Cove Lake State Park
The 667 acre Cove Lake State Recreational Area and its nearby sister parks, Big Ridge and Norris, Were established in the 1930’s as recreational demonstration areas by the Tennessee Valley Authority, The National Park Service and Civilian Conservation Corps. This park was established on the shores Of Cove Lake, an arm of Norris Lake created by an auxiliary dam at Caryville, Tennessee. The Federal Government deeded it to the State of Tennessee in 1950. Cove Lake is situated in a picturesque Valley surrounded by the towering Cumberland Mountains, and it is the winter home for some four hundred (400) Canada geese. The geese are attracted by quiet inlets, marshes, and fields of this area. They come in late fall and stay through early spring. Many visitors come to the park during the winter time just to see the geese. This serene valley was once inhabited by ancient Americans. Mound builders, as they were called, prospered along Cove Creek from 1000 to 1200 A. D. The University Of Tennessee excavated their mounds and habitation sites in 1937. Raised earthen remnants of one Mound are still visible at the end of “Duck Island”. Cove Lake State Park is located in East Tennessee’s Campbell County, 30 miles northwest of Knoxville. On U. S. 25-W and I-75.
The Cove Lake visitor is served by ninety-seven (97) campsites. All sites are equipped with water and electrical hookups, and most with grills and tables. A dump station is available, as are modern bathhouses containing hot showers, commodes and lavatories. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Indian Mountain State Park
Along with Cove Lake and Norris Lake, Campbell County residents also enjoy Indian Mountain State Park, which is located on the Tennessee-Kentucky border 3 miles west of Interstate 75 at exit 160 and within the city limits of Jellico, Tennessee.
The two hundred thirteen (213) acre park began as an abandoned strip mine. It quickly became an unattractive safety hazard to the City of Jellico and its residents. Local officials, aware of the problems which the stripped area presented, began an effort to gain assistance to reclaim the site and develop it into a useful and attractive recreational area.
The City of Jellico working in cooperation with state and federal agencies formulated the proposals to state officials to develop the abandoned site into a recreation area. The site was reclaimed and developed in the late 60’s and early 70’s and the Tennessee Department of Conservation assumed the responsibilities of the area and began operating it as a Tennessee State Park in the summer of 1971. Indian Mountain was the first demonstration in the state and probably one of the first in the southeast by which abandoned strip pits were converted into a camping park. The park offers forty nine (49) paved campsites complete with electric and water hookups and a modern bath house with a dump station. Each site has a picnic table with grills located nearby. Stay is limited to two (2) weeks. Three (3) shelters are available to picnickers or groups and can be reserved for a fee. The shelters each have electricity, water, and grills available. There are also single tables and grills available to the park. The park offers a new 82’ X 45’ swimming facility complete with bath house. Recreation at Indian Mountain State Park includes two (2) walking trails, each expressing the scenic beauty surrounding the park. The park contains playground area with swings and slides to provide enjoyment for the children of the family as the adults enjoy the peaceful environment around them. Volleyball and horseshoes are available from the park office at no charge and may be used at various locations throughout the park. The park is open daily during day light hours.
Norris Dam State Park
Norris Dam State Park is located on the shores of Norris Lake at the site of Norris Dam about twenty (20) miles northwest of Knoxville and is accessible from I-75 from both the Lake City and Norris exits. Great emphasis is placed on historical interpretation at Norris. Lenoir Pioneer Museum, an 18th century gristmill, a threshing barn and a shop featuring authentic Tennessee crafts are among the cultural attractions for park visitors.
The park has nineteen (19) rustic vacation cabins and ten (10) three-bedroom deluxe cabins. Located in quiet wooded settings, the cabins are completely equipped for housekeeping including electrical appliances, cooking and serving utensils and linens. The park features two (2) camping areas with forty (40) sites in the east section and fifty (50) sites in the west section of the park. Sites are available only on a first come, first served basis and maximum stay limit is two (2) weeks.
Picnic areas are available and a large commercial marina is located near the dam. Miles of woodland trails, an Olympic sized pool and a large kiddies pool are also available for visitors to the park.
Cumberland Trail State Park
The Cumberland Trail became Tennessee’s 53rd state park in 1998, it is also Tennessee’s first linear park passing through eleven (11) Tennessee counties on the eastern escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau.
The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park will contain a core corridor of three hundred three (303) plus miles of trail beginning in the Cumberland Gap National Park in Kentucky and stretching south to terminate at Signal Point National Historic Park and Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area near Chattanooga. In Campbell County, the trail can be accessed in LaFollette and at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville.