The South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit: Get oriented, find answers to your questions, and learn about everything the park has to offer! The Visitor Center is located on US 41 between Monteagle and Tracy City, and may be reached by taking either Exit 134 or 135 from the interstate. [ map ]
The Visitor Center (open 9 am - 4 pm daily) provides an excellent interpretation of the park's nine individual tracts, and highlights the area's history through exhibits, including a settler's cabin, tools relating to the timber and coal industries, photographs, maps, geology exhibits and other displays depicting the region's natural and cultural resources. Videos, highlighting the features of the Park, are shown regularly.
Adjacent to the Center is a picnic pavilion, ball field, two lighted tennis courts, a playground and a wooded picnic area with grills and tables.
The Meadow Trail, immediately behind the Visitor Center, provides an opportunity to sample the flora and fauna of South Cumberland in an easy, 1.3 mile walk. Much of this trail route now meanders through meadows of wildflowers and native grasses, bordered by hardwood forests. Several small bogs and creeks allow you to examine wetlands up-close. Coupled with a leisurely browse through the Visitor Center, this is a great "first hike" if you have young children you'd like to introduce to the natural world!