Clifty Creek Preserve, located beside the Emory River.
Clifty Creek Preserve Clifty Creek Preserve, located beside the Emory River. © Paul Kingsbury/The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

Clifty Creek Preserve


Clifty Creek Preserve features spectacular bluffs and its namesake, the beautiful Clifty Creek.

This forested 80-acre site contains a scenic gorge cut through by Clifty Creek, which flows into the Emory River here. Clifty Creek forms part of the Roane/Morgan county line. The gorge slopes are very steep and almost vertical in some places. Dogs are allowed on leash.

Roane/Morgan county line

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
A globally endangered plant, Virginia spirea, grows here and is scattered along the creek's rocky banks. The gorge is a hemlock-dominated, mixed mesophytic forest.

What the Conservancy Is Doing
The Conservancy is protecting and managing this land, and is engaging local communities in its protection.

Clifty Creek Preserve has moderately challenging hiking along Clifty Creek. Be prepared for creek crossings. Bring water shoes or waders. The creek is a pleasant place to wade or swim in warm weather.