Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

A view at Big south Fork National River and Recreation Area
A view at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Charit Creek Lodge in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is a 125,310-acre property on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Tennessee and Kentucky. This is an area were the erosive action of water is on display: the river has cut its way down through the hard Pennsylvanian capstone into the softer Mississippian limestone, calcareous sandstone and shale below. This has created many wondrous geological formations including natural bridges, magnificent bluffs and unusual hoodoos. The Big South Fork area is home to more natural bridges and stone arches than anywhere else east of Colorado and Utah.

 
 
The park is open year-round but certain facilities close during winter. There are three visitor/contact centers in Tennessee and two in Kentucky:
Bandy Creek Visitor Center
15 miles west of Oneida, 24 miles east of Jamestown off Highway 297
Open year-round except Christmas Day. Winter hours: 9 am to 5 pm daily, Summer hours: 8 am to 6 pm daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day
Crossville Visitor Center
Crossville, just off exit 320 on Interstate 40
Open 9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays
Rugby Visitor Contact Station
Rugby, just off Highway 52 about 17 miles west of Jamestown
9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend
Kentucky Visitor Contact Station
Stearns, about 1/4 mile west of US Highway 27 on Highway 92
9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend
Blue Heron Interpretive Center
Blue Heron via Kentucky Highways 1651 and 742
April 1 through October 31, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
 
 
There are no entrance fees charged for the park but there are user fees for certain activities:
Camping Fees
Bandy Creek Campground
Electric Hookups - 96 sites: $22 per night/6-person max
Non Hookups - 49 sites: $19 per night/6-person max
Group Camp - 2 sites: $100 per night, 25-persons
($3 additional per person per night)
Blue Heron Campground
All sites - 45 sites: $17 per night, 6-person max
Alum Ford Campground
All sites - 6 sites: $5 per night, 6-person max
Bandy Creek Pool Fees
Adult: $3 per person
Child (6 to 12): $2 per person
Child (5 and under): Free
Individual Season Pool Pass: $25
After Hours Rental: $25 per hour up to 25 persons
(More than 25 persons requires a special use permit)
Campground Facility Use by Non-Campers
Dump Station: $5 per vehicle
Showers: $2 per person
F-Loop Shelter (Day use only): $10 per day, non-refundable
Pool Shelter (Day use only): $20 per day, non-refundable
Permits
Back Country Camping Permits:
1-6 persons - $5
7-12 persons - $10
13-18 persons - $15
19-24 persons - $20
Hog permit: $5 per person
 
A view along the Big South Fork River
A view along the Big South Fork River