The Cumberland Plateau – a Jewel of the South
As Louis L’Amour put it, “The cities are for money but the high-up hills are purely for the soul.” Nowhere may this be truer than in the Cumberland Plateau, a series of rivers, valleys, hills, mountains, coves, and gorges which stretch from eastern Kentucky and Virginia through middle Tennessee to northwestern Alabama. The region has long been known for its preserved beauty, winding between settled areas as its rivers and hills proceed south in an unceasing flow which, until recently, was largely left alone by the hand of man.
The Cumberland Plateau and Southern Appalachian region is a place of beauty, power and awe. Families with a connection to this land have been stewards of it for generations. Not only does it contain the South’s largest remaining stretches of intact hardwood forests, it is also the global hotspot for freshwater aquatic species like salamanders and mussels, many of them found nowhere else in the world.
This region is home to a number of family owned sawmills and hardwood manufacturing businesses. Natives and visitors alike flock here for outdoor recreation, especially rock climbing, whitewater rafting and kayaking.
The region is habitat for rare bats, foxes and bears as well as a whole host of bird species. Neotropical migratory songbirds such as thrushes, warblers, vireos, and buntings nest here in the spring or pass through on the way to the Boreal forests of Canada. These examples are just a small set of creatures whose entire existence depends upon the ecologically conscious maintenance of the Cumberland Plateau.
This jewel of the South deserves to be enjoyed and protected.
Learn more – check out this gallery where pictures tell the real story of the Cumberland Plateau.
Take Action – get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the region and send us your pictures.
Donate – support our important efforts to protect and preserve these magnificent forests.