in Tennessee.
Pogue Creek Canyon in Tennessee. © Byron Jorjorian

Places We Protect

Pogue Creek Canyon

Tennessee

Pogue Creek Canyon is an ecological and geological jewel of the northern Cumberland Plateau.

Located just west of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area is an ecological and geological jewel of the northern Cumberland Plateau with features reminiscent of America's canyons of the Southwest. Pogue Creek Canyon's natural features include immense, multicolored sandstone bluffs, mesas, arches, waterfalls and caves as well as the winding creek itself and its deep surrounding gorge.

Location
Fentress County, adjacent to Pickett State Park, on its west side.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Tennessee's State Wildlife Action Plan has ranked the northern Cumberland Plateau as among the highest priority wildlife habitat in the state. In addition to its outstanding natural features, Pogue Creek Canyon contains more than 300 kinds of native plants as well as an abundant variety of birds, aquatic animals, amphibians and cave species.

Rare animals in the area include the bald eagle, Swainson's warbler, the Eastern slender glass lizard and the green salamander. Because of its unusual sandstone formations, the area harbors a number of rare plant varieties, such as Cumberland sandwort and Lucy Braun's white snakeroot. The Conservancy acquired the property in 2005 before transferring it to the state of Tennessee in 2006 to be a State Natural Area.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy has sponsored extensive biological surveys of the property to identify the area's plant and animal species. In 2006, the state of Tennessee purchased Pogue Creek Canyon from The Nature Conservancy and designated it as Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area. There are now miles of beautiful hiking trails on the property.

More About This Preserve
There are now more than 12 miles of beautiful hiking trails at Pogue Creek Canyon. Most of these are moderate in difficulty. However, there are some more remote areas that are more strenuous and difficult. Contact the staff of Pickett State Park for details on the trails.

For beginners and families, the main trail begins with a 1.5 mile loop trail to a scenic overlook of the canyon. The hike is moderate in difficulty. Though this is a moderate hike, there is some change in elevation. Hiking boots are recommended. Bring binoculars and camera, which you will want when you reach the overlook.

BE AWARE: There are no railings or fences at the overlook. Exercise extreme caution there, and do not let children approach the overlook unattended. A fall off the overlook could cause serious injury or death.