Bee Rock Overlook
Located in Putnam County, Monterey TN is a picturesque mountain town where hilltops kiss the sky. This scenic town offers a variety of unique shopping and dining experiences.
A hidden gem, Bee Rock Overlook is a clifftop viewpoint accessible by a 0.6-mile hike. Previously private property, it was donated to the town and TennGreen Land Conservancy in December 2018. This conservation easement limits future construction and timbering and keeps the area open for outdoor enthusiasts. Read on to know more.
The beauty of Bee Rock Overlook attracts hikers, climbers, and nature lovers. A short trail takes you to the bluff’s edge for a breathtaking view of Stamps Hollow and the Calfkiller River Valley. Legend has it that Native Americans gathered bees there, hence the name.
A conservation easement on the property protects its natural resources while allowing public access. TennGreen Land Conservancy worked closely with Putnam County to draft the deed restriction to guarantee that the scenic overlook will always be available to the public.
Located right off I-40, the hike to the bluff is short and easy. It’s a hidden gem that became popular among Tennessee Tech students in the 80s because they could leave their dorm rooms and be at Bee Rock in 15 minutes. Parking is free and available at a chained gate in front of an A-frame shed. Visitors should follow the well-worn path that is a short distance past the gate.
Originally named for its bee-attracting qualities, this scenic crag is a favorite among rock climbers. The popular site features around 24 climbing routes, making it a challenge for outdoor enthusiasts to tackle. The nearby Meadow Creek Park is also a haven for nature lovers with its serene 90-acre lake and miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.
A hidden gem in Monterey, this viewpoint only requires a 0.6-mile hike to reach and offers stunning panoramic views of the mountains and valleys surrounding the town. It is located near the Garden Inn bed and breakfast and is a must-see for all hikers and nature lovers.
Thankfully, the landowner was willing to sign a conservation easement with TennGreen Land Conservancy and Putnam County so that the overlook remains open for public use. The agreement specifies that the town can build a restroom facility and parking area on the property. It also limits timber harvest and other development, allowing Bee Rock to remain a natural attraction for hikers, birders, climbers, and others who are inspired by its beauty. A must-see place!
Known for its panoramic cliff views, Bee Rock Overlook in Monterey is the end of a short hiking trail and a popular spot for picnicking. It is also a good place to view wildlife such as sandhill cranes or hummingbirds.
The town of Monterey is located on the Cumberland Plateau and is a mountainous destination with lots of beautiful natural attractions. Its iconic history is rooted in the “Standing Stone,” a landmark found along Cherokee lands that later became part of Tennessee in 1805. The town is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with its friendly locals and delectable dining experiences.
For decades, Bee Rock Overlook attracted hikers, climbers, and birders alike. Until recently, the land was under private ownership by Bob Walker, who donated the property to the Town of Monterey and TennGreen Land Conservancy to limit future construction and timber harvesting and ensure the land continues as a public park for generations to come.
Bee Rock is a spectacular overlook in Monterey that was once the property of a bed and breakfast. Now it is owned by the city of Monterey and managed as a public park. It is a popular spot for sunrise photographers because it faces east and offers panoramic views.
Climbing at Bee Rock dates back to the early 1970s and it was one of the first developed sandstone climbing areas in the Cumberland Plateau. It is considered an excellent crag for both sport and trad climbing. Early ascents of the cliff were by Frank Sanders, who was a grad student at Tennessee Tech University in nearby Cookeville at the time. He was inspired by his heroes Galen Rowell and Warren Harding, who took turns bat-hooking on blank granite at Yosemite Valley and Devils Tower respectively.
Whether you are an avid rock climber, hiker, or photographer, there is much to see and do at Bee Rock Overlook in Monterey TN. Please help take care of this special gift by staying respectful, not disturbing the landowner or other visitors, and leaving no trash behind. Next article.
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