A fisherman practices his sport at the base of Byrd Creek Dam. (Photo: Bob Butters)
Even though Cumberland Mountain State Park isnt known for spectacular waterfalls or panoramic vistas, this plateau-top natural treasure is certainly worth a visit.
Located on the outskirts of Crossville, Tennessee, on a broad and relatively flat section of the Cumberland Plateau, this 1,720-acre park, shaped like an inverted C, contains 14 miles of hiking trails. In addition, the park features a popular buffet-style restaurant, a 50-acre lake, an 18-hole golf course, a picnic area, cabins, a combined total of 145 tent and RV campsites, and more.
Byrd Lake, created when a dam was built on Byrd Creek in the 1930s, is the parks main focal point. Rental fishing boats, paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats are available for use on the lake. Fishing is allowed, with bass, bluegill and catfish being caught year-round and trout stocked in the winter. Almost 3 miles of hiking trails circle the lake, and a wooden footbridge allows options for a 2-mile or a 0.7-mile loop.
This rock beside the Pioneer Short Loop provides a good view of Byrd Lake. (Photo: Bob Butters)
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