Big Ridge State Park, Maynardville

#81 of 104 in Nature in Tennessee
Big Ridge State Park is a state park in Union County, Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The park consists of 3687acre on the southern shore of the Norris Reservoir, an impoundment of the Clinch River created by the completion of Norris Dam in 1936. Much of the park's recreational focus is on Big Ridge Lake, a 45acre sub-impoundment of Norris near the center of the park.Big Ridge State Park was first developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s as part of the greater Norris Project. The park was one of three of the project's demonstration recreational areas that eventually became state parks (Norris Dam State Park and Cove Lake State Park are the other two). The park's recreational facilities opened in May 1934. The park is now operated and maintained by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.Geographical settingBig Ridge State Park is located in the Appalachian Ridge-and-Valley range, which is characterized by narrow elongate ridges flanked by fertile stream valleys. The park's topography is dominated by three such ridge systems running roughly parallel to one another, the two northernmost of which are bisected by the Big Ridge Lake inlet of Norris Lake. The northernmost ridge is known as "Lone Mountain" west of the inlet and "Big Ridge" east of the inlet. The central ridge is known as "Bluebird Ridge" west of the inlet and "Pinnacle Ridge" east of the inlet. The southernmost ridge, which is not bisected by the inlet, is known as "Chestnut Ridge." The northern and central ridge systems are divided by Dark Hollow, a narrow valley that spans the entire park. The central and southern ridges are divided by a valley known as Blue Mud Valley west of the inlet and Poor Land Valley east of the inlet.
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Big Ridge State Park Reviews
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94 reviews
  • Very quiet and seems like it is deep in the wilderness, but is pretty close to civilization. The campground is well maintained and the facilities are clean.  more »
  • This is a nice clean park. Very quiet and pretty. The bathrooms need to be upgraded, they are old. The road there is curvy. Enjoyed the fall camping.  more »
  • We camped, hiked, kayaked and rode on the nearby mountain bike trails. There are many things to do and the setting is gorgeous. The campsites are a bit close and the facilities are in bad repair. Woul...  more »
  • We decided to check out the local state parks and our first excursion was to Big Ridge. The first thing is it's free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being transplants from California, we are used to them charging for everything. There is ample parking and you are nice and close to Norris Lake from the parking lot. There is a cordoned off swimming area with a concrete based shoreline. A short distance away there is a dock where you can rent various hand powered watercraft. We jumped in a peddle boat.....$5 for an hour. Not bad. Had a nice time on the water. This park has been in existence since 1933. In 1949 State Parks took it over from TVA. Some of the buildings are tired and need to be leveled and replaced, but all in all a great place to experience the outdoors. Oh, did I mention it FREE!!!!!!!
  • This quiet park is a great family outing. You can rent or bring your own kayaks and enjoy the water, free from motor boats. It's a bit out of of the way, but we'll worth the trip.
  • Super fun place to take the kids to swim and spend time outdoors! Everyone is so friend and its fun for all ages.
  • We had an awesome fathers day here. Take spay for ticks. Kids loved swimming also.
  • Very nice park! Camped there back in early April 2017. Nice to see improvements in progress to the campground. I have only one complaint, and it's not really the parks fault. We came back to our camper one evening after being out, and found skid marks on the pavement that came within 5 feet of my camper. Someone did a dry pavement donut right next to my camper while we were away. (Site 17) I like not having to pay an entrance fee to enter the park like most other states charge, but perhaps that would help keep the people out who aren't there to enjoy the park.

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