BSF NRRA and Obed WSR Clarify Special Use Permit Requirements that will be enforced October 1

Oneida, TN (2017-07-14) There are over 130,000 acres of opportunities for special events within Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and Obed Wild and Scenic River.  To help ensure resource protection, visitor safety and make sure that other visitors’ experience is not significantly impeded, special events such as weddings and endurance races require a special use permit.

Starting October 1, 2017, the Big South Fork NRRA and Obed WSR will begin enforcing application and fee requirements for special use permits inside the parks.  Depending on the activity, applications for special use permits for weddings and other single location event must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the event.  If the event will involve more than 25 people, an eight-week notification is required.  For trail-based events, such as endurance races, organizers must notify park officials no later than eight weeks before the event.  Such events also can only be held on existing, approved trails.

Persons wanting to use park pool facilities for after-hours events, must tell park officials at least five business days prior to the event.

Other requests will be processed within 30 calendar days, if the application is complete and without alteration.  Requests involving multiple locations, complex logistics, or coordination with other visitor activities will require a minimum of 30-45 calendar days to process.

All maps, routes, equipment used, logistical needs and other specifics of the event should be submitted along with the non-refundable application fee of $50.  Additional fees may apply depending on the complexity of the event.  Applicants should not make plans or commitments based on the proposed location/date/time until they are in possession of an officially signed permit.

Park staff will be available to discuss the permitting process with applicants and assist with any questions.

For further assistance about event planning in the parks, contact the Fee Manager’s Office at (423) 569-2404 ext. 240 or send an email to

More information and applications can be downloaded from our website at or at