5 things to do near Cumberland Mountain State Park

June 28, 2016  |  Permalink

Tucked away on the Cumberland Plateau is a relaxing and peaceful park that is a perfect retreat from the ordinary. Located in Crossville, Tennessee, the origins of Cumberland Mountain State Park date back to the 1930’s. The park’s architecture, with its crab orchard stone and walkable layout, pays homage to that history.

Whether you want to paddle on the lake or picnic along the trail, Cumberland Mountain combines classic charm with modern convenience to create a restful and refreshing vacation spot. To help you plan your next trip, let’s look at

 

5 things to do near Cumberland Mountain State Park:

 

WHERE TO STAY

Cabins at Cumberland Mountain State Park

The cabins at Cumberland Mountain come in several shapes and sizes. Whether you need to sleep six or sixteen, this park can accommodate. The cabins are accented with wood and stone interiors, fully furnished and equipped with kitchens. Most of them have fireplaces and central heat and air conditioning. 

 

WHAT TO DO

1. Relax on the lake at Cumberland Mountain State Park

A central feature at Cumberland Mountain State Park is the 50-acre Byrd Lake. It plays a prominent role in the layout, with many buildings incorporating the view of the lake into their architectural design. The lake is perfect for swimming, fishing and boating. The park rents a variety of watercraft – including paddleboards, fishing boats and kayaks. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own boats from May to October.

 

2. Golf at Cumberland Mountain State Park

Cumberland Mountain State Park is home to one of three Jack Nicklaus courses in Tennessee State Parks. The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain is an 18-hole course that capitalizes on elevation changes as well as natural features, including flowing brooks and mature pine clusters. The city of Crossville is the “Golf Capital of Tennessee,” and the Bear Trace lives up to that designation.

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3. Engage with history at Cumberland Mountain State Park

Cumberland Mountain State Park is a product of an economic experiment during the New Deal era. The country was looking for ways to provide jobs to working families and reboot the economy during the Great Depression. One of the ideas was to allow unemployed miners, mill workers, etc. to apply for spots in government-sponsored homestead communities. These communities would have farms and school buildings, and even space for recreation. Cumberland Mountain State Park provided a place for the families to enjoy the outdoors. The park, and the local community, now serves as a monument to that time. Cumberland Mountain is home to the largest CCC structure ever built – a dam/bridge- that is the centerpiece of the park. The park museum, as well as local museums and attractions in Crossville, tell the story of the Cumberland Homesteads Resettlement program. This is a great place for visitors to step back in time and learn about the New Deal era of American history.

 

4. Hike on the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail

The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail will one day allow thru hikers to traverse some 300 miles of terrain stretching from Alabama to Kentucky. While the full trail is incomplete, there are sections available for hikers now. One of those sections – Grassy Cove - is located just outside Crossville and is a bucket list destination for hikers. One of our favorite views is from the top of Black Mountain. The southern vantage point overlooks the 5.1 square mile sinkhole, Grassy Cove. If you’re heading out to hike, make sure you stop into Cumberland Mountain’s restaurant, Homestead Harvest. The restaurant offers dine-in options, but they can also pack a picnic for you to take on your hike. (Photo Credit: Peter Koczera)

 

5. Chase waterfalls at Rock Island State Park

If you love waterfalls, then Rock Island State Park is one of the best places you can visit. The popularity of the park has grown over the years, especially for free-water kayakers. The rugged beauty of the park includes the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam. These overlooks are some of the most scenic and significant along the Eastern Highland Rim. The Caney Fork River Gorge contains scenic overlooks, waterfalls, deep pools and limestone paths perfect for hiking, swimming, fishing, kayaking and exploring.

 

Plan You Trip

Don't let the summer pass by without taking some time to unwind. Retreat to Cumberland Mountain State Park for some well deserved rest and relaxation. 

 

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About the author

Josh Gibson