So Much to See at Big South Fork

May 14th, 2018

Wildlife viewing opportunities attract a number of outdoors enthusiasts to Scott County each year. From elk to the endangered Cerulean warbler, wildlife and birdlife are plentiful along the Cumberland Plateau. Following is a description of some of our most popular neighbors in the wild.

Elk

Elk are native to the Cumberland Mountains, but over-hunting eliminated the herds in the mid 1800s. In 2000, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other partners to bring them back. Today, a herd of several hundred elk roam the area.
Where to see them: Most of the elk reside in or around the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. Motorists frequently report spotting elk along S.R. 63 at the Scott County-Campbell County line.
When to see them: Elk are most active at dawn and dusk. They’re also on the move more frequently during their breeding season (October), when their bugles can be heard for long distances as they echo through the hills.

Whitetail Deer

Whitetail deer inhabit all of Scott County, thriving in the rugged terrain that enables them to escape predators — four-footed and two-footed alike!
Where to see them: Just about anywhere. The open fields of the Big South Fork or the state-maintained food plots of the North Cumberland WMA are excellent places to start.
When to see them: Whitetail deer are most active at dawn and dusk. They’re also on the move more frequently during the rut (breeding season), which is typically in late October and November. Whitetail bucks shed their antlers in mid winter and grow new antlers in late spring and early summer.

Black Bear

Black bear are native to the Cumberland Plateau but mostly disappeared from the area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1990s, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and National Park Service teamed up to bring them back. Today, a growing population of black bears inhabit the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. They’re found in smaller numbers on the North Cumberland WMA.
Where to see them: Black bears are shy animals that avoid human populations as much as possible. When sighted by motorists or along hiking trails, they’re most frequently seen in the Big South Fork NRRA, near Station Camp and Bandy Creek.
When to see them: Bears are apt to be spotted just about any time, except when the cold months of winter set in and they become much less active.

Bald Eagle

The great symbol of American freedom and liberty, the magestic bald eagle, occasionally makes Scott County its wintering ground. The eagles are found in sizable numbers to the west, around Dale Hollow Lake, but their extended winter range covers the Cumberland Plateau.
Where to see them: Unpredictable.
When to see them: Most often, during the winter months.

Wild Turkey

Once diminished in number, the wild turkey has rebounded in great numbers along the northern Cumberland Plateau thanks to restoration efforts by TWRA and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Turkeys found in Scott County are of the Eastern subspecies, and the North Cumberland WMA is home of some of the few remaining flocks of “pure” Eastern wild turkeys remaining.
Where to see them: The wild turkey can be found anywhere in Scott County, including the North Cumberland WMA and Big South Fork NRRA.
When to see them:The wild turkey is most active in the morning. When they feed in fields and open areas, they typically emerge from the woods by early to mid morning.

Jimmy and Becky Deaux New Custom Hangar

April 18th, 2018

Big South Fork Custom Homes has begun construction on the Deaux’s custom hangar on their own private hangar! The 3,000 sq/ft. hangar will feature a Schweiss remote operated bi-fold door.  This exciting project is planning for a workstation, car lift and four blue taxiway lights that will turn on automatically when the bi-fold door is opened.
Home build-out will include a kitchen, office, two bathrooms, laundry room, living room and second story catwalk. We are very excited to have them be part of our community. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Donald at [email protected]com.

Big South Fork Custom Homes

  • Big South Fork Airpark Homes is a general contracting firm specializing in commercial and residential construction. As the BSFA construction branch, we are committed to the development. If at any time you have a question or a problem, we are your neighbors and are always happy to help.
  • Onsite 7 days a week!  We have a representative at the Airpark full time in order to properly oversee all aspects of construction.
  • Comprehensive Builder’s Warranty on all Custom Projects!
  • Familiarity with all Architectural Review Committee application requirements and include plans and sketch of project submittal, a copy of licenses, proof of liability and workman’s compensation, erosion control plan, color and material samples, lighting plan and landscaping plan in all proposals.

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Spring is Playtime at BSF

April 18th, 2018

Live with your Plane

Can’t wait until Memorial Day to come to BSFA? Come up this weekend and join our residents for an ATV ride to Reed Branch Creek to our remote fire pit and campfire area. After you explore the miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, retire to our Welcome Center and relax by the fire. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is rich with natural and historic features. The area provides visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities ranging from internationally ranked biking trails to a peaceful horseback ride through any of the Airpark’s trails.  Either way bring your camera and get ready to relax and enjoy nature at its finest.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
Slideshow of Our Last Ride
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White Knuckle Event

April 9th, 2018

When: May 26-28, 2018
Where: Brimstone Recreation
Time: 8 a.m. EDT daily

Aimed at becoming the Woodstock of the ATV world, White Knuckle Event attracts thousands of people from across the eastern U.S. and some foreign countries.

The largest festival of its kind in the region, White Knuckle Event is hosted by Brimstone Recreation and offers guided ATV rides, poker runs, mud bogs and a wide variety of other activities. The 3-day event is held on Memorial Day weekend each year and is headlined by a Saturday evening concert featuring one of Nashville’s best-known recording artists.

Each year, one of Nashville’s brightest stars headlines White Knuckle Event with concerts. This year’s entertainers have not yet been announced.

Adventure awaits on ‘The River Wild’

April 9th, 2018

“This river is unique. It’s beautiful.”

Those are the words of National Park Service Ranger Kevin Moses.

He should know. Moses spent more than seven years in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, much of that time paddling the river.

“The scenery you will see on this river is the prettiest scenery in Scott County,” he says.

He’s referring to “The Gorge,” a stretch of river between the confluence of New River and Clear Fork to form the Big South Fork, and the historic O&W Railroad bridge further downstream. Between those two access points, the closest a person can get to the river on foot is the Honey Creek Loop hiking trail — a rugged footpath that dips to the river’s edge at one point.

The Gorge section of Big South Fork contains the wildest water that the river has to offer. Included are the “Big Three” rapids — Double Drop, the Washing Machine, and The Ell. The first two are solid Class III rapids that can turn into Class IVs at certain water flows. The later is usually a Class IV.

Those three rapids, which start about eight-tenths of a mile downstream from the confluence, garner the most recognition on this stretch of river, but they’re hardly the only rapids paddlers will encounter. There are many others, most of them Class IIIs as well — like Kernels, Honey Creek Rapid, Rion’s Eddy and others.

Kayakers run this stretch of river when the water flow is as little as 350 cubic feet per second, though it is much more technical at those levels. The National Park Service’s website lists 1,000 cfs as the optimal level. Like any free-flowing river that hasn’t been tamed by man’s concrete dams, the character of the Big South Fork changes drastically depending upon how much — or how little — rain has been received. That makes the spring the prime season for whitewater rafting on the Big South Fork and its major tributaries.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine sums up the Big South Fork like this, calling it one of the Top 50 rivers in the South: “Tennessee’s Big South Fork is big water fun well worth a drive to the Cumberland Plateau. Winding through the rugged cliff lined gorge gives this run a real wilderness adventure tone.”

The Big South Fork and its tributaries draw paddling enthusiasts from across the region. There’s something about the sheer beauty of the river slicing through the canyon encasing it that enchants visitors and keeps them coming back.

While The Gorge from confluence to O&W is the most popular stretch of whitewater, it should only be tackled by experienced paddlers. Other stretches of the river are more suitable for novices. Popular entry points include Brewster Ford, Burnt Mill Ford, Leatherwood Ford and Station Camp. For more information, see our whitewater paddling page.

Spring is Here!

April 2nd, 2018

Spring is one of the most stunning times of year at the Airpark; join in on the fun and book a tour today! Your days will consist of relaxing around one of our outdoor fireplaces and exploring Big South Fork’s endless forests, gorges, and sandstone bluffs. Take an ATV ride to the overlook or hike to a local waterfall and experience the beauty of Big South Fork Airpark.We invite you and your family to come and stay at our Welcome Center and see what it would be like to live with your plane!

Spring Activities at the Airpark

Hiking— Hundreds of miles of trails greet hikers in the Big South Fork NRRA.

Biking — Mountain biking is an expanding sport in the Big South Fork NRRA.

Horseback Riding — From the Big South Fork NRRA to the North Cumberland WMA, equestrian riders will find expansive trail riding opportunities.

ATV Riding — Brimstone and the North Cumberland WMA are recognized as a top ATV destination in the nation.

Fishing — Smallmouth, musky and walleye await in the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.

Hunting — Hunt deer, turkey, elk and wild boar in Scott County.

Wildlife Viewing— Elk, black bear, bald eagles and warbler songbirds are among the wildlife found in Scott County.

Book A Tour

Independent Herald Newspaper Article- “Scott County primes for busy tourism season”

BSFA ATV Memorial Day Adventure

March 19th, 2018

We invite our residents and guests to the Airpark for the long weekend to explore and go an adventure in Big South Fork River and Recreation Area. We will be hosting a cookout at the Welcome Center and a relaxed ATV ride over the newly opened O & W Bridge.

* ATV Riding at Big South Fork is Fun for everyone – all skill levels welcome.
National Park Info     |    ATV Riding at BSF     |     Plan your Trip

SUN’n FUN – April 10-15

March 19th, 2018

Big South Fork Airpark will once again be an exhibitor at Sun’n Fun Fly-In held in Lakeland Florida. 2018 brings one of the most exciting airshow schedules ever seen at SUN ‘n FUN! This event showcases products like jet teams, aerospace-related exhibits, educational forums, aircraft static displays, professional gatherings of aviation and economic development groups and many more in the business services, railway, shipping & aviation industries. Stop by booth A-77, and see what’s new at Big South Fork Airpark! See you then! (Learn More)

Annual Spring Planting & Music Festival

March 5th, 2018
In celebration of these skills and traditions of spring, Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is hosting the 18th annual Spring Planting and Music Festival April 28, 2018.

HISTORY OF THE SPRING PLANTING
Spring, a time for new beginnings and growth. For many mountain families it was also a time to begin their planting of crops, vegetable gardens and livestock production. It was this production that sustained the family through the rest of the year.

The early families who settled the Big South Fork area depended on their ability to successfully raise animals, crops, and gardens to feed themselves. Most of the farming that occurred here was truly subsistence farming. The family often consumed the entire production of the garden. There was continued use of wild plant and animal foods, but the “kitchen garden” was vital to a sustainable food supply. This tradition continues with many families even today. It is not uncommon for local residents to have large gardens that provide a substantial amount of food.

Along with planning for their gardens and crops, families had a number of annual spring “chores” that were performed — spring cleaning and airing out of the house and bed linens, repairing paling fences, livestock care and animal husbandry, and mending and making clothing for the spring and summer seasons. Various crafts and forgotten arts of today were skills of yesterday — skills needed for survival in the area we now call the Big South Fork, Cumberland Mountains, or Appalachia.

mule teams work
Mule teams working

WHAT TO EXPECT
During the festival, crafter’s demonstrate forgotten arts, such as blacksmithing, basket making, hand spinning, weaving, woodcarving, chair caning, soap making, garden herb lore and use, and paling fence making.

In addition, there will be children’s activities, interpretative talks, fun runs, bird watching and wildflower guided walks, vendors demonstrating and selling their wares, and food sales.

There are displays of women’s life, antique farm tools, farm animals and old-time toys which will delight young and old alike.

Toe-tapping tunes of mountain music are performed throughout the area by various groups such as the Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club.

Of special interest is the plowing and planting with mules and horses which takes place at the Lora Blevins field. Other demonstrations will take place at the Oscar Blevins Farm Site as well.

Discover Scott Country 12 Great Adventures for 2018

January 22nd, 2018

ONEIDA, Tenn. — The 2018 calendar year is upon us. With it comes the opportunity to explore new areas, try new adventures, and make new friends and memories. With a wide diversity of natural splendors and exciting adventures, there is no better place to spread your wings in 2018 than in Scott County, Tennessee — home of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and the Cumberland Mountains.

(Read More)