Places We Protect

Gil & Summerfield Johnston Preserve


TN web use only.
Double arch at Gil & Summerfield Johnston Preserve. TN web use only. © Byron Jorjorian

Near Big South Fork lies a unique double arch of sandstone, formed 300 million years ago.



The Nature Conservancy acquired this 16.7-acre property in Scott County at the southern end of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in 2015. The Big South Fork area is known for rugged scenic areas, deep gorges, sandstone bluffs, and natural and historic features. The property has been named the "Gil and Summerfield Johnston Preserve" in honor of a Chattanooga couple who have worked closely with the Conservancy on numerous conservation projects.

The sandstone double arch, formed approximately 300 million years ago due to erosion by water, wind and ice, is among the tract's special features. The Nature Conservancy's acquisition of this spectacular property protects it from development. The fact that the property is bounded on two sides by the Big South Fork National Park made this tract a must to conserve. In addition to the double arch, the Gil and Summerfield Johnston Preserve is crossed by a stream and also contains a large rock shelter known as Potter's Cave.



Explore our work in this region

It's a short hike to the double arches and then to the large rock shelter known as Potter's Cave. Be prepared to cross a stream, which means you may get wet. The hike itself is short and will take less than an hour. Contact us for directions and more information: 615-383-9909.