Big South Fork - The Wander Guide
Hiking In & Around Knoxville Local Hiking Trails Travel

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

The weather has been perfect in Knoxville lately, so I’ve been really keen on getting out and exploring. I love hiking in the Smoky Mountains (of course), but it’s usually crowded, dogs aren’t allowed on most trails, and I’ve hiked a good majority of the trails already. So, I explored a few options and decided to visit Big South Fork yesterday afternoon.

Big South Fork is about two hours north of Knoxville, basically on the Tennessee-Kentucky line. It had been well over ten years since my last visit to Big South Fork. I took a Travel & Nature Photography class at Pellissippi back in the day and we visited the park then.

Twin Arches Trail

I decided on the Twin Arches┬átrail for our hike. It’s an easy, short hike, totaling 1.4 miles round trip. Word of caution (for those with dogs, young children, or someone who has trouble getting around): there are a few sets of stairs and some have pretty steep steps. The dogs did ok but it would probably be best to skip bringing the dogs on this trail, unless you are confident you can guide them down the steps.

The Arches are pretty awesome and definitely worth seeing at least once. We apparently didn’t plan out our hike well enough because we only managed to see the first one. We followed the trail to walk on top of the Arch and continued the loop back to the parking lot. I was slightly disappointed by the trail, because I think I completed the Twin Arches Loop trail in the past and it was a lot better. I’d still recommend this trail- just plan it out better than I did.

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

Leatherwood Ford

After our hike, we headed back towards Knoxville on 297 and stopped at the Leatherwood Ford parking area to check out the pretty views of the river. (And to let the dogs dip their paws in the river.) There are a few hiking trails around here as well.

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

East Rim Overlook

We then stopped at the East Rim Overlook to enjoy some great views. The dogs made friends with a few people. It was a good time.

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

Kyle, the dogs, and I had a great time exploring Big South Fork on our Saturday afternoon. It was nice to go somewhere a little different. I have a few more hikes planned, in and outside of the Smoky Mountains, that I want to complete this summer. East Tennessee is so beautiful and there are so many places to experience. It feels like a mini-vacation right in our backyard.

It’s always nice to have a little technology detox and fill my soul with nature.

Big South Fork - The Wander Guide

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Hannah

Hannah Bubp lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, Kyle, and two dogs. They will be welcoming a new addition to the family, a baby girl, this October. She is a professional photographer who spends her free time writing, hiking, cooking, and exploring beautiful East Tennessee and beyond.

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