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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Nature and Science

Big South Fork River Gorge Chuck Summers The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located in north central Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky in some of the most rugged terrain of the Cumberland Plateau. Big South Fork encompasses approximately 125,000 acres of both rugged forested gorge and adjacent forested plateaus. State and federal lands share the north and western boundary, offering a variety of habitats for both plants and animals. Within the Area many pristine streams, both in Tennessee and Kentucky flow into the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Deep gorges carved by eons of erosion have created impressive cliffs and arches throughout the National Area.

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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.