Lone Mountain State Forest
The health and safety of Tennessee citizens is our top priority. As the Tennessee landscape reopens, our public lands are experiencing a surge in visitor traffic, including from out of state visitors. While normally desirable, this increased visitation can make it difficult for visitors and staff to maintain safe distances from each other. This is especially true on state forests where we have limited staff and resources.
We will continue to monitor activity for good health practices and physical distance to ensure visitor and employee safety. We urge the public to do their part to stay apart, and maintain proper social distancing and personal hygiene. As with the recently reopened Tennessee State Parks, we expect our visitors to follow CDC recommendations for visiting public lands. This includes:
🌳 Don’t visit if you’re sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.
🌳 Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of separation between you and other visitors.
🌳 Don’t travel long distances to visit. Look for public lands that are a short drive from your house.
🌳 Don’t visit crowded areas. If an area is full, consider coming back at a different time.
🌳 Only park in designated areas. Please do not park along the shoulders of roads. If a parking area is full, please adjust your plans and find another area to visit.
🌳 Follow all forest rules and regulations.
🌳 Plan ahead. There are no public facilities on the Forest.
🌳 Masks. We recommend that you bring a mask and wear it when around other people.
🌳 Pack out your trash. When it’s time to leave, please clean up after yourselves. Carry out any trash or dispose of it in the appropriate containers.
See more for CDC Recommendations for visiting public lands.
Size: 3,572 acres/1,446 ha. Land for the Forest was acquired by the state through a tax delinquency sale by the Morgan County Chancery Court in 1929 and through a deed transfer by the Lone Mountain Land Company in 1938. The Forest was known as the Lone Mountain Section of Morgan State Forest until 1970 when Morgan State Forest became part of the Division of State Parks and Lone Mountain became a separate State Forest. It is located on the Cumberland Plateau in east-central Tennessee, in Morgan County, about four miles south of Wartburg, just west of U.S. Highway 27. It is approximately 15 miles north of the Tennessee River/Watts Bar Lake and 35 miles west of Knoxville. The land was heavily cutover and abused by the Lone Mountain Land Company during their ownership. As a result, a hands-off management strategy has been employed on the Forest to allow it to recover and regenerate. Between 1939 and 2002 there has been essentially no timber harvesting on the Forest, with the exception of several small timber sales from “day lighting” roads, a group selection demonstration harvest in 1994, and small salvage harvests in the mid-1970s and in 1999-2000 due to tree mortality caused by the southern pine beetle. On November 10, 2002, a devastating tornado swept through Morgan County. In addition to loss of lives and homes, the tornado(s) blew down about 500 acres of timber on the southwest side of the Forest. Timber salvage operations to harvest and regenerate about 300 acres of the blown down timber were completed in 2004. A small portion of the Forest (52 acres) is being used for seed orchards and genetic studies. In 1957, major forest types consisted of 55% upland hardwoods, 24% of mixed hardwood-pine, and 21% of pine. After southern pine beetle attacks in the 1970s and late 1990s, the Forest is now predominately upland hardwoods with scattered shortleaf and Virginia pine. Near streams on the cooler, lower slopes several areas of cove hardwoods with eastern white pine and eastern hemlock can be found. Recreational uses of the Forest include hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Approximately 15 miles of trails exist on the Forest, including an interpretive nature trail.
For More Information
Jason O'Shell, Area Forester
4314 Roane State Hwy, Rockwood, TN 37854