A Weekend at Pickett CCC Memorial State Park
May 24, 2016 | Permalink
Pickett Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial State Park (Pickett) is a hidden gem on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. The park design and architecture are a tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s who built this park and others across the country. In addition to its rich cultural history, Pickett boasts some of the most unique rock formations and terrain of any park in Tennessee. This is the perfect place for a weekend trip to kick off your summer adventures.
Here are a few activities and lodging recommendations to make your trip a success:
WHERE TO STAY
Pickett CCC Memorial State Park
Pickett is the staging area for your trip. The park includes RV and tent camping, backcountry sites (with permit), and 20 cabins in four different styles. The five (5) rustic CCC cabins are original to the park and pay homage to Pickett’s history. These cabins are a quaint and restful step back in time.
WHAT TO DO
1. Hiking at Pickett Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial State Park
Towering overhangs, unique rock formations and dense forest floor make Pickett a top spot for hikers. There are more than 58 miles of hiking trails meandering through the wilderness of Pickett and the surrounding forest. Whether you’re looking for multi-day backpacking excursions or short day-use trails, this park has you covered.
2. Stargazing at Pickett Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial State Park
Pickett was the first state park in the southeast to receive the International Dark-Sky Association certification for dark sky viewing. What does that mean for you? It means that Pickett is one of the best places in the Southeast to view and photograph the night sky. Set up a telescope, or spread out a blanket, and spend some time out under the stars.
3. Hiking at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area
Pogue Creek Canyon is located just outside the entrance to Pickett. Talk about a beautiful destination! The canyon is full of multicolored sandstone bluffs, mesas, arches, waterfalls and caves. Your trip would not be complete without a visit to this 3,000-acre natural area. Make sure you check in with the rangers at Pickett before heading out to Pogue Creek Canyon. They will help you gain safe access to the area and will provide you with the necessary trail maps and information.
4. Encountering Presidential History at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park is about an hour from Pickett and well worth your time while you're in the area. The museum is home to memorabilia from Cordell Hull’s service as Secretary of State to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 – 1944. Cordell Hull played an important role in World War II and many of the Roosevelt administration’s decisions. The museum houses artifacts from the White House, including Cordell Hull’s desk, chair, stationery, and gifts from FDR to Cordell Hull. It is even home to a replica of the 1945 Nobel Peace Prize that Cordell Hull received for his work in forming the United Nations. If you have time, the Bunkum Cave Trail will take you to the mouth of the cave where Cordell Hull's father made moonshine, and the park also has a representation of the cabin in which Cordell Hull was raised.
5. Experiencing World War One Firsthand at Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park
Did you know that Tennessee is home to the “greatest civilian soldier,” and the most prolific American hero, from World War 1? Located just 30 minutes from Pickett, Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park commemorates the American soldier who led a band of 17 men to capture and kill more than 140 German soldiers in a single day. The park has built a series of life size trenches in the field behind Sgt. York’s home to help visitors step into history. Visitors can participate in a guided tour of the York home or plan their trip around one of the living history events at the battlefield replica to help mark the 100-year anniversary for the Great War.
Don’t let the summer pass by without seeing and experiencing these amazing places. Make plans to visit Pickett CCC Memorial State Park today!