Archive for the ‘Airpark News’ Category

Hiking Challenge Explores BSF

Monday, May 1st, 2017

For the second time in three years, an Oneida newspaper is challenging residents and visitors of Big South Fork Country to get out and explore the region’s spectacular places by traveling where their feet will take them.

The Independent Herald‘s Twenty Week Hiking Challenge tackles a new trail each week, totaling nearly 90 miles over a five-month period. Hundreds of participants are taking part in the challenge, which visits such scenic vistas as Northrup Falls at the Colditz Cove State Natural Area and the Twin Arches at the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.

Ben Garrett, publisher of the Independent Herald, said the challenge is designed to be beginner-friendly, easing novice hikers into the popular form of recreation.

“Our first hike was to Angel Falls in the Big South Fork, which is two miles in and two miles out along a flat, easy trail,” Garrett said. Some of the other hikes totaled around two miles, round-trip.

“The trails will progress in difficulty as the challenge goes along, and we’ll eventually have hikes that are quite a bit longer,” Garrett added. “By that point, some folks who were beginners when the challenge began will be seasoned hikers, and they’ll be able to tackle longer hikes that they weren’t able to complete earlier in the spring.”

The trade-off for the longer and more difficult hikes, Garrett said, is seeing awe-inspiring scenery that is otherwise inaccessible.

“We have people who have lived in this region all their lives, or who have visited our area all their lives, and they don’t know that some of these places even exist,” he said. “They come back amazed, every single time.”

While most of the hikes are in the Big South Fork NRRA, which features hundreds of miles of hiking trails, the Twenty Week Hiking Challenge also visits Colditz Cove, Pogue Creek State National Area, Pickett State Park, Frozen Head State Park and Daniel Boone National Forest.

Each week, the newspaper profiles the trail of the week on its Outside page, giving participants directions to the trailhead and a thorough description of the trail, including hazards and interesting points along the way. Prizes are awarded weekly. Hikers log their participation by tagging photos on social media with the #20WeekHikingChallenge hashtag.

The challenge began in March, but late-comers can play catchup by finding all the trails listed online.

Mountain Bike Riding at BSF is Famous!!

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.

Skinny singletrack, friendly hills, killer views and back country make this an epic ride. Most days you will not see anyone else on the 33 mile ride. Once you leave the visitors center you will have the trails to yourself.

From the rolling Collier Ridge/West Bandy section to the old school Duncan Hollow to the magnificent views of Grand Gap and John Muir, Big South Fork has something for everyone. Start out with thick creekside laurel and rhododendron and work your way up slickrock like sandstone. Enter old hardwood ridge sections, mix in some gravel and some clifftop singletrack next to 200′ drops and you get a feel for Big South Fork.

Need to Know

Park at the Bandy Creek Visitors Center. Any of the sections can stand on their own as a good ride. There are hundreds of miles of back country trails, gravel and double track. Certain sections get a lot of horse traffic. You will probably want to avoid the horse sections because of deep sand and loose rocks.


The ride is good in any direction but this ride heads west out of the parking lot. The pavement soon turns to gravel. At 1.1 miles look for trailhead on the left. It is just past the cemetery and the Scott State Forest sign.

The Collier Ridge trail follows the creek for a mile or so then climbs to the top of the ridge. When you hit the sandstone section you are close to the top. Look for the well marked right turn. The nature of the trail changes here from old double track gone to single track to true skinny trail. Watch out for the rock drop about a 1/4 mile in on this section. It looks worse than it really is. When you get to the field next to the highway there is only 1/2 mile of Collier Ridge left. Collier Ridge Trail ends at the parking lot at the intersection of Hwy 297 and Bandy Creek Rd. (Read More)

Watch National Park Services Breathtaking Big South Fork River and Recreation Generations Video

Monday, March 20th, 2017

On the Cumberland Plateau of northeastern Tennessee there exists a place of wild beauty. In the spring, soft rains bring the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area to bloom. In summer, the park echoes with the calls of wildlife in the night and even glows in the dark. Fall brings an explosion of color under autumn skies. In winter, snowy trails provide quiet solitude. Across four seasons, Generations follows visitors and locals as they explore the rich history and ecology of the park’s sprawling 125,000 acres, proving you’re never too young or old to set off on an adventure. Watch Now

Spring is Here at the Airpark

Monday, March 13th, 2017
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 destinations 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.

How Bronco Overlook Got Its Name

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

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Step out onto the unprotected outcropping at Bronco Overlook and you’ll be treated to one of the most spectacular views in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.

You’ll see the craggy rock outcroppings that stand sentry over the mouth of Mill Creek, a rugged drainage that serves as a watershed for much of the south side of Station Camp Road from Williams Creek Road to the horse camp. You’ll see much of the gorge that encases the Big South Fork River between the big bend just below the John Hawk Smith Place and the Station Camp crossing. And, far below, you’ll see the river itself.

One thing you won’t see is the overlook’s namesake — a twisted, now rusting hunk of metal that rests at the base of the cliff. It’s obscured by trees and growth, which have long since healed from the scars that were left when the Ford Bronco plunged through them on its way to its final resting place some 30 years ago.

Historically, the ridge that ends at this rock outcropping was known as Sheep Ridge. Most folks who grew up in the area still call it that, and the road that runs the length of the ridge is still known as Sheep Ridge Road.

But Bronco Overlook earned its new name in the mid 1980s, when someone rolled a Ford Bronco II over the cliff.

The national park was still in its infancy in those days; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was just completing its park-building tasks and preparing to turn the 125,000-acre national river and recreation area over to its sister agency, the National Park Service.

Only a few years before, this ridge was privately-owned. The view from the rock outcropping was just as magnificent, but it was not free for all. A log home was perched on the edge of the cliff, owned by MP Estes. The house was destroyed when the federal government began buying up land in the area in the 1970s, but part of its concrete foundation can still be seen at the end of Sheep Ridge Road, where horseback riders tie off their horses before stepping out onto the overlook.

At some point after, someone drove the Bronco to the overlook, rolling it over the edge of the cliff. It tumbled to the forest floor below, landing upright but destroyed.

No one seems to remember exactly who rolled the vehicle over the cliff — or even if their identity was ever known. Donny Kidd, who has spent his entire life around the Station Camp area, recalls that it was stolen from North Carolina. (Read More)

Snapshot of Tennessee Growth from Governor Bill Haslam

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
  • Our economy is outpacing the national economy.
  • More Tennesseans have a job today than ever in the history of our state.
  • Tennessee’s median household income has grown at the second fastest rate in the country.
  •  For only the second time in our state’s history, we have a triple, triple-A credit rating.
  • Even before the tax cuts I’m recommending in this year’s budget, Tennesseans pay the lowest amount of tax as a percentage of their income of any of the 50 states.
  •  The budget I am recommending will take the state’s Rainy Day Fund to an all-time high.
  • Tennessee has a balanced budget, the lowest debt per capita in the country.
  •  For the second year in recorded history, our budget proposal doesn’t take on any new debt.

Bill Haslam’s Page

Taxiway Inventory Running Low – Only 7 Remain

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

BSF-Siteplan-11-17-16Due to increased demand we are running low on taxiway properties. Our taxiway lots give our owners the exclusive opportunity to live in a custom home with their plane and hangar in their own backyard. Taxiway homes have direct access to the 5,500 ft. runway with 3 instrument approaches and an on-site maintenance facility.


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Updates To O & W Bridge

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 11.36.33 AMImprovements are coming to the historic O&W Railroad Bridge in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.

The Scott County Chamber of Commerce announced in July 2016 that it has received grant funding through a tourism grant to fund a $97,000 project to replace all timbers on the century-old bridge. The grant was facilitated by the Industrial Development Board of Scott County, and supported by the Tourism Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

Work on the bridge was originally expected to begin at the conclusion of the fall tourism season in November. However, an unexpected delay in the release of funding has resulted in the project being delayed.

Stacey Kidd, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday that the funds are expected to be released at any time, after which the Scott County Road Department will immediately begin work on the project as weather permits. The O&W Road will be closed for three weeks once construction begins, and the goal is to be finished with the project by the start of the spring tourism season.

No local tax dollars are being spent on the project.

The O&W Bridge was originally constructed in 1917 as part of the Oneida & Western Railroad, which was built from Oneida to reach coal and timber reserves in the modern-day Big South Fork NRRA. Once completed, the railroad linked Oneida and Jamestown. The bridge itself was actually built in the late 1800s. It was disassembled and moved to the Big South Fork River when the O&W Railroad was being built. It is one of the last bridges of its kind remaining in the United States.

At one point in the 1990s, the National Park Service proposed to close the O&W Road at the bridge, using the bridge for foot traffic and equestrian traffic. Scott County ultimately persuaded the NPS to leave the bridge open, and to leave the road open to White Oak Creek approximately two miles beyond the river crossing.

Welcome the Hults to Big South Fork Airpark

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
2016123095100814Congrats to Jon and Kathryn Hults, from Temecula, CA, on their purchase of homesite T-9. Welcome to the Big South Fork Airpark family!

Custom Hangar Spotlight – The Dillman’s

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

IMG_5830Across the street from the Dillman’s new vacation home is their 2,500 sq/ft custom hangar with private bathroom located right on the taxiway. This steel construction hangar features Schweiss Bi-Fold Doors operated completely by remote control. Safety first with this luxury custom hangar, with LED lights, an emergency hand crank for the bi-fold doors and automatic blue taxiway lights in the front.

Chris Donald of Carolina Contractors, of Oneida, Tenn, built the home and hangar. The company also has an office in Hilton Head, S.C.