Obed National Wild and Scenic River

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: About this audio-described brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Obed Wild and Scenic River's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Obed visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 15 minutes which we have divided into 21 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 through 13 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding different types of recreation available to do as well as safety. Sections 13 through 21 cover the back of the brochure which consists of the park map, a chart with information about water levels along sections of the river and other important information. We hope you enjoy your visit with us.

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OVERVIEW: Obed Wild and Scenic River

Obed Wild and Scenic River, located in Tennessee, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 5,200 acre park is situated near the city of Wartburg Tennessee. Obed was established in 1976. Each year, over 200,000  visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences at Obed Wild and Scenic River. We invite you to explore the park's canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, hunting, and fishing opportunities. Feel the rough sandstone cliff lines. Take a hike and hear the crunch of leaves and twigs underfoot. Listen to the rippling water as the early fog dampens your skin. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit,  informative audio guides can be found at the visitor's center. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.


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OVERVIEW: Front side of brochure

The front side of the brochure is comprised of text, one large color photo on the top third of the brochure, and ten smaller color photographs. The large color photo at the top is of a rusty steel framed bridge crossing a river with rippling water beneath and trees in the background with vibrant fall colors. 

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IMAGE: Obed river

DESCRIPTION:

This is a panoramic photograph rusty steel framed bridge crossing a river with rippling water beneath and trees in both the background and just slightly in front of the bridge on both the left and right side of the photograph. Along both sides of the river you can see large boulders coming out of the water at the rivers edge. Both the right and left sides of the river have smaller trees growing up out of the boulders in the foreground.  Just to the right of center is a large concrete bridge pillar supporting the large steel beams of the bridge.  Just above the steal beams you can see the criss cross bracing of the bridge rising up and out of the photograph.  Behind the framework of the bridge you can see a distant hillside of trees in vibrant fall colors. 


CREDIT: 

NPS



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TEXT: Obed river scene

Wild and scenic are good words to describe the Obed river system. The Obed Wild and Scenic River consists of sections of four streams: Daddys Creek, Clear Creek, Emory River, and the Obed River. These streams have been running their course for thousands of years, cutting into the sandstone of the Cumberland Plateau and creating a rugged landscape of wild land and water found in relatively few places in the southeastern United States. The Obed and its tributaries have carved spectacular gorges with 200-foot cliffs above the streams. Huge sandstone boulders, once part of the cliffs above, now dot the streams, creating large whitewater rapids in the rushing water.


The American Indians who first visited this area may  have used the bluffs as shelter during extended hunting trips. They found abundant game here, but the soil was poor and they did not build permanent settlements within the current park boundaries. The “Longhunters”—white men who hunted for animal skins and furs—came next to the region. They found the same rich hunting grounds as the Indians, but the pioneers and settlers in the Cumberland Plateau found the land in the river and stream canyons inhospitable, difficult to farm, and too far from the centers of commerce. The mainstream of human settlement flowed around and beyond the plateau to the rich farmlands to the west. The result is an undeveloped natural area sculpted by unceasing erosion over millennia.


The Obed river system contains a mixed forest of oak, hickory, poplar, pine, and hemlock. Shrubs such as mountain laurel and rhododendron also are common. During the spring, colorful wildflowers can be found on the forest floor and along the streams. A variety of wildlife can be found seasonally in the stream gorges, including more than 100 species of birds. Along the banks of the streams you may spot signs of bobcat, beaver, raccoon, mink, deer, or a playful river otter.


Access to much of the Obed Wild and Scenic River is limited. Only a few bridges offer access to the streams for kayakers and canoeists interested in demanding whitewater boating. (The Obed system offers some of the most challenging whitewater in the Southeast, requiring serious whitewater skills and experience. It is not recommended for beginning or novice whitewater boaters.) Anglers also use the streams, going after smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish, or the muskellunge (better known locally as the “Jack fish”). For those who are not back country oriented, a short walk from your motor vehicle to the Lilly Bluff Overlook provides a great view of part of the rugged Obed Wild and Scenic River.


The Obed Wild and Scenic River was added to the National Park System in October 1976. The National Park Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (T W R A) have joined forces to protect and manage this unique area. Through a cooperative agreement, lands within the Obed Wild and Scenic River that are part of the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area will continue to be owned and managed by T W R A. The goal is to preserve the river in a free-flowing condition and to preserve and protect the water quality, wildlife resources, and primitive character of the area for present and future generations. In this way, visitors today and in the future can experience and appreciate this part of wild America.


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IMAGES: A variety of outdoor pleasures

IMAGE 1 of 7: Man fishing

DESCRIPTION:

This is an image of a man wearing a blue T shirt and faded denim jeans with his legs crossed on a large slanted rock at the rivers edge.  The white male is wearing a mesh back baseball style cap that is light in color. He is sitting looking from left to right in the photo with a fishing rod held in both hands and a red fishing lure hanging from the end of his rod.  

CAPTION:

At any moment this angler's repose may be interrupted by a fish taking the bait. 

CREDIT: 

NPS

IMAGE 2 of 7: Sandstone arch

DESCRIPTION:

This is an image of a jagged rough sandstone arch.  The opening is narrow and has tall green trees in the center background.  Sunlight is reflecting off the leaves and blue sky shows through between the leaves.  Small green plants are growing sparsely at the base of the right side of the arch. Large boulders are visible in the center of the bottom of the arch and appear to have fallen from above to form the arch.

CAPTION:

Follow Point Trail to this sandstone arch. 

CREDIT:

NPS

IMAGE 3 of 7: Climber

DESCRIPTION:

This is an image of a female rock climber wearing black shorts, a blue tank top and a chalk bag is hanging from her waistline. Her long black hair is pulled back into a pony tail and hangs down vertically.  She is positioned horizontally on the rock face holding on to a rock outcropping that is just above her.  A blue rope is connected to a carabiner forming an acute angle in the rope as it connects to her climbing harness.

CAPTION:

A climber works her way up a sandstone bluff. 

CREDIT:

NPS

IMAGE 4 of 7: Boulder climbing

DESCRIPTION:

A man in a red t-shirt looks up while waving his arms giving instruction to a climber on a hanging sideways on the face of the rock. The climber is wearing a blue shirt and brown pants and climbing shoes and has a grimace on their face as they climb not far off the ground. There are other at least six other climbers in the background under the edge of the cliff.  One of the six people is standing on a mattress directly under the rock ceiling with their arms up like they are getting ready to climb. 

CAPTION:

Boulder climbing is a fast-growing sport at Obed. 

CREDIT:

Mark A. Large

IMAGE 5 of 7: Pink ladyslipper

DESCRIPTION:

A round pinkish bulb-like flower hangs from a tall green stalk with banana shaped leaves on both sides. The ground around the flower has numerous brown pine needles and leaves and appears to be under a canopy of trees.

CAPTION:

Pink ladyslippers and many other wildflowers bloom in the spring.

CREDIT:

NPS

IMAGE 6 of 7: Clear Creek view

DESCRIPTION:

The center of this photo is clear creek at a distance.  There is a small tree in the foreground on the left side of the photo with the background still visible between the leaves.  The distant view shows the vibrant fall colors going into the bright blue river that is traversing between numerous boulders and rocks. 

CAPTION:

Overlooks offer scenic views of Clear Creek.

CREDIT:

NPS

IMAGE 7 of 7: Winter magic

DESCRIPTION:

This is a color photo of a creek traversing through a frozen landscape. In the foreground, there is a slender leaf-less limb that hangs into the gray glass-like water with snow on top. Nearby are long icicles hanging from the cliff with a sheet of Ice forming over the edge of the creek. On the other side are a number of trees leaning over and reflecting in the still water. The ground is covered with snow throughout. A little bit of sunlight can be seen up in the background. 

CAPTION:

Ice, snow, and clear cold water create winter magic.

CREDIT:

Russ Manning

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TEXT: Things to do

This text label covers several pieces of information that follows regarding paddling, camping, hiking, hunting and fishing, and climbing.
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IMAGE and TEXT: Paddling

DESCRIPTION:

A man with sunglasses and white beard wearing a yellow helmet paddles his light gray kayak through the rushing white water waves. Tall gray boulders line the background of the green wavy waters in the river.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT: 

Canoeing and kayaking bring many people to the Obed. This is one of the best and most difficult whitewater regions in the southeastern United States. Civilization seems a long way off here. It is one of the few remaining places in the country where waters run free and where there has been little or no change in the natural sequence of events; that is one of the reasons the area was chosen to be a wild and scenic river. Because the Obed is rough country, any activity must be pursued carefully.

I’m The cold rainy season between December and April is usually the only time the rivers are full enough for paddling trips. At that time, the streams can have nearly continuous rapids and dangerous currents—technical whitewater. Paddling or “running” this kind of water takes training, experience, and the right equipment. It is important to take certain precautions before making a whitewater trip:

• Always paddle with at least two other craft.

•Make sure a family member or friend knows where and when you plan to begin your trip and get off the river.

•Wear adequate clothing of the right type to protect yourself. The water can be extremely cold and therefore extremely hazardous. A wetsuit or drysuit is advised in the winter or early spring. •Get permission from the landowner if you will be using access points that cross private property.

•The river level, on all sections, can change rapidly. Do not try to paddle when the water level is in the trees.

•Know the conditions in the area where you plan to paddle. There are places where it is difficult to get off the river if trouble arises.

•Portaging difficult rapids may be necessary at certain times of year and in certain places. • Know what hypothermia is and how to avoid it.

•Be familiar with the International Scale of River Difficulty and recognize your skill level.


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TEXT: Camping

The Obed Wild and Scenic River has one campground, the Rock Creek Campground near Nemo. There is a fee, and the 11 sites are first-come, first-served. Sites have grills, but no electricity or water.

While camping on public lands, please carry out all your litter or dispose of it properly so that you and others can continue to enjoy the beauty of the Obed.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Hiking

DESCRIPTION: 

Two hikers follow another hiker up the trail that is covered with numerous brown leaves. There are some evergreen bushes nearby with long slender leaves. The trail leads into a covered forest of pine trees. Sunlight beams down over the whole landscape and between the tall trees with no leaves.

CREDIT:

NPS

Related TEXT:

Hiking can be fun if you are careful and know what you are doing. Always make sure someone else knows your plans. Know your route, and be wary of the bluffs along the gorge rim.

Portions of the Cumberland Trail  lie within the Obed. To find out more, go to www.cumberlandtrail.org or www.tnstateparks.com.


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TEXT: Hunting and fishing

Deer, hog, turkey, and small game may be hunted in season with a permit from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (T W R A). You need a separate permit to hunt hog inside the park; get one at the visitor center in Wartburg. Trapping is prohibited within the park. A Tennessee fishing license is required to fish in the area. For fishing and hunting information in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area, which has different hunting seasons than elsewhere in the state; contact T W R A at 800-262-7604 or www.t n w i l d l i f e .org.

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TEXT: Climbing

The sandstone of the Obed area offers excellent opportunities for rock climbing, providing vertical bluffs and overhangs. Climbers can test their skills on climbs 40–200 feet long, on routes ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13. As in whitewater boating, rock climbing involves serious risks of injury, so training and experience in climbing are absolutely necessary before attempting any climbs in the Obed.


Information on climbing areas and regulations can be obtained from the National Park Service at 423-346-6294 or w w w .n p s .g o v /o b e d.


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IMAGE and TEXT: Regulations and safety

DESCRIPTION: 

A long black snake with a netted pattern of skin lies in a circle on top of a smooth rock. The snakes' tail hangs over the edge of the rock while its head points north-ward as if it is looking for something. The sun is shining on the rock making it warm for the snake.

CREDIT:

NPS

RELATED TEXT:

The Obed is being preserved in ways that let nature continue its work unimpeded. Wind, water, and time have shaped this landscape. Its future depends on you. Being careful of the land and the water will ensure the next person has a similar opportunity. Nongame animals, plants, and artifacts are protected here. It is illegal to harm or remove them.

•For firearms regulations, check the park website.

•Chiggers and ticks are prevalent here.

•Know the safety precautions for snake country: rattlesnakes and copperheads live here.

•Make sure children realize they are in a natural area containing hazards.

•Do not drink stream water without boiling or treating it.

•Bluffs and cliffs are dangerous and can result in serious injury. 

• Slippery, muddy rocks provide uncertain footing and can also result in injury.

•Be careful; removing an accident victim to safety and medical facilities is not easy or quick.

Because this is a remote area with few roads and little traffic, protect your vehicle against the  possibility of vandalism. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

Report vandalism to a park ranger (423-346-6294) or to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (423-346-6262).

Emergencies call 9 1 1

(Limited cell phone service.)

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OVERVIEW: Back side of brochure

At the top of the landscape layout is a vertical black band which at far left contains white text that reads, "Exploring the Obed Wild and Scenic River". Just below the black band starting on the far left side is some text about the River Chart displayed. The chart lists the different sections of the river along with pertinent information such as distance. Moving from left to right there are a few small columns of text covering "Area Closures", "Traveling to the Park", and "More Information". A colorful picture of a boater paddling in the river sits between two columns in the span of text that covers the first quarter of the layout. The remaining three-quarters of this side shows the large primary park map that shows access roads, trails, picnic areas, boat launches, an overlook, a campground and the visitor center as well as the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. A legend is located under the section of text near the upper right corner. There is a distance measurement reference in which 1.5 inches equals 2 miles.

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INFOGRAPHIC and TEXT: River chart

Use this chart as you plan your trip on one of the rivers or creeks. Look at the map and determine where you want to put in and take out. The chart shows the distance you will

have to travel and the degree of difficulty of that section. Planning your trip in advance may avoid unforeseen problems and make your trip memorable for the right reasons. The chart is based on the Emory at Oakdale gauge levels.

Notes to Chart:

* Average difficulty indicates degree of difficulty of a section of river at optimum flow.

* Maximum difficulty indicates the highest rated rapid in that section of river at optimum flow. Flow information is available from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Call 800-238-2264 and listen to the “Emory at Oakdale” recording. Specific stream information is also available at www.nps.gov/obed/planyourvisit/river-gaugereadings.htm.

* Flow is in cubic feet per second


Obed–Emory Adams Bridge to Potters Ford

Distance is 4 mi/6 km

Average Difficulty is III

Maximum Difficulty is IV

Flow Minimum is 1000

Flow Optimum is 3000

Flow Maximum is 5000


Potters Ford to Obed Junction

Distance is 12 mi/19 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is III

Flow Minimum is 1000

Flow Optimum is 3000

Flow Maximum is 5000


Obed Junction to Clear Creek Junction

Distance is 4 mi/6 km

Average Difficulty is III

Maximum Difficulty is IV

Flow Minimum is 500

Flow Optimum is 1500

Flow Maximum is 3000


Clear Creek Junction to Nemo

Distance is 5 mi/8 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is III

Flow Minimum is 500

Flow Optimum is 1500

Flow Maximum is 3000


Clear Creek US 127 Bridge to Barnett Bridge

Distance is 20 mi/32 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is III

Flow Minimum is 1500

Flow Optimum is 2500

Flow Maximum is 5000


Barnett Bridge to Jett Bridge

Distance is 5 mi/8 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is II

Flow Minimum is 500

Flow Optimum is 2500

Flow Maximum is 4000


Jett Bridge to Lilly Bridge

Distance is 2 mi/3 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is III

Flow Minimum is 800

Flow Optimum is 2500

Flow Maximum is 4000


Lilly Bridge to Clear Creek Junction

Distance is 2 mi/3 km

Average Difficulty is III

Maximum Difficulty is IV

Flow Minimum is 1000

Flow Optimum is 2500

Flow Maximum is 3000


Daddys Creek Devils Breakfast Table to Obed Junction

Distance is 2 mi/3 km

Average Difficulty is II

Maximum Difficulty is II

Flow Minimum is 700

Flow Optimum is 1500

Flow Maximum is 3000


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TEXT: Area closures

Parts of the Obed are within the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Every February and March the WMA is closed to minimize impact on roads, environment, and wildlife. It is also closed to all except hunters during big game hunts in the fall and spring.


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TEXT: Traveling to the park

The Obed is in central East Tennessee. From Nashville and west, take I-40 to Genesis Road (Route 2 9 8). From Knoxville and east, take I-40 to U S 27 north. Crosscountry buses and scheduled airlines serve both Knoxville and Nashville, where rental cars are available. No rail passenger service is within easy distance.

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IMAGE: Paddlers

DESCRIPTION: 

A man with a bright smile on his face wearing a black helmet and orange and black wet suit paddles his bright red kayak in the front center of the photo. There is another paddler in the background who is paddling their red kayak through the rippling green waters. There are leaf-less trees and pine trees lining the banks on both sides of the stream in the very back. 

CREDIT:

NPS

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MAP: Obed Wild and Scenic River

DESCRIPTION: 

Most of side two of the brochure is a map of Obed Wild and Scenic River. It shows the entire park including paved and unpaved roads, trails, picnic areas, canoe launches, campground, and visitor center. The map is oriented with North at the top and includes Obed Wild and Scenic River and Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.  

Obed is approximately 5,200 acres and is long narrow area that follows the course of Clear Creek and Obed River from west to east.  The river forms the shape of a sideways "Y" on the map with the upper part being Clear Creek and the lower part being Obed River.  The National Park Service visitor center is located in the nearby town of Wartburg Tennessee which is on the eastern edge of the map.

Starting at the northwestern part of the map following Clear Creek is Norris Ford, moving on southeast is where Barnett Bridge Road crosses Obed at Barnett Bridge.  As you travel the river on down you find Jett Bridge which is where highway 298 crosses Clear Creek.   As Clear Creek reaches just right of center on the map Ridge Road crosses on Lilly Bridge and is near the point of intersection of Clear Creek and Obed River.

Moving to the southwestern boundary or the lower part of the sideways "Y" is Adams Bridge which is where highway 298 crosses Obed River just outside the boundary.  Traveling the river northeast is a canoe launch at Potters Ford and then you reach Obed Junction which is where Daddy's Creek empties into Obed River near the center of the map.  Daddy's Creek is a tributary that is also within the boundary of Obed that begins at a canoe launch at Devils Breakfast Table and flows northeast to Obed Junction.  Also begining at Devils Breakfast table is Cumberland Trail Sate park which is a trail that follows Daddys Creek to Obed Junction and then goes in and out of the boundary of Obed .  Traveling east Obed River has several named rapids such as 90 right 90 left, Ohmigod!, and Rock Garden before you reach Clear Creek Junction.  Clear Creek Junction is where Clear Creek empties into the Obed River.  Traveling east on Obed River is 2 more named river areas, Canoe Hole and Widow Maker before you reach Alley Ford.  The Cumberland Trail also follows within the narrow boundary of this section as well.  As you follow the river East you reach Nemo Picnic Area and Rock Creek Campground which is the Easternmost boundry of Obed Wild and Scenic River.       



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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to a visitor center, ask a ranger, call, or check our website. Service animals are welcome.

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OVERVIEW: More information

Obed National Park is one of over 400 areas in the National Park System. To learn more visit, www.nps.gov.

ADDRESS:

PO Box 429, Wartburg, TN 37887

PHONE:

423-346-6294

WEB SITE:

www.nps.gov/obed

OTHER INFORMATION:

Obed Wild and Scenic River is managed jointly by the National Park Service and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Contact them for guide books and other information.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

Catoosa Wildlife Management Area

464 Industrial Blvd.

Crossville, TN 38555

800-262-6704

www.tnwildlife.org

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Join the park community, www.nationalparks.org.

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