Chickasaw State Park Celebrates Its Heritage
It’s a double whammy at Chickasaw State Park this year. It opened the same year the Tennessee State Park system began in 1937 making them both 75 years old. Each park holds a special event to commemorate the anniversary and Chickasaw State Park’s special event is Heritage Day.
Come learn about the park’s history and enjoy the variety of programs planned for September 22nd between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Park Ranger Ron Elder says, “Throughout the day we’ll have programs at Sagamore Lodge, one of the original buildings in the park. We’ll have historic photographs about the creation of the park and displays of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who did the lion’s share of work on building the park in the mid 1930s. We’ll also have presentations on the history of the park.
“There will be Native American games that were played before Europeans arrived in this country and pioneer games that children played in the early 1900s. We’ll have wildlife presentations and hay rides. And for our special Heritage Day event, pedal boats on Lake Placid will be available next weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
This 1,280-acre state park is primarily used for recreation. There are four miles of hiking trails; Fern Creek Trail, Forked Pine Trail, Friend’s Trail and Lakeshore Trail. However, being surrounded by Chickasaw State Forest’s 12,754 acres, you can walk until you are well contented.
Bicycles are allowed on park roads and cyclists may access miles of additional roads in the state forest. You may hunt in the forest under state regulations and seasons and ride ATVs on designated roads.
Accommodations in the state park range from fully equipped cabins to camping with Lake Placid being one of two focal points. Cabins lie to the east of the lake, tent camping to the south (picnic tables, grilles, playground and bathhouse) and the Wrangler Campground to the west (water, electricity, playground, picnic tables, bathhouse and grills).
And west of the Wrangler Campground is the second focal point in the park: the RV Campground. It has the same amenities as the Wrangler Campground plus an amphitheater, playground for children, the trailhead to Fern Creek Trail, a dumping station and is close to the tennis courts.
About 10 miles west of the RV Campground is Lake LaJoie. This area was designed for groups up to 131 people with dining hall and cabins. The lake is open to anglers if the group camp is vacant, and privately owned boats with trolling motors are allowed. The group camp is only available from April to October – that leaves a lot of time for anglers to cast about on Lake LaJoie.
Fishing is available year-round on Lake Placid. Except canoes and kayaks, no privately owned boats or gasoline powered motors are allowed on the lake. However, electric trolling motors are OK. Fishing boats are available for rent year-round while pedal boats and rowboats are for rent during the summer.
Whereas length restrictions apply on most of Tennessee’s lakes, there is none for crappie in the park. You may keep a generous creel limit of 30 crappies. Bass, catfish and bream are also swimming around ready for your hook.
One outstanding activity in this park is horseback riding. You may rent a horse from the park stables that are open March through Thanksgiving weekend, and open weekends in the spring and fall. The guided trail ride takes approximately one hour. Call the stables at 731-989-9494 for cost and hours of operation.
The Wrangler Campground located near the stables is designed for equestrians with their own horses, which may be picketed at the campsites. There are approximately 100 miles of trails in Chickasaw State Forest.
You’re invited to come help celebrate the 75th anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, the creation of Chickasaw State Park, and all of the history that has been made here. For more information call 731-989-5141 or 1-800-458-1725 or visit the Tennessee State Parks website here.