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Rugby State Natural Area

Site Directions: Proceed west on Highway 63 to its terminus at Highway 27. Turn left (south) on Highway 27 for eight miles to Elgin. At Elgin, turn right (west) onto Highway 52, and proceed for seven miles to Rugby. Visitor Center is on the left.
Visitor's Center - Lat-Long: 36.35997, -84.70059
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: This is a 700 acre natural area in and adjacent to the village of Historic Rugby in Morgan County on the Cumberland Plateau. The forest includes tulip poplar, red maple, and sourwood with northern red oak, white oak, and hickories scattered throughout. White pine and Virginia pine can also be observed, with occasional damage observed from the Southern pine beetle infestation some years ago. American beech is present on both north and south facing lower slopes. Several streams run through the area. Visitors should stop at the Historic Rugby Visitor Center for more information about the Rugby State Natural Area, as well as information about the town's fascinating history.

Though trails and parking are not yet developed, public access is possible via old roads that enter the natural area. Visitors should stop at the Historic Rugby Visitor Centre for information and specific directions.

Wildlife to Watch:
Louisiana Waterthrush are breeding birds on forested flowing streams. Other woodland birding along old roads can be productive. Wildflowers put on an excellent show in spring.

For more information:


Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail

Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site

Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.