Description - The Obed River and its two main tributaries, Clear Creek and Daddy's Creek, cut into the Cumberland Plateau of East Tennessee, providing some of the most rugged scenery in the southeastern United States. Forty-five miles of waterways, and 5,000 acres of land surrounding them, are protected within the park. Elevations within the preserve range from 800 to 1,500 feet. The park encompasses approximately 45 miles of river, that are comprised of the Obed River, Clear Creek, Daddy's Creek and Emory River. These water courses have cut a rugged landscape leaving exciting whitewater gorges with bluffs as much as 500 feet above. The Wild and Scenic River designation of the Obed protects the terrain immediately surrounding the river and its tributaries, therefore facilities are limited.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Obed Wild and Scenic River
- The Visitor Center in Wartburg is the best place to plan your visit to the park. Exhibits maintained at this site highlight the natural history, cultural history and prehistory of the region. Interpretive presentations occur at the Visitor Center during the summer months. A bookstore and restrooms are contained within the facility. A small, primitive campground within the preserve has 12 sites available on a first come, first served basis. Visitors should inquire about camping opportunities at the Visitor Center.
Recreation - Recreation opportunities abound in and around the Obed River and its tributaries. Visitors will find Class II - V Whitewater paddling in park. Boaters need to know their experience level and water conditions before putting on the river. Swimming is another popular recreation pursuit in the Obed. There are no lifeguards available and swimmers should be aware that rivers have moving currents and can be dangerous, especially during high water. Hunting and fishing are allowed in the park and State regulations are enforced. Climbing and repelling on the park's numerous sandstone bluffs offer adventure and challenge to the knowledgeable climber. Camping and hiking opportunities are limited at this time.
Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cooling fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant foliage colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall color change.
This park is located south of the Big South Fork National Recreational Area, immediately west of U.S. Highway 27. To access the Obed Wild and Scenic River from Interstate 40 exit on to Tennessee State Highway 27 and travel northward.