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 states.
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.
The park’s swimming area, lined with sandstone bluffs, is one of the most picturesque beaches in the south. Swimming is free; however, there are no lifeguards on duty. It is “swim at your own risk” and an adult must accompany children. The beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. daily.
From mid-April through October, canoes, paddleboards, and fishing boats are available to rent through the Visitor Center.
Miles of hiking trails meander through the wilderness of Pickett State Park and the surrounding forest. They vary in length and difficulty, from short trails suitable for families, to longer hikes. The trails afford views of sandstone bluffs, natural bridges, waterfalls and diverse plant life and are interconnected.
Arch Lake (12 acre) is stocked throughout the summer with trout. A trout stamp is required.
The park offers 31 campsites, all of which provide water hookups, picnic tables and grills. Electric hookups are provided at 20 of our campsites. The campground is served with a modern bathhouse and a dump station. The campground is open year round and the maximum stay limit is two weeks.
Campsites without electric hookups: A2, A9, A13, A15, A16, A19, and A20, Additional sites are B1, B3, B5, and B7.