The train will be back

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If you missed Saturday’s BSF Vintage Train Fest at Oneida City Park, do not despair. The train will be back!

On May 31 and June 1, the vintage steam locomotive will roll down the Norfolk-Southern main line from Lexington, Ky., to Oneida City Park. Details of the festival at the park will be announced soon!

Now that’s a fish!

How’s this for a bucketmouth? Seth Lay caught this 10 lb., 2 oz., largemouth bass in a pond just outside the Big South Fork. Bring your fishing tackle when you come visit us! Species in the Big South Fork River or its major tributaries include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, flathead catfish, channel catfish, bream/bluegill, redeye bass, muskie and walleye. A valid Tennessee fishing license is required, and can be purchased online or at many local retailers.

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Leatherwood to Bandy Creek the scenic way

The Independent Herald newspaper (Oneida) details the scenic, backcountry way to get from Leatherwood to Bandy Creek in the Big South Fork NRRA:

By car, the drive from the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area’s headquarters at Leatherwood to the Bandy Creek Campground on the opposite side of the gorge is a short, 10-minute drive.

By foot, it’s a winding, most-of-the-day trip through scenic backcountry that includes scenic gorges, awe-inspiring overlook views, waterfalls, mountain streams, rock houses and more.

The 11-mile trek from Leatherwood to Bandy Creek can be completed using a patchwork of hiking trails maintained by the National Park Service. Much of the route is now part of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail, a hiking trail that extends from Leatherwood Ford to Rowan County, Ky., through 315 miles of undeveloped territory.

Scott tourism poised for growth

The Independent Herald (Oneida) newspaper takes a look at Scott County’s tourism industry this week:

“Good things are happening in Scott County,” Kidd says. “And I truly feel that we’re just getting started.”

It is in this conference space on the second floor of the visitors center where behind-the-scenes work takes place to plan and promote tourism opportunities in Scott County. After the committee members have gone home, Kidd will continue that behind-the-scenes work — there are phone calls to be made, packets to mail out, vendor commitments to firm up . . .

As for those “good things” Kidd speaks of, it’s hard to ignore the way an increasing number of people are realizing this northern Cumberland Plateau region — and Scott County — exists. It has been said that a record number of tourists will visit Scott County this year, to hike and bike the Big South Fork on one end of Scott County, to four-wheel the Cumberland Mountains on the other end, and to attend a variety of events in between.

Continue reading . . . 

County forms adventure tourism committee

In an effort to propose adventure tourism districts within Scott County to the State of Tennessee, the county has formed an adventure tourism committee to explore which areas of the county to designate as adventure tourism zones. From

The newly-appointed Scott County Adventure Tourism Committee held its first meeting Monday afternoon at the Scott County Mayor’s Office to begin preliminary steps towards proposing an adventure tourism district or districts within Scott County.

Under the Adventure Tourism & Rural Development Act of 2011, adventure tourism zones can be established to give municipal and/or county governments more control over state regulations and to encourage new tourism-related businesses and job growth through tax incentives, while also taking advantage of the Tennessee Department of Tourism’s networking and promotion arm to help promote tourism opportunities locally.

Authored by state Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, the Adventure Tourism Act was written partially with Scott County in mind. With the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area and the 145,000-acre North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area falling partially into Scott County, along with privately-owned recreation areas, Scott County is becoming a mecca for many types of adventure-based tourism, including ATV riding, mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater paddling and more.

BSF featured in Southern Living

A big thank you to Southern Living magazine for featuring the Big South Fork region and a few of our valued businesses in this month’s edition

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area lies more than off the beaten path. It’s off the radar of most Tennesseans―and certainly most Southerners. Yet it’s one of the prettiest places in the state. Rangers from the Smokies vacation here. Straddling the Kentucky state line, about three hours from Nashville, it’s not as remote as it seems.