Wartburg, TN (2018-01-05) A former East Tennessee resident has gifted the Obed Wild and Scenic River more than 161 acres, including a large section of riverfront property.
Mary Ann Gibbons, a former resident of East Tennessee, and her late husband, John, fell in love with the beauty and grandeur of the Obed River more than 50 years ago, buying land along the banks of the mighty river. Through the years, the couple worked to protect the spectacular scenery and diversity of the region, working directly with partners like the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and The Nature Conservancy.
The property gifted by the Gibbons Family contains over two miles of river frontage along the heart of the Obed River, which includes some of the park’s most notable rapids, such as “Widowmaker” and “Keep Right.” It features some of the highest cliffs in the park, riverside cascades, major waterfalls, sandstone arches and chimneys, mature hardwood and hemlock forests, and a remarkable diversity of plant and animal species. The property dominates the view from many overlooks along the Obed segment of the Cumberland Trail and was featured prominently in the park’s award-winning film, The Obed: Find Yourself Here.
“By donating the largest addition to the park in 30 years, this generous donation by the Gibbons family demonstrates their longstanding commitment to the protection of the Obed River and desire to ensure that this special place will remain a part of our nation’s public lands open to all who want to experience its beauty and sense of wildness,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas.