Nestled within the Pickett State Forest, Pickett CCC Memorial Park offers 12,000 acres of recreation directly next to the Big South Fork National River. Although one of the smaller state parks we feature, Pickett CCC Memorial Park offers some unique and breathtaking attractions, both on the ground and in the sky!
The land was initially donated by Stearns Coal and Lumber Company to the Tennessee government for the specific purpose of providing a forest area for recreation in 1933. Development of the state park began through the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – by 1942 the CCC the park offered hiking trails, cabins, a lodge, hired rangers and a man-made lake. The park maintains the integrity of these developments, as it shows the hard work and dedication of the Tennessee CCC.
Environmental conversation has led to the park’s awesome activities to set it apart from the larger and more well-known areas surrounding the Cumberland basin.
Dark sky viewing
One of the most unique attractions to Pickett CCC Memorial Park is its certification from the International Dark-Sky Association to be the first state park listed as an official dark sky viewing location. The environmental protection measures taken by the park allows fantastic dark sky views for visitors to enjoy.
The 12-acre Arch Lake located within the state park is supplied with trout in the summer months. Visitors are required to be licensed with a trout stamp to fish in Arch Lake.
Paddle boats, canoes and fishing boats are available to rent from mid-spring through early fall through the Pickett CCC Memorial Park Visitor Center. Rentals have limited inventory, so be sure to call ahead.
The sandstone surrounding the swimming areas of the state park provide an incredibly beautiful and unique location for visitors to enjoy the water and relax. It should be noted that if you are planning on taking children to the swimming areas, no lifeguards are on duty. For safety reasons, minors are not allowed to swim at Pickett CCC Memorial Park without adult supervision.
Trails labeled with various levels of difficulty stretch throughout the scenic environment of the park. Visitors can gauge which trails they would like to explore – whether that may be a shorter and easier one for families with children or longer and more difficult ones for experienced hikers. The hiking trails at Picket CCC Memorial Park offer a path for everyone.
For those truly interested in learning more about one of Cumberland basin’s most unique state parks, educational programs are offered that can link visitors to a state park ranger with extensive knowledge of the land and its flora and fauna. Have a fun and informative day out in nature with an interactive experience at Pickett CCC Memorial Park.
Pickett CCC Memorial Park is unique for the dark sky viewing certification and its sandstone geological features, yet it offers so much more. This state park is a great place for water activities and hiking trails that are both accessible to beginners and challenging for experts. With so many different features, Pickett CCC Memorial Park has something for everyone.