Obed Wild & Scenic River
The Obed Wild and Scenic River is located in Morgan and Cumberland Counties in East Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau. The park includes parts of the Obed River, Clear Creek, Daddys Creek and the Emory River. Over 45 miles of creeks and rivers are included in the wild and scenic river area. These waterways have cut rugged gorges with bluffs as high as 500 feet above the whitewater in the streams. Outdoor recreation such as whitewater boating, rock climbing, hiking and fishing are popular seasonal activities in the Obed.
The history of the Obed River traces back many centuries. Even so, the scenery still looks much the same as it did before America became a nation.
The Obed Wild and Scenic River has many natural treasures. Wildlife and plant life are abundant. Visitors may gaze upon a red-shouldered hawk flying above the Lilly Bluff Overlook. They may also take a walk down to the Boulder Field and come across a blossoming red trillium wildflower. Or they might cast their fishing line on Clear Creek and reel in a fiesty smallmouth bass.
Canoeing, kayaking and rafting bring many people to the Obed. The river includes three different difficulty classifications (II-IV), making it one of the best whitewater rivers in the eastern United States.
The Rock Creek Campground, located adjacent to the Nemo area of the Obed Wild and Scenic River, offers 11 spots for campers on a first come/first served basis. The campground has grills and primitive toilet facilities, but no running water.
The Obed's sandstone rock faces provide a challenging opportunity for experienced climbers, with several hundred climbing routes spanning through much of the park. Boulder climbing is also available along the Obed.
Fishing opportunities are plentiful at the Obed Wild and Scenic River. An assortment of smallmouth bass, bluegills, catfish, and muskie are but a few of the various fish that swim the river.
Hiking the trails along the Obed Wild and Scenic River is one of the most enjoyable activities that the site has to offer. Several different trails with different lengths and scenery are available.
Hunting is permitted in certain locations at the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Please see a park ranger or stop in at the Obed Visitor Center to get information on the permissible hunting locations within the park. Hunting is also permitted within the boundaries of the adjacent Catoosa Wildlife Management Area during scheduled hunting seasons.
There are picnic tables throughout the park.
Visitors may swim at their own risk throughout the park.
The Obed Wild and Scenic River sees a variety of weather patterns throughout each year. Spring and Winter are usually the best times to paddle on the river, as increased water levels during those seasons are common. Flooding can occur with several consecutive days of precipitation, however. Summers are generally hot and humid, resulting in lower water levels. Temperatures during the summer can often reach over 90 degrees. Winter water levels are generally navigable, and winter temperatures can drop below 30 degrees. Visitors are advised to wear comfortable clothing for each season and for possible extremes in temperature and climate.
The best times of the year for river paddling on the Obed occur during the spring (when precipitation increases) and in late fall/early winter (when cold rains provide continuous rapids).
The Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor Center is located at 208 North Maiden Street in downtown Wartburg, Tennessee.