As if there wasn’t already enough in store for country music fans in Scott County over Memorial Day weekend, Brimstone Recreation has sweetened the pot a bit.
Brimstone announced today that Uncle Kracker will be headlining a Friday night Riders Appreciation Concert at its annual White Knuckle Event. Nashville star Jamey Johnson was already scheduled to headline Saturday evening’s concert at the White Knuckle Event.
The White Knuckle Event begins Friday, May 24, and continues through Sunday, May 26.
Meanwhile, Trail’s End Campground — which, like Brimstone, is based in Huntsville — is hosting its first annual Full Throttle Event May 24-27. On Friday, The Lacs and Dry Country will be in concert at Trail’s End.
It appears the black bear population in Big South Fork Country is doing quite well! From the Independent Herald newspaper:
Confirmation may not have necessarily been needed after the rash of bear sightings throughout Scott County over the past two years, but it has been given anyway: the black bear population is thriving here.
From an initial release of 14 sows and 16 cubs transplanted into the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area from the Great Smoky Mountains in the mid 1990s, there are now close to 300 bears roaming the BSF and surrounding areas on either side of the Tennessee-Kentucky border, according to estimates from a survey conducted by state agencies last summer.
“It’s a booming population. The bears are doing really good here,” said Dustin Burke, who participated in the survey as a ranger at Pickett State Park and now works at Oneida Police Department.
Here’s another story on the subject from the Knoxville News Sentinel.
How did the Big South Fork’s No Business community get its name? WBIR-TV in Knoxville explores this fascinating place:
To navigate to one of the most isolated places nestled in the hills of Big South Fork, you have to drive for several miles on narrow dirt roads, cross a creek bed that is a couple of feet deep, and then hike an additional mile on foot.
When you finally reach the clearing between the creeks and the cliffs, the only thing you will find other than an open meadow is a large chimney and stone remnants of a now nullified neighborhood named “No Business.”
Plans continue for the Big South Fork Bluegrass & Bike Festival, set for Sept. 7 at Oneida City Park. The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band will headline the event, which will cater to motorcyclists, road bikers and bluegrass music lovers.
Prescribed burns will take place near Bandy Creek Campground and Bear Creek Horse Camp in the Big South Fork NRRA over the next few days, provided weather conditions are right. The story . . .
The Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail has a new southern terminus — Leatherwood Ford. The trail, which extends 300+ miles through the Daniel Boone National Forest from Morehead, Ky., to Tennessee, has been extended an additional 35 miles through the Big South Fork NRRA, using the John Muir Trail and other trails.
A story in the Oneida Independent Herald today highlights the increasing lure of Big South Fork NRRA to mountain bikers:
“It’s a special place,” said Randy Conner, who has been riding in the BSF since the late 1980s and is a past president of the Knoxville-based Appalachian Mountain Bike club. “I tell people that you just about have to go out west somewhere in the Rockies to find some of the views that you see in the Big South Fork.”
Recently, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) named five trails in the BSF as “Epic Rides.” That is a big deal, says BSF superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas.
“The IMBA designation provides the park with a third partner endorsement to an international audience that mountain biking in the Big South Fork is a special experience,” Nicholas said.
The Big South Fork NRRA has announced a pilot project that will allow wagons on the scenic O&W Trail through the BSF backcountry.
Wagon use will be permitted Monday-Friday, with access points at Mill Creek, Zenith and Tar Kiln Trail. In the meantime, the National Park Service will study whether wagon use is practical and desirable on a permanent basis.
Looking for a great place to hike this winter? Try the Leatherwood Loop Trail in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. The 3.3-mile loop trail is our featured destination for the month of February.
Hikers and hunters: Good news! The National Park Service is now offering permits for the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area online.
The BSF requires permits for backcountry camping and wild hog hunting. While the permits have traditionally been available through area vendors, they now can be purchased online. This allows visitors the convenience of purchasing their permits before they leave home . . . and the permits can be purchased 24 hours a day!
Our Camping and Hunting pages have been updated to reflect the change.