Photo: Devils Cave, located off-trail in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, is Tennessee’s largest slot cave (Jeff White)
The terrain of the Cumberland Plateau is simply spectacular. Time and weather have created many unique landforms across the region, leading some writers to describe it as having more of a resemblance to the untamed West than any other location in the eastern United States. In the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area alone, more than 20 large waterfalls (and countless small waterfalls), over 100 natural rock arches, a dozen rock chimneys and other rock ledges and caverns too numerous to mention dot the landscape.
Many of those landforms are on trails that can be accessed by foot or horseback. Others are hidden away from the beaten path and are relatively unknown. None are better known than the massive Twin Arches, which tower over a ridge top deep in the Big South Fork backcountry. The largest sandstone arches in Tennessee, the arches have clearances of 51 ft. and 70 ft., and spans of 62 ft. and 93 ft., respectively. There are very few natural bridges in the world that rival the Twin Arches.
But the Twin Arches are just the start of the spectacular landforms in Scott County. Hole in the Ridge (a.k.a. Needle’s Eye) in the southwestern portion of the park is equally spectacular. The Honey Creek Loop Trail offers an up-close view of many of the bluffs and natural rock houses that are unique to the area.