Pickett CCC Memorial State Park
Pickett CCC Memorial State Park lies within the 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest, and is adjacent to the massive 120,000 acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. In 1933, the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company donated nearly 12,000 acres of land to the State of Tennessee to be developed as a forest recreational area. Initial development of the area by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) occurred between 1934 through1942. The CCC constructed hiking trails, five rustic cabins, a recreation lodge, a ranger station and a 12-acre lake. The park memorializes and preserves the unique work of the CCC who first developed the park.
In 2015, Pickett CCC Memorial State Park and Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area earned Silver-tier International Dark Sky Park designation. It became the first state park in the Southeast to gain this prestigious recognition. Visitors can enjoy sweeping, rich views of the night sky similar to those found in many of the Western state.
The Pickett CCC Museum features interpretative exhibits and artifacts, depicting the Civilian Conservation Corps’ contributions to Tennessee’s parks and natural areas, while recognizing the CCC’s extensive efforts across the country. An interactive touch-screen exhibit gives visitors an opportunity to hear directly from former CCC workers, sharing their stories about their time working to construct Pickett State Park. Developed by Tennessee State Parks, the museum is in the same location of the former park office, constructed by the CCC in the 1930s. Approximately 70,000 Tennesseans served in the CCC in various locations around the country. There were 77 CCC camps located throughout Tennessee.
Pickett State Park has cabins and campsites available for rent. The park has 20 rental cabins, with four styles to accommodate different size families. There are five rustic CCC cabins that can accommodate four people, five standard cabins can accommodate up to six people, five suite cabins can accommodate two people and five deluxe cabins can accommodate eight people. Each type of cabin is completely equipped for housekeeping with modern bathrooms, kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, linens and towels and fireplaces. There are 31 campsites at the park, most of which provide electric and water hookups, picnic tables and grills.
More than 58 miles of hiking trails meander through the wilderness of Pickett State Park and the surrounding forest. They vary in length and difficulty, from short day-use trails suitable for families, to longer multi-day backpacking trails. A backcountry camping permit is required through the park office. The trails afford views of sandstone bluffs, natural bridges, waterfalls and diverse plant life.
Pickett State Park is adjacent to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a federally managed extension of the National Park Service. Learn more about this popular 125,000 acre nature preserve.
Also nearby, but off the beaten path, is the Charit Creek Lodge. Charit Creek Lodge is a rustic wilderness lodge located in a valley in the heart of Big South Fork. The lodge offers a unique way to experience the beauty and serenity of the area. The lodge is only accessible by hiking, biking or horseback. Learn more about this unique location.
HOURS: All parks are open to the public seven days a week but the park office, museums, visitor centers and historic sites may be closed two days per week and their hours may vary. The hours for most parks are one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.
Source: Tennessee State Parks