fact sheet for Obed WSR.
OBED WSR -- BY THE NUMBERS
2 historic structures
78 archaeological sites
4 threatened and endangered species
45 miles of rivers and streams
400 named rock-climbing routes
18,623 museum objects/artifacts
1 campground with 11 campsites
Over 20 miles of hiking trails
Approximately 800 different plant species
45 miles of contiguous forested riparian and upland habitat
5,000 acres in two counties (Cumberland and Morgan), in two time zones (Eastern and Central)
Obed WSR was Established October 12, 1976, by President Gerald Ford.
Acting NPS Director Michael Reynolds
Since August 1 of 2016, Michael T. Reynolds (Mike) has been serving as the Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service (NPS). In this capacity, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 7 regions and the 413 parks nation-wide for the National Park Service, as well as program areas in Washington DC. These programs serve communities and NPS stakeholders in many facets including natural, cultural, and recreation resources, facilities, planning and lands, visitor and resource protection, fire, safety, and interpretation and education programs and partnerships and community based programs like rivers and trails or National Historic Landmarks. He has 30 years of service in the Department of the Interior.
The third generation of his family to work for the NPS, Reynolds grew up in Yosemite National Park. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MBA from Regis University in Denver. He was a Senior Executive Fellow at Harvard University in the spring of 2011.
Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas
Niki Stephanie Nicholas serves as the Park Superintendent for Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and for Obed Wild and Scenic River. Nicholas, who had been serving as the Chief of Resources Management and Science at Yosemite National Park in California for the previous seven years, officially assumed her new duties on January 17, 2011.
Prior to working at Yosemite, Nicholas worked at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Her last position there was as senior manager for Environmental Impact Reduction Technologies.