by Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll (Falcon Guides)
This is a wonderful park that contains a myriad of good trails that traverse bluffs, arches, rock formations, and nice old-growth forest. Although the park itself is small, it is surrounded by the much larger Pickett State Forest, where some of the trails are located. Much of this core area of the park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of the preservation of the handiwork of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers.
Pickett State Park and Forest was donated to the state by the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company in 1933. The park was actually designated as 865 acres, situated inside of the 20,887-acre state forest. Many people consider Pickett to be the first state park in Tennessee because it was donated directly to the state as “Pickett State Park and Forest” in 1933, four years before the state park system itself was organized. In 1934 a CCC camp was set up, and the CCC boys moved in to start work on trails, cabins, bridges, and a Recreation Hall.
© 2016 Kelley Roark and Stuart Carroll/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.