Access to Tennessee’s Clear Creek Secured!

05/10/2017

In early April, East Tennessee Climbers Coalition (ETCC) purchased a parcel of land that secures access to Clear Creek, which offers some of the best and most popular climbing in the Obed. The purchase includes the parking area and a critical portion of the climber's trail used to access Clear Creek's famous, overhanging sandstone bluffs.

Rock climbing in Clear Creek in the Obed of Tennessee
Addiction to Friction, Clear Creek, TN © Mark Large

For decades, the private landowner allowed the public to park and hike on his land, but earlier this year he decided to sell the property. The landowner came to climbers first, and the community quickly rallied to help ETCC raise $12,000 in under two months to complete the purchase. Access Fund provided a $4,000 Climbing Conservation Grant and helped ETCC draft the purchase agreement, secure title insurance, and gain 501(c)3 status.

This purchase follows the acquisition a few years back of another large section of trail through the combined effort of climbers, the Nature Conservancy, and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. Clear Creek's cliffs are primarily owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed in partnership with Obed Wild & Scenic River.

ETCC now owns the seven-acre parcel that includes the climbers' parking lot, as well as the largest remaining section of the trail from the lot and the Lilly Pad Campground to the north and south Clear Creek climbing areas. This purchase secures access for climbers for generations to come.

Congratulations ETCC for protecting this gem in the Obed!