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  • Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower

Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower

  • 09/23/2021
  • 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • See driving directions in event description.
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SANP Field Event

Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower

North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area in Campbell County

<<<<<<< RESCHEDULED >>>>>>>

Thurdsday, September 23, 2021

3:30PM at the Hatfield Knob parking area.

Event Leader:  Brad Cottrell          Phone:  (865) 235-8350

Location description:

The last recorded sighting of a wild elk in Tennessee was in 1865….until the year 2000 when the TWRA began an elk restoration project in Campbell County. That year, fifty elk were released in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. Subsequently, 151 additional elk were released in the area. Now, around 600 elk are estimated to be free roaming in the management area. For more information on the elk restoration project, click on this link:

Our vantage point will be the Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower located in the Sunquist Unit of the North Cumberland WMA about 5 airline miles north of La Follette. We can set up our cameras on the tower platform and watch for elk coming to browse in the surrounding fields planted with food crops for the elk. The probability that we will see a lot of elk is good. This trip is scheduled during the elk mating season, and the animals should be quite active.


Telephoto lenses of 300mm or longer will be most useful for elk photos, and a tripod will be necessary for good quality images. For wildlife, a tripod head designed for quick adjustment, such as a ball head or gimble head, works best.
Important notice:  Be sure to bring insect repellent. The no-see-ums can be bad. 

Walking required:

We will have to walk about a half mile on an easy path from the parking area to the viewing tower.

Driving directions:

To get to the parking area at Hatfield Knob, go north on I-75. Exit at Caryville (Exit 134). Drive to downtown La Follette and turn left on Hwy 25W North. Go 6.5 miles and turn left onto the Hatfield Knob access road. At 3.1 miles take the right fork and continue 1.4 miles to the parking area. The access road is very rough. Very small vehicles or vehicles with low clearance will have difficulty.

Driving distance and time from Knoxville to the tower parking area is about 55 miles and 1 1/2  hours.

To use Google Maps, tap the following link on your mobile device, and Google will navigate correctly from your location all the way to the elk viewing tower parking area.

Caution:  If you simply enter Hatfield Knob Viewing Tower into your navigator, it may not give you the correct route.


Viewing tower and the path to the tower

Contacts:     Jerry Whaley, President       Julie Glibbery, Membership Manager       General Information

Southern Appalachian Nature Photographers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located near the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
Mailing address: 1143 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Ste 107A-231, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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