UP IN ROCKY FORK

Distant peaks of Rocky Fork, viewed from Unaka Mountain Overlook, Unicoi County.

Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park was officially established nearly seven years ago, in 2012. Since that time, very minimal development has taken place there. In a perfect world, devoid of the need for people spending money in our communities to support businesses, jobs and the tax base that funds vital services and infrastructure, I personally would be quite happy if not a single tree was felled, nor shovel of asphalt ever laid down in Rocky Fork. But need I even say it...it ain't a perfect world.

The State of Tennessee's current funded plans for the park, which have existed for well more than a year now, provide for a small visitor center, small picnic facility and a paved road running from the visitor center roughly two miles up onto the side of Flint Mountain that overlooks the park. The road, which would utilize part of an existing forest road, would provide access to a future 30-unit campground for tents and small campers (no large RVs), and to points from which the scenic interior of Rocky Fork could be experienced by visitors, such as the elderly and disabled, who are not able to do so on foot, bike or horseback.

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