Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area rangers invite everyone to join them on two very enjoyable walks in the park adjoining Historic Rugby. The Big South Fork, in partnership with Historic Rugby, is staffing a visitor contact station in the Board of Aid to Land Ownership building at Rugby this summer. In addition to providing information and orientation to Big South Fork visitors, rangers are providing guided hikes into the Big South Fork every Saturday and Sunday through the end of September.
The Meeting of the Waters hike on Saturday is a moderately difficult 2.3 mile loop. The trail begins by descending into the Clear Fork River gorge to the historic Gentlemen's Swimming Hole. It continues along the Clear Fork River to the Meeting of the Waters where the Clear Fork is joined by White Oak Creek. Along the way hikers can view some of the prettiest forest to be found on the Cumberland Plateau. From the Meeting of the Waters, the trail begins a short, steep climb back to the ridge top where it follows an easy path back to the trailhead. The entire hike takes about two and one half hours.
The Gentleman's Swimming Hole Trail hike on Sunday is a moderately difficult, .8 mile round trip into and out of the Clear Fork gorge to the swimming spot once favored by early Rugby colonists. This one hour walk provides a journey through a pretty hemlock and rhododendron forest and offers a chance to sit for a few minutes alongside the beautiful Clear Fork River. Both hikes begin at 1:00 p.m. (ET) from the Rugby Trailhead located next to the Laurel Dale Cemetery in Historic Rugby. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
For more information, call park headquarters at (423) 569-9778. You may reach the Big South Fork Rugby Contact Station at (423) 628-2991.