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Prentice Cooper State Forest and WMA

Site Directions: From Chattanooga, take Hwy 27 to Signal Mountain exit.  Turn right onto Signal Mountain Rd. Turn left onto Hwy 27 (Suck Creek Rd.) Do not go up the mountain on Hwy 127.

Continue on Hwy 27 for approximately 8 miles (into Marion County). Watch for sign of your left that says Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area. Turn left at that sign.

Bear to left again at the junction, and turn left at the next road. A small sign says Prentice Cooper WMA.

Go about one mile to the check-in station on your left. Park at the check-in station.

Access at Haley Rd - Lat: 35.12581°N Long: -85.50161°W

Game reserve road entrance coordinates:  Lat: 35.168348  Long: -85419350

Shooting range entrance:  Lat: 35.162562  Long: -85.416045

Hours: daylight hours, except for camping 

Seasonality: year-round

Fees: none

Site Description: Prentice Cooper State Forest is located in southeastern Tennessee, in Marion County.  The forest is approximately 10 miles west of Chattanooga. It is situated on the scenic Tennessee River Gorge.

Approximately 6,939 acres are designated as unregulated scenic zones that protect this view shed and other scenic areas of the forest. Hicks Gap Natural Area (350 acres) also occurs in the forest and was developed to protect the federally endangered Large-flowered Skullcap.

The forest also includes several in-holdings owned by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and 3 cemeteries. Management activities of the forest focus primarily on sustainable timber management, forest management demonstration, and wildlife habitat improvement while maintaining recreational opportunities for the public.

There are 35 miles of hiking trails, including the south end of the Cumberland Trail State Park. There also are two designated camping areas.

Hunting has been a traditional use of the forest. Other recreational activities include OHV use in designated areas, rock climbing, hiking,

Mountain biking, horseback riding, bird watching, and camping.

Wildlife to Watch: Woodland birding can be excellent in spring and fall migration with a large number of birds passing through Tennessee.

Red-eyed Vireo, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager and other forest birds are commonly found in summer. 

Check in at the station below:

Prentice Cooper State Forest and WMA

NOTE:  Some areas are used for recreational purposes.  Please use these links before visiting the location.

Prentice Cooper State Forest and WMA


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Prentice Cooper State Forest and WMA