Big South Fork trail signs totaling more than $1,000 stolen


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area park rangers are searching for those responsible for stealing five trail signs Wednesday, June 16. The signs directed visitors to points of interest along Blue Heron Overlook Road in the Barthell area on the Kentucky side of the park.

“These signs are critical in providing important directional information in an area where cell reception is often unreliable,” Big South Fork Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas said. “Visitors depend on these signs for ensuring a safe and enjoyable park experience. Anyone with knowledge of the signs’ location is asked to return them to the Park Headquarters Building, no questions asked.”

The signs are worth more than $1,000 making it a felony-level theft if prosecuted. Park Rangers have recovered fingerprints that were left at the scene of the crime, as well as video footage from the area.

Anyone with information concerning the theft is encouraged to contact the National Park Service at 423-223-4330, or leave a confidential message on the Resource Protection Tip Line at 423-569-7301. The 24-hour tip line allows callers to remain anonymous.

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