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Located northeast of Jamestown, Pickett State Park is nestled in the surrounding 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest. The park's caves, craggy wilderness, and natural crossings of the Cumberland Plateau lure visitors from all over Tennessee and beyond. The park is characterized by a unique microclimate, geological formations, rich biodiversity, and clear mountain streams. Botanists, ecologists, hikers, RV campers, and archeology enthusiasts love to spend their vacation enjoying the wonders of the park.
The park’s trails are really popular, as some of the rare plants, such as Rockhouse featherbells, Lucy Braun’s snakeroot, and Cumberland sandwort, can be found along the way. This is also an area of great importance to black bears, as they were nearly extinct here back in the early 1900s. Today, thanks to the park, their numbers have recovered and are still growing.
Anyone who loves spending time in nature, fishing, swimming or just relaxing in a scenic and remote environment will have a memorable vacation while camping at Pickett State Park. Start by looking for RV rentals in Pickett County to find an ideal vehicle for your motorhome camping experience. You can also narrow your search to towns like Brydstown and Livingston as they are both around 50 minutes to an hour away from the park.
In addition to hiking trails, vibrant surroundings, and swimming areas, the park also boasts an archeology museum. Opened in 2017, this informative museum features displays on the history and ecology of the Upper Cumberland Plateau. The exhibits found inside tell the story of the park’s geology as well as the lifestyle of Native Americans who once inhabited this land. Very close to the museum is Rock Creek Mortar Shelter Site, where evidence of prehistoric human life is displayed. In fact, it's estimated that human habitation of this area started in 8,000 BCE.
Another aspect that makes this state park RV camping experience unique is that the park has been certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. In other words, the park is an ideal location for stargazing. To enjoy the view, just look at the sky forecast and visit the astronomy field which is near Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area.
Arch Lake receives a lot of visitors as well, especially during summer. Guests love to come here to swim, boat, and fish. During the summer season, the lake is brimming with trout. If you're planning on fishing here, bear in mind that you'll need a trout stamp. For those who plan on swimming, proceed with caution, since there are no lifeguards here. Another thing to note is that you can rent a fishing boat, paddleboards, or a kayak in the visitors' center.
The park has more than 30 campsites, all of which feature water hookups. Around 20 of these sites have electricity in addition to water hookups. The sites are divided into two groups, A and B. Both areas are pet-friendly, and the maximum RV length they can accommodate is 34 feet. Guests also have access to a number of amenities such as picnic tables, modern bathhouses, a dump station, and grill. The campgrounds are open throughout the whole year, and guests can stay up to two weeks.
Due to the bear activity, there are no trash cans, so guests are responsible for storing their trash and taking it out of the park. Trash and recycling containers are located near the campground entrance for your convenience.
Despite the fact that the park has a lot to offer in terms of engaging activities, the number of nearby restaurants, shops, gas stations, and attractions leaves much to be desired. Luckily, if you need to shop, fill up the gas tank, or if you just want to eat out, Jamestown is your nearest best bet. You'll find a number of fast-food joints, pizza places, Mexican, and Chinese restaurants here.
Some five miles from Jamestown is a place called Allardt, home to the County Historical Society Museum. Opened in 2006, the museum preserves the cultural heritage of Fentress County. There was a time when this area was rich in natural resources like timber, tar, coal, and oil, which led to its prosperity. The museum features informative exhibits and displays on the significances of these industries.
Around 12 miles from Allardt is a small place called Rugby, where a series of festivals, workshops and gala events are hosted between August and December. If there's nothing going on here during your stay, you can always browse one of the local galleries or antique shops. Why not grab a souvenir to commemorate your trip, or pick up a gift for a loved one back home?
Alternatively, you can take a different route and drive from the Pickett State Park camping area to the town of Livingston. Treat the kids to a day at the town's park, sample some wine from the local vineyard, or tee off at the town's golf course.