5 Things to Do Near Chickasaw State Park
July 30, 2021 | Permalink
For an area of Tennessee known for being relatively flat, Chickasaw State Park sits on some of the highest terrain in west Tennessee. It’s located just south of Jackson and offers incredible hiking, a way to cool off in Lake Placid, horseback riding, and even hunting and ATV riding opportunities on over 14,000 acres of nearby forestry land. Here are five things to do at and around Chickasaw State Park:
1. Go Horseback Riding
Chickasaw is a park designed for people who own horses or want to experience horseback riding for a day or two. With on-site riding stables offering horse rentals and guided tours, you can explore five miles of horse trails inside the park that wind through gorgeous pine trees and offer some impressive elevation.
If you’re a horse owner, you’ll find overnight accommodations for you and your four-legged friend at the park’s Wrangler Campground. The sites are equipped for RVs and offer plenty of space for your horses to stay close to your site. The riding stables also offer stall rentals for park visitors staying at the Wrangler Campground. During your trip, you can venture out to the surrounding Chickasaw Forest which offers hundreds of miles of trail.
2. Hit the Trails (on foot)
After you hop off the horse, hit the trails on foot. These trails follow the lakeshore, pass by wetlands, and offer challenging elevation. The Lakeshore Trail offers a 360-degree tour of Lake Placid and even takes you across the water on a 640-foot footbridge that crosses the middle of Lake Placid.
The Fern Creek Trail invites you to learn more about the history of early settlers in the area. It begins and ends at a historic cabin known as Brewer Cabin. This one-room log cabin was built in the 1870s off-site in the nearby Roby Community. The cabin was later donated to the park and now serves as an educational tool and reminder of days gone by. The cabin is open for scheduled tours, but even those who don’t venture inside will enjoy exploring the old whiskey still and farm tools surrounding the cabin.
If you want to venture outside the park, the surrounding state forestry land offers lots of additional hiking opportunities. The forest land, as well as the park, was used by the Chickasaw tribe as hunting grounds until their removal in 1837. The history of this land adds another layer to the historic understanding of this region.
3. Go Paddling
Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding are popular pastimes at Chickasaw. Lake Placid sits in the middle of the park and lives up to its name, offering calm waters to relax on. You can bring your own paddling equipment or rent from the park boat dock open Memorial Day through the first weekend in August and then weekends only through October 16.
4. Fish and Take Photos From the Iconic Bridge
The 640-foot bridge stretching across Lake Placid is hard to miss, and you definitely won't want to. The bridge is one of the park’s signature features and offers a unique perspective that most parks don’t—a view from the center of the lake. It’s a great spot for photography, fishing, and early morning walks. The bridge connects the tent campground to the other side of the park, providing campers quick access to recreation with the added bonus of incredible views.
5. Visit Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park
Pinson Mounds is a scenic 20-minute drive northeast of the park. This park is a national historic landmark, home to at least 15 Native American mounds. This is the largest collection of Native American Middle Woodland Period mounds in the United States. Sauls Mound is 70 feet tall and visitors can make the climb up to the top for incredible views of the park. The on-site museum is designed to replicate a Native American mound and tells the story of the Middle Woodland Period through exhibits, an archaeological library, an 80-seat theater, and ‘Discovery Room’. The park also offers hiking trails and peaceful spots for a picnic.
Where to Stay
Chickasaw State Park offers cabins in addition to tent, RV, and wrangler (equipped for campers with horses) campgrounds. Both the standard and rustic cabins at the park were renovated in 2021. The rustic one-bedroom cabins were built by the Works Progress Administration and are steeped in history. The renovations have given new life to these cabins and provide guests with comfortable, modern amenities while allowing them to enjoy the history. The standard two-bedroom cabins were built in 1948 and have also gained a new vibrance from the recent renovations. Both cabin types are nestled beneath the tall pines and located within easy access to Lake Placid.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
Could Chickasaw be the perfect spot for your next adventure? Click the button below to find more information about the park and to check on cabin or campsite availability.