Great news for all our outdoor friends! Big South Fork River & Recreation Area has opened an official seasonal Ranger Station in Rugby. This creates a new gateway  on the southern border of the BSFRRA.


Open weekends beginning Saturday, May 24, there will be free guided hikes every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm, Eastern.


You can now buy your backcountry camping permits here. Also available will be maps and literature, as well as a Historic Rugby sponsored FREE 15 page booklet for the Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole and Meeting of the Waters trails. For more information please call the Ranger on weekends from 9:00 am, ET through 5:00 pm, ET at 423-628-2991.


For more information please read the newsletter below:



Opening This Weekend!
Come visit us, once is not enough!
 Dear Rugby Friend,
We’re overjoyed to finally have a Big South Fork park visitor station here in Rugby, opening this Saturday! Come help us make a ranger feel welcome. Enjoy a FREE guided hike each Saturday & Sunday at 1 p.m./Noon Central.
Just look for the new park banner in front of Rugby’s Board of Aid building, between the Harrow Road Café & the Rugby Commissary.
Now after you pass the big sign (above) traveling east on Hwy. 52, just turn into Historic Rugby and get a warm National Park Service welcome. The station will have lots of maps & literature, provide tips and sell backcountry camping permits. Come check out the photos inside, too. Hours will be 9-5 Eastern/8-4 Central both Saturdays & Sundays. Experience our southern park gateway and come away with a whole new view of nature & history!

FREE Guided Hikes, 2 Each Weekend
You can skip the skirtSlacks or shorts now OK
   You’ll be hiking on trails with segments in use for 134 years, some of the oldest in Tennessee! Follow in the paths of Rugby’s British & other settlers and Victorian tourists, from 1880 on.
    Sunday’s is a shorter hike to the “Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole,” 4/10 mile through a shady wooded gorge to the Clear Fork River.
    Saturday’s is longer, but even more spectacular. See huge boulders and towering trees as you follow the river to the “Meeting of the Waters,” where the White Oak Creek enters below towering cliffs.  Early Rugbeians loved to picnic there, and take photographs as well with the novelty of the portable camera. A FREE 15-page booklet tells lots more about both trails. Get one when you visit.
“Meeting of the Waters,” long popularPhotos: Historic Rugby Archives

To Rugby’s Swimming Hole & Beyond!
   Sunday’s “Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole” hike takes about an hour. Saturday’s to the “Meeting of the Waters” takes about two hours. Both start from the same trailhead, just opposite Rugby’s Laurel Dale Cemetery. So follow the cemetery sign off Rugby’s main street, originally called Central Avenue. Questions? Call the ranger 9-5 Eastern on Saturdays or Sundays at 423-628-2991.

When looking for Rugby on a GPS mapping device, use caution. For instance, Apple Maps shows its true location only by searching “Historic Rugby,” and NOT “Rugby, Tennessee.” (You’re 22 minutes off if you go there!) Google is a bit better, but other mapping software is confused by the rerouting of Hwy. 52 last December. Now there are east & west turns off Hwy. 52 to get to Rugby a short distance from the new route. WE’LL GIVE YOU A FREE PAPER MAP for Tennessee at the Rugby Visitor Centre or Harrow Road Café. Sometimes paper is safer!
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Historic Rugby Inc. All Rights Reserved.