The Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is the crown jewel of the northern Cumberland Plateau. And how do you get there? Through Huntsville, of course!

Huntsville is the gateway to the Big South Fork, which is located a short, 20-minute drive from town by either heading north or south at Baker Highway’s intersection with U.S. Hwy. 27 on the west end. At 125,000 acres, the Big South Fork is the fifth-largest national park in the eastern United States. It was noted by Southern Living magazine a few years ago that the BSF is where rangers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park go to vacation.

That’s for good reason. The BSF is much quieter than the Smokies. Even with more than 750,000 visitors each year, the BSF’s vast size allows for peace and tranquillity even during “crowded” seasons. The BSF is renowned among adventure recreationists who visit for its ample hiking, horseback riding or whitewater paddling opportunities. The BSF has also been named an “epic” destination by the International Mountain Biking Association and offers the most mountain bike trails of any of America’s national parks. For more information, see nps.gov/biso.

Activities

• Hiking
• Fishing
• Horseback Riding
• Whitewater Paddling
• Recreational Kayaking
• Rock Climbing
• Camping
• Spelunking
• Mountain Biking
• Sightseeing
• Birdwatching
• Wildlife Viewing
• Hunting
• Swimming