Officially established as one of two recreational parks for African Americans (the other was T.O. Fuller park in Memphis), Booker T. Washington State Park served all of East Tennessee as well as Middle Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and other outlying areas.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 3459 began clearing the land in 1937. The next year, Company 4497, a group of young African American men, took over the work and began planning the layout of the park. The bike trail maintained by Southern Off-Road Bike Association (SORBA) is one of the best-kept secrets in the area, covering seven miles of lakeside and undeveloped lands.
The park is a popular site for fishing, swimming, boating and other water sports, birdwatching. The park was named for African American educator and leader Booker T. Washington, although he had no direct connection to the park.
Tennessee Vacation eGuide
The 2016 eGuide gives you instant access to Tennessee’s irresistible attractions and destinations. Peruse venues online, then put in your order to get a free guide delivered to your doorstep.