North Cumberland WMA

(Including Royal Blue, New River, Sundquist, Ed Carter Units)

Site Directions: 

Royal Blue Unit: Take I-75 to exit 141. Go west on Hwy. 63 approx. one mile. Turn left onto Titus Hollow road. The area is approximately ½ mile.

Titus Hollow Rd and Hwy 63 - Lat- 36.38391, Long:-84.25569

Sundquist Unit at Hatfield Knob: Go north out of Lafollette on Highway 25W approximately seven miles to the top of the mountain. Turn left at the red gate located at the top of the mountain (just before the road starts to break over the mountain and go down the backside.)

Proceed on the gravel road approximately 3.1 miles to a fork in the road. Take the right fork approximately 1.4 miles to the parking area.

New River Unit – Take I-75 to Exit 128 (Rocky Top). Head west on HWY 441-S go approximately .3 miles. Turn Left onto N. Main St. (HWY 116) go approximately .5 miles. Turn right onto Creek Street (HWY 116) go approximately 15.5 miles to the first access point. If you continue further out HWY 116 there are other access roads. Watch for TWRA boundary markers and signage.

Ed Carter Unit – Take I-75 to the 134 exit (Jacksboro/LaFollette) head east on HWY 63, go approximately 8.5 miles. Turn Left onto HWY 25W, go approximately 15 miles. Turn right onto HWY 90, go approximately 8.5 miles. Turn right onto Rock Creek Ridge Rd. Look for signage indicating the TWRA management area boundary.

Hatfield Knob - Lat-Long: 36.44899, -84.1227 

Hours: The area is open 24 hours a day, including camping. For certain species, hunting hours may vary, refer to the hunting guide for details.

Seasonality: year-round

Fees: License and Permit Required. Please reference guidebooks or call the office for questions

Tier 1 Firing Range: Type 220, 221, or Hunting License (type 001) and WMA permit (type 093 or 094) are required. The range is open 365 days a year, from daylight to dark. North Cumberland Firing Range Information

Additional Resources: Some areas are used for multiple recreational purposes. Please use these links before visiting.
North Cumberland WMA Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations
Elk in Tennessee
Tennessee Hunting Guide
Tennessee Fishing Guide
TWRA on the Go

Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, and Scott counties • 189,000 acres
35 Miles North of Knoxville

All users should be aware that hazards associated with mining (deep and strip) exist in this area.

No person shall remove minerals, including coal, trees, plants (including vines), or building stones from the area without specific authorization.

(TCA 55-52-201) All operators or passengers under the age of 18 of an off-highway vehicle are required to wear an appropriate safety helmet.

Special Use -

  • OHV, hooved animal riding, bicycles, and all other vehicles are restricted to roads marked “open to vehicular traffic.”
  • Hooved animal riding, bicycling, and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use are permitted only by individuals possessing a valid hunting and fishing license and WMA permit or a High Impact Habitat Conservation Permit.
  • The speed limit is 25 mph.
  • Organized competition events for motorized/nonmotorized vehicles are prohibited.
  • A maximum noise limit of 86 dB for all motorized vehicles as measured at 50 feet from the exhaust.

All public use is permitted during all hunts.

During daylight hours all users outside of an enclosed vehicle or outside of camp must wear, on the upper portion of their body and head, a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange, visible front and back, during the deer and elk gun and muzzleloader seasons.

Camping is permitted in the entire area. Night-time use by the general public and raccoon hunters is permitted area-wide.

Big game, small game, and trapping same as statewide seasons, except as noted below.

Closed to hunting March 1 through the 4th Friday in Aug., except for spring turkey.

Closed to spring squirrel hunting and fall turkey hunting.

Coyote hunting with centerfire weapons is only allowed during deer gun seasons by licensed deer hunters.

Archery hunters will be required to meet legal blaze orange requirements while hunting in the elk zones during the firearms elk hunts.

Wild hogs may be taken during any hunt with hunting devices legal for that hunt.

Beaver Trapping - restricted to designated compartments. Contact the WMA manager for information. Annual harvest log must be maintained and submitted to WMA Manager by Jan. 15

Quail - Nov. 4 - Jan. 15.

Dog training - Sept. 1 - March 15. Chasing fox, coyotes, and bobcats with dogs is not permitted.


On the Ed Carter Unit, antlered deer must have a minimum of four points on one antler or a fifteen-inch minimum outside antler spread.





Sept. 23 - Oct. 27, 2023

Oct. 30 - Nov. 3, 2023

1 Antlered and 1 Antlerless




Nov. 4 - 10, 2023

1 Antlered deer


Nov. 11 - 17, 2023

1 deer, Either sex




Nov. 18 - 24, 2023

1 deer, Either sex


Nov. 25, 2023 - Jan 7, 2024

1 deer, Antlered only


Youth Hunt


Oct. 28 - 29, 2023

Jan. 13 - 14, 2024

Same as Unit B


* These are not bonus deer. All deer count toward Unit B statewide bag limits.


Elk Hunting information can be found on Elk Regulations.

Bear - Same As Statewide BHZ4 Season. 

GinsengSept 1. - Dec. 31.

The North Cumberland is the largest actively managed Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the state of Tennessee. It is almost 200,000 acres of mountainous terrain expanding across five East Tennessee Counties (Morgan, Scott, Anderson, Campbell, and Claiborne). The Management Area is currently divided into four management units, the New River Unit, the Royal Blue Unit, the Sundquist Unit, and the Ed Carter Unit.

Located in the Cumberland Mountains, its steep slopes, vast ridges, winding creeks, and streams make it home to various terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species. The habitat ranges from mixed upland hardwood forests to old field-type early successional vegetation openings.

It is most well known for being home to the majestic elk, which were re-introduced in the early 2000s. You can observe the elk in person from the Elk Viewing Tower located in the Sundquist Unit or log into the elk viewing camera.

Other wildlife you might encounter include Black bear, White-tailed deer, Eastern Wild Turkey, Bobcat, Coyote, Raccoon, Timber Rattlesnake, Green Salamander, Wood Rat, Cerulean Warbler, Golden-Winged Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and many more. Our streams are home to a variety of fish and other aquatic species such as Smallmouth bass, Rock bass, Rainbow Darter, Scarlet Shiner, and the Upland Burrowing Crayfish.

North Cumberland also provides critical habitat for several Greatest Conservation Need (GCN) species, and some state or federally-listed threatened or endangered species such as the Indiana bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, Allegheny Wood Rat, Werhle’s Salamander, Emerald Darter, Cumberland Arrow Darter, Black sided dace, and several others.

Recreational activities in the wildlife management area include hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, camping, OHV trails, hiking, sightseeing, and a shooting range.

Wildlife to Watch: Reintroduced elk are found across the area, but the Hatfield Knob viewing area is the best place to see elk.

Cerulean Warbler and Golden-winged Warbler are found across North Cumberland WMA. Cerulean Warblers occur in mature forests and breed in the highest density anywhere within their breeding range. Golden-winged Warblers nest on early successional strip mines with grass and black locust cover. 

Many other Neotropical migratory songbirds nest in the area, including Wood Thrush, Scarlet TanagerOvenbirdBlack-throated Green Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler, among many other species.

Brown-headed Cowbirds are becoming more common in the area with increased forest disturbance and clearing.

Ruffed Grouse can be found across the area, primarily in areas of the dense understory.

North Cumberland WMA is part of the TN SWAP, Catoosa / Emory River Conservation Opportunity Area (COA).

Contact Information

Region 4 office: 423-587-7037
Toll-Free: 1-800-332-0900
Email the office
Area Manager: Keith Thomas (423) 566-8557
OHV Information: Rusty Dunn (423) 562-2013

Interactive Map of North Cumberland WMA
Fina more WMAs
Hunting Regulations Link
Buy a license link

WildCasts Feature Elk Viewing

This episode of Wildcast has Terry and Jane Lewis as guests. The Lewis family was instrumental in creating an elk viewing tower.  TWRA and partners came together to make improvements and reconstruct the tower at Hatfield Knob.  Watch WildCast Episodes

North Cumberland WMA Map
North Cumberland WMA Map

Elk Viewing Tower

The Elk Viewing Tower on Hatfield Knob of North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area has been reconstructed.  

The tower was recently named in honor of Terry and Jane Lewis, a local couple who have dedicated countless hours and resources to promoting Tennessee's elk herd.  Terry and Jane led the construction of the new, handicap-accessible tower, as well as the original tower constructed in 2005.  

"It's been a long journey.  We certainly want to thank all of the volunteers that helped put this tower together and this viewing area for all the people to come and see," said Mr. Lewis during the opening ceremony.  "One of our efforts was to create a high probability of viewing opportunities and I think you have it right here."

The elk viewing tower and NCWMA have been longtime attractions of Campbell County, which boasts 48 percent of its land as public property.  A University of Tennessee study found that around 16,000 people visit the tower annually and thousands more enjoy viewing elk live through the TWRA elk camera also located at the tower.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has also been a strong partner in Tennessee's elk restoration, which began in the year 2000 when the first elk were released onto Horsebone Ridge of the now NCWMA.  To date, 201 elk have been released onto the area.

Directions to the Elk Viewing Tower

Hatfield Knob Live Elk Camera

Reconstructed Elk Viewing Tower Dedication