Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower
The Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower was constructed on August 27, 2005, on the Sundquist Unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. TWRA volunteer Terry Lewis and his wife, Jane, designed and purchased building materials for the tower. The Lewis' erected the tower with the help from volunteers of the Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association (CORA), the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, other volunteers, and TWRA personnel from Area 41, the Royal Blue Unit crew of the North Cumberland WMA, and TWRA elk biologist Steve Bennett.
Terry and Jane have been instrumental in working with TWRA on Hatfield Knob since the elk arrived in Tennessee in 2000. The TWRA released a small herd of elk near Hatfield Knob in 2003. They quickly found and ate the 2.5-acre plot of oats and Austrian winter peas that had been planted. Terry and Jane realized they needed more food if the elk were to stay in the area. The Lewis's are not strangers to developing wildlife habitat. They have developed 37 food plots for wildlife over the past 12 years on their own nearby property. He, along with TWRA, had dreams of a wildlife viewing area on the Hatfield Knob. The Lewis's developed a wildlife management plan and worked with Area Manager Stan Stooksbury. So far, 40 or more acres of wildlife food plots have been planted on the knob and several more acres have been cleared.
"Providing elk viewing is one goal of our elk restoration plan, and the construction of the tower is a great asset to that goal," TWRA elk restoration project leader Steve Bennett said. To reach Hatfield Mountain, drive north out of Lafollette on Highway 25W approximately seven miles to the top of the mountain. Turn left at the red gate located at the top of the mountain (just before the road starts to break over the mountain and go down the back side.) Proceed on the gravel road approximately 3.1 miles to a fork in the road. Take the right fork approximately 1.4 miles to the parking area.
During daylight hours, all users outside of an enclosed vehicle or outside of camp must wear, on the upper portion of their body and head, a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange, visible front and back, during the deer gun and muzzleloader seasons.
Visitors to the tower are reminded to remain quiet while viewing the elk to avoid startling the animals.