Public Notice as of Tuesday, May 23: We currently have a problem with our phone service. The provider is working on the problem and hopes to have the issue resolved soon. We are sorry for the inconvenience. The lake swimming area is back open now after the flooding and boat dock rentals are scheduled to begin for the season on Friday.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, we've created a unique and helpful guide just for you.
80 Adventures to Celebrate 80 Years showcases 80 of our favorite outdoor adventures, making it easy to explore our natural, cultural and historic heritage. Where will your next adventure begin?
The heavily forested, 3,687-acre park is located in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley range, characterized by narrow ridges flanked by fertile stream valleys. Big Ridge State Park’s topography is dominated by three of these ridge systems giving the area its beautiful lake and scenery.
Big Ridge State Park was one of five demonstration parks developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as an example of public recreation development along TVA lakeshores. The structures on the park reflect the craftsmanship and stonework of the CCC. Along the trails you may see remnants of the homes and farms that existed here prior to the birth of the TVA.
The park is home to a variety of activities for the whole family. Big Ridge State Park consists of more than 15 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to very rugged. Among these trails guests hike along dry ridges, lush hollows, old roadbeds, lakeshores and beside cemeteries and remnants of early settlements. The park has 50 campsites on or near Norris Lake to accommodate RV’s, trailers and tent campers. Each site offers amenities such as water, 50-amp electrical hookups and a picnic table with a grill. There is group camp which accommodates up to 120 people with 18 screened-in bunkhouses. Backcountry camping is also available at no charge, but requires a permit.
The park’s recreational activities are not limited to hiking or camping. There is a sandy beach next to Big Ridge Lake which provides swimming enjoyment equipped with a concrete-bottomed area for children. The park also offers sand volleyball, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court and a softball field. Big Ridge State Park has a wheelchair accessible playground adjacent to the park office offering play experience for children of all ages and abilities.
Celebrating more than 30 years of Bluegrass at Big Ridge, the annual Bluegrass Festival is a family favorite. The festival is always held the third Friday of August. Music starts at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. Please join us!
Park Trail Maps
Looking for a trail map? Click the link below to see a list of the maps available at this park. The page includes all the trail maps we have available, organized by park. We have free and paid options that provide you the details you need to have your next great adventure in Tennessee.