View of boulder and trees at Stone Preserve
Trees and Boulder at Stone Preserve View of boulder and trees at Stone Preserve © Byron Jorjorian

Places We Protect

Stone Preserve


Known for its massive sandstone boulders, Stone Preserve is ideal for "bouldering" and exploring.

Known for its massive sandstone boulders—some as large as houses—Stone Preserve is a beautiful 66-acre forested preserve adjacent to National Park Service land along the Obed River. This scenic site was generously donated to the Conservancy by Dr. Fred and Helen Stone and is located in Morgan County, near the Lilly's Bluff overlook of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. The cool and shady forests of Stone Preserve provide habitat for several species of salamanders and song birds, such as Swainson's warbler.

Stone Preserve is popular with climbers who enjoy "bouldering," or climbing boulders without the aid of climbing gear. Contact East Tennessee Climbers Coalition (ph: 865-566-6547) and The Southeastern Climbers Coalition (email inquiries to for more information. Dogs are allowed on leash.

The large sandstone boulders at Stone Preserve provide a beautiful natural setting for the popular sport, "bouldering," or rock climbing without the use of formal rock climbing gear. While there are no official hiking trails as of yet established at Stone Preserve, there are some meandering paths through the woods, including those that lead to popular "bouldering" spots.

The pine and hardwood forests and the large boulders at the preserve are home to a variety of wildlife, including several salamander species. Visitors might catch a glimpse of a red-spotted newt or green salamander during a trip to Stone Preserve.

For more recreational opportunities, including paddling, rock climbing, hiking, and fishing, check out the nearby Obed Wild and Scenic River. (Visit the National Park Service's Obed Wild and Scenic River website for more information.)

The weather at Stone Preserve varies by season but be sure to bring plenty of water, regardless of the season, especially if you plan to go "bouldering."

If you intend to go "bouldering" at Stone Preserve, review the following guidelines about climbing in the Obed Wild and Scenic River region (near Stone Preserve) published by the East Tennessee Climbers Coalition:

ETHICS– A general code of behavior that when violated will result in shame, guilt, sleepless nights, being the butt of jokes and may cause closure of the Obed for rock climbing. 


  • Be courteous to the park and the rock.
  • Be courteous to the other climbers and park employees that you meet while climbing or hiking. All these people can be your friend.
  • Don't be a litterbug. Pack out all that you pack in.
  • If you are planning a large climbing group at the Obed, please be considerate of other climbers. Pick your outing in low-use areas and on low-use days. If other climbers want to use a route that your group is holding (by top rope or otherwise), let other climbers play through.
  • If your dog is not friendly or controllable, please keep Fido on a leash or leave at the house.
  • Please bury any dog waste.


  • Please do not top rope through anchors. Please top rope through your own draws.
  • It is not necessary to rappel from fixed anchors. If the length of your rope allows, it is OK to lower from fixed anchors.
  • Please do not set up top ropes and leave rope unattended. This practice excludes others from climbing.


  • Brush your projects.
  • Give your warm-ups a brush, too.
  • If you make tick marks make them small, then brush them away when you are finished.
  • If you spill chalk, clean it up.


  • Fixed gear has been left as convenience and for safety, not to be scarfed. Scarfed gear has a tendency to explode.
  • Long sticks at the base of cliffs may be the stick clips. Do not use them for another purpose or break them.



  • DON'T!!!


  • Do not top out the climbs. The vegetation on the top of the cliff is precious and should not be stepped on.


  • The vegetation at the bottom of the cliff is also precious and should not be cut, broken, stepped on, stripped, or hurt in any way. Be nice to the trees.
  • Please use the well-maintained trails at and to the climbing areas.


  • Do not camp at the Stone Preserve boulder field.
  • Camping is allowed in the Obed Scenic River park land; however, you must be 200 feet from the trail, water, or parking area.
  • Do not camp in the South Clear parking area. This is private property
  • Don't camp under the popular climbs.
  • If you camp at Dell and Marty's, follow the posted rules.


  • Communicate with the Access Fund and National Park Service whenever you have a concern.
  • If you see someone doing things that are not right, call 'em out. Enforcement of the above ethics is on you!

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OBED WILD AND SCENIC RIVER– If you want to try paddling, rock climbing, hiking, or fishing on the Obed Wild and Scenic River, which abuts Stone Preserve, explore the National Park Service's Obed Wild and Scenic River website for more detailed information.