Situated in a remote section of the upper Cumberland Mountains, the 17,372-acre Pickett State Park and Forest possess a combination of scenic, botanical and geological wonders found nowhere else in Tennessee. Of particular interest are the uncommon rock formations, natural bridges, numerous caves and remains of ancient Indian occupation. Some say Pickett is second only to the Great Smoky Mountains in botanical diversity. The park is adjacent to the massive Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, with more than 100,000 acres of prime wilderness country.
Rowboats and canoes are available for rent at the park boat dock. No personally-owned boats or motors are permitted.
Tennessee Boating Regulations (exit TDEC)
Pickett features five chalets, five rustic stone cottages and five wooden cottages ideally suited for vacations. Each is completely equipped for housekeeping including appliances, all cooking and serving utensils and linens. Chalets are open year-round.
Reservations should be made through the park office and can be made up to one year in advance.
Forty campsites are available, each with tables and grills. Twenty sites have electrical and water hookups. The campground is served with a modern bathhouse and a dump station. Sites are available only on a first-come, first-served basis, and maximum stay limit is two weeks.
Backcountry camping is available. Contact the park for more information.
Year-round fishing is available at Pickett's delightful, 15-acre Arch Lake. Fishermen need a trout stamp and a valid Tennessee fishing license for persons over 16 years of age.
Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
Tennessee State Parks fishing policies
The group camp consists of camper cabins, bathhouse, kitchen and dining lodge. It is completely equipped for food preparation and serving. Campers need only provide linens, food, medical and sanitary supplies and staff. The camp will accommodate up to 144 persons.
The equipped kitchen features walk in refrigerator and freezer, ice maker, microwave, Bunn coffeemaker, dishwasher and industrial grill and oven.
During the summer months it is usually rented on a weekly basis only, but is available for weekend use at other times. Reservations must be made through the park office.
Hiking trails are open year-round. Overnight camping is allowed on some trails. Remember, all plants, animals and natural features are protected. Please leave them for others to enjoy!
From The Tennessee Conservationist's Great Hikes
With Fran Wallas:
Pickett State Park's Hidden Passage Trail is a Wonderful Winter Trek
Lake Trail-2 1/2 mile loop
Lake View Trail-3/4 mile-one way
Ridge Trail-3 mile loop
Bluff Loop-1 mile-one way
Ladder Trail-1 mile loop
Natural Bridge Trail-1 1/4 mile loop
Hazard Cave Trail-2 1/2 mile loop
Indian Rockhouse Trail-1/4 mile-one way
Island Trail- 1/2 mile loop
There are 6 stalls available for boarding horses. There is a minimal charge. Although pack animals are not allowed in Pickett State Park, the park is adjacent to Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area where pack animals are allowed.
Pickett has 144 picnic tables and grills around beautiful Arch Lake. Restrooms and drinking fountains are provided. Three picnic shelters accommodating up to 50 people each are available for large family or other group use. Shelters may be reserved up to one year in advance.
Contact the park for reservations or more information.
Pickett's beautiful, cliff-lined, sandy swimming beach is one of the most picturesque in the South. The beach is served by a bathhouse. Swimming is available from Memorial Day through mid-August. Please contact the park for specific closing dates. A lifeguard is on duty during the open season.
Old Timers Day Music Festival is held in September. It is a day long jamming and buck dancing event, including feature ballad singing, old time fiddling and bluegrass. Contact the park for more information.
Most roads inside the park are accessible to tour buses. Call the park for more information.