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Crossville a crossroads of outdoor entertainment

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    People enjoy fishing as fall colors reflect in the water at Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville, Tn.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Nature trails, museums and theaters all are great Crossville, Tenn., attractions, but in this town, one pastime dominates all others -- golf.

The town, which bills itself as the golf capital of Tennessee, is home to 10 courses for golfers of all skill levels.

Hundreds of thousands of rounds of golf are played by golfers from all over the nation.

"We've had people from as far as California," said Ashley Kesterson, spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce. "Unless you drop off into the ocean, that's as far as you're going to go."

Although many come to town for the golf, they often stay for the other attractions.

Crossville hosts a county fair at the end of August and an apple festival at the end of September, and the Cumberland County Playhouse draws some of the largest audiences for rural theaters in the country.

Add to that the nature trails and Cumberland Mountain State Park and for many, the community becomes a perfect travel destination.

"It's beautiful," Kesterson said. "To me it has more natural beauty than anywhere else."

At a glance

-- Population: 10,795.

-- Best things to do: Golf -- Crossville has 10 golf courses and claims to be the golf capital of Tennessee.

-- Biggest employers: Cumberland County Medical Center, Flowers Bakery.

-- Miles from downtown Chattanooga: 79

-- Landmarks or geographic features: Cumberland Mountain State Park, Obed River, Ozone Falls.

-- Date founded: 1901.

-- Historic info: The history of Crossville began when merchant Samuel Lambeth opened a store around the year 1800 at the junction of what would become U.S. 70 and U.S. 127. As people settled around the store, the community grew and Crossville was established.

-- Most famous residents: Country singer Mandy Barnett, actress Julie Ann Emery and Earl Lloyd, the first black man to play in an NBA basketball game.

-- Unique traditions: Annual Christmas parade, where local businesses and community organizations compete for the best float.

-- Unique characteristics: Crossville is home to one of the country's largest rural theater groups, which plays at the Cumberland County Playhouse.