Tennessee Natural Areas Division staff with Governor Haslam, including (left to right): Sunny Fleming, Brian Ross, Brian Bowen, TN State Parks Senior Advisor Anne Marshall, Natural Areas Director Roger McCoy, Governor Haslam, Forrest Evans, Lisa Huff and David Lincicome.
Governor Haslam joined staff from the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation last Friday to dedicate a new trail at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area.
“Tennessee has incredible natural areas that offer something for everyone, and this partnership will help protect and preserve these lands for future generations to enjoy,” Governor Haslam said. “Taking care of Tennessee’s landscape helps promote healthier lifestyles maintaining the state’s attractiveness as a tourist destination.”
Pogue Creek Canyon is a 3,000-acre natural area on the Cumberland Plateau. It is contiguous to parts of Pickett State Forest and near Pickett State Park. The Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) acquired Pogue Creek Canyon to protect it from development, then sold the tract to the state in 2006 when it was then designated a state natural area.
“This new trail will allow the public to get an up close view of the beauty of this natural area,” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “The trail connects Pickett State Park to Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park, providing a glimpse of Tennessee’s natural resources and its history.”
Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area is named for Pogue Creek, which, along with its tributaries, formed and runs through the magnificent gorge that makes the area so special. Pogue Creek is a tributary of the Wolf River, which empties into the Cumberland River. The topography and plant communities are characteristic of the Cumberland Plateau with rich forests and scenic sandstone bluffs and rock houses. The narrowest sections of the gorge are often dominated by eastern hemlock, magnolia species, and red maple with rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) and mountain laurel forming the shrub layer.
Tennessee Natural Areas Division staff at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area, including (left to right): Sunny Fleming, Brian Ross, Brian Bowen, Roger McCoy, David Withers, Lisa Huff and David Lincicome.