Wild and scenic it is! In 1976, the Obed River was designated as a national wild and scenic river, protecting its unique resources, and putting it under the management of the National Park Service. Stretched along the Cumberland Plateau, The Obed Wild and Scenic River's impressive deep gorges were carved out by the Obed River and its two main tributaries, Clear Creek and Daddys Creek. This striking landscape produces recreational activities ranging from extreme adventure to more leisurely recreation. Paddlers come from all over the southeast to take advantage of the river's continuous rapids which produce some of Tennessee's best whitewater. For those that want to enjoy some of the park's quieter activities, there are plenty of hiking trails and fishing spots.
Fishing: Anglers will find plenty of fishing opportunities on the Obed where the catch of the day might be an assortment of smallmouth bass, bluegills, catfish, and muskie — just to name a few.
Paddling: For whitewater paddlers, the river includes three different difficulty classifications II-IV, making it one of the best whitewater paddling rivers in the eastern United States. There are no commercial outfitters operating on the Obed, so only experienced boaters should venture here. The cold, rainy season between December and April is when the rivers are high enough for whitewater trips. At that time, streams have nearly continuous rapids and dangerous currents. Paddling this kind of water requires experience, skill and careful planning. The Obed River's maximum flow in cubic feet per second can reach a level of 100,000 CFS after periods of heavy rain. For paddlers, the optimum flow ranges from 2500-3000 CFS.
Rock Climbing: Noted for it's "steep" cliffs, meaning they often lean back beyond vertical to become overhanging, the Obed's sandstone rock face features approximately 350 climbing routes for the experienced rock climber. And the boulder fields within the park provide a climbing venue for bouldering.
Trails: Approximately 20 miles of forested hiking trails wind along the river, past waterfalls, and trek across the ridge top for unmatched views of cliffs and the river below. A section of the Cumberland Trail winds it's way through the Obed terrain.