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Tennessee State Parks

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USA Parks
Cumberland Plateau Region
Bledsoe State Forest
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Bledsoe State Forest is located on the Cumberland Plateau in east-central Tennessee, in Bledsoe, Cumberland, Van Buren, and White Counties. The land was originally purchased by the State Department of Institutions in 1907. In 1933, 6,656 acres were designated as state forest. The remaining lands, known as the Taft Youth Center, left under the jurisdiction of the Department of Institutions, now the Department of Corrections. Areas of the forest are used for tree improvement studies, where strains of various species are grown to determine their suitability as high quality timber. The timber type consists primarily of mixed upland hardwoods and most stands are in the 40 to 80+ age classes. The forest has been used traditionally for hunting and small amounts of fishing. Some hiking and horseback riding occur on the forest. Fall Creek State Park is approximately 3 miles southwest of the forest.
History of the Area
1. Native American Presence: Before European colonization, the area around Bledsoe State Forest was inhabited by the Cherokee and Creek Indian tribes. Evidence of their presence can still be found in the form of archeological sites within the forest.

2. Early European Settlement: The forest takes its name from the Bledsoe family, who were prominent pioneers in the mid-1700s. They established Bledsoe's Station, a fortified frontier settlement, near the forest's current boundaries. The Bledsoes played a significant role in the early history of Tennessee.

3. Logging and Timber Industry: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the area underwent extensive logging to meet the demands of the timber industry. The forest provided valuable resources such as hardwood and pine timber, which were harvested for construction, furniture, and other purposes.

4. Reforestation and Conservation Efforts: Recognizing the need for sustainable forest management, the Tennessee Division of Forestry initiated reforestation efforts in the 1930s. They planted thousands of trees and established the Bledsoe State Forest in 1935 to demonstrate proper forestry practices.

5. Recreation and Education: Over the years, Bledsoe State Forest has evolved into a recreational and educational resource for the local community and visitors. It offers numerous recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and camping. The forest also serves as an outdoor classroom, providing educational programs about forestry, wildlife, and ecology.

6. State Forest Designation: In 1952, Bledsoe State Forest became Tennessee's first designated state forest. This recognition further highlights its importance as a protected and managed natural resource in the state.
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Bledsoe State Forest is located near Crossville, Dayton and Pikeville

1. Bledsoe Loop Trail: A 4-mile moderate trail featuring a waterfall, primarily used for hiking and nature trips.

2. Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail: An easy-rated 3 miles long path that offers scenic views of the plateau's diverse flora and fauna.

3. Fall Creek Falls Overlook Pathway: This is an approximately half-a-mile-long paved pathway leading to stunning overlooks at Fall Creek Falls State Park within the forest area.

4. Gilbert Gaul Loop Trail: At just over four miles in length, this moderately difficult loop provides hikers with panoramic vistas from atop rocky outcrops along its route.

5. Piney River Segment - Cumberland Trails: Approximately ten-miles long; features river view points as well as wildflowers during spring season making it popular among bird watchers too.

6. The Fiery Gizzard South Section Hiking Route: It's about nine-and-half mile challenging hike offering beautiful waterfalls & rock formations throughout journey.

7. Savage Gulf Day Loop: Roughly five-miles round trip through rugged terrain showcasing spectacular gorges and stone doorways formed by natural erosion processes.

8. Stone Door Ranger Station To Laurel Gulf Overlook: About two-and-half mile trek providing breathtaking cliffside panoramas across Savage Gulf Natural Area.

9. Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness Backpacking Trip: Around eight-to-nine miles strenuous backpacking adventure taking you past multiple cascading falls into deep wilderness areas.

10. North Chickamauga Creek Greenway: Easy rated six-mile linear park running parallel to North Chickamauga creek perfect for family outings or beginner level hikes.

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Area Campgrounds
Mountain Glen RV Park
6182 Brockdell Road
Pikeville, TN
Area Fishing Related Businesses
Loshbough Hunting Range Office
224 Martin Burgess Rd
Crossville, TN
(931) 788-5408

1. Start on I:40 E from Nashville, Tennessee.
2. Take exit 288 for TN:111 N towards Livingston/Algood.
3. Continue onto TN:111 N for about 30 miles.
4. Turn right onto US:70N E/E Broad St in Cookeville after the Walmart Supercenter on your left side.
5. Follow this road until you reach Crossville Street and turn left there; it becomes Hanging Limb Hwy/Tennessee State Route 164.
6. Turn right to stay on SR164/Hanging Limb Highway at Monterey High School junction.
7. Continue straight ahead till you see Bledsoe County line signboard indicating that forest is near by.
8. Bledsoe state Forest will be visible shortly afterwards,on your right hand side.

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Tennessee State Parks