Chickasaw State Park

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By Tommy Brannon

Are you looking for a place to trail ride your horse, or rent a horse and trail ride, perhaps do some camping, biking, hiking, fishing, sailing, or trail biking? Many of Tennessee’s state parks may be just what you are looking for! One in particular with all of these activities is Chickasaw State Park, located just west of Henderson, Tennessee on Highway 100. This park is within about an hour or two drive from Memphis, Jackson and many other places in west Tennessee or North Mississippi.

ChickasawState Park consists of 1,280 acres and is adjacent to the Chickasaw National Forest, which is comprised of 14,384 acres. There are over 100 miles of trails, mostly in the hardwood forest, interspersed with green meadows cleared for wildlife and managed logging. On a mid- summers trail ride the wild blueberries and tart blackberries are so abundant and accessible that one can pick them from horseback. There no traffic sounds heard in this bucolic setting – just frogs and birds. The gravel roads are wide enough for horse trailers and most have wide enough shoulders to keep your horse off the gravel.

Rental horses are available from the Park Stables managed by Mike Howell and his family. Mike has been running this family stables business in the park for about 8 years. He keeps 20 to 25 horses available throughout the season from a herd of 30 to 40. Mike says that he has horses to match the novice as well as the experienced rider. He is open every weekend from March through Thanksgiving and daily in June and July. Guided trail rides are about an hour long and depart on a regular schedule. Call the stables at 731-989-9494 for cost and hours of operation

There is ample trailer parking at the Wrangler Campground adjacent to the stables. This campground has 32 sites with water and electric hookups. Horses may be picketed at the campsites. A bathhouse with shower and restroom facilities is available, as well as a lighted arena and playground.

Not into camping or RVs? Chickasaw offers 13 vacation cottages, some sleeping up to six persons and fully equipped for housekeeping. The cabins, complete with fireplaces and televisions, are nestled among tall pines and located within easy access to Lake Placid. Cabins are available by reservation year-round, and in the months of June and July are available on a weekly basis. There is also a group lodge that accommodates 40 and a meetings lodge that seats 100. The Park’s restaurant offers Southern cuisine.

In addition to the horse facilities, rowboats and paddle boats are available for rent on Lake Placid. No gasoline powered boats are allowed, but electric trolling motors, canoes and kayaks are.  There is a swimming beach and the fishing is great!

Bicycles are allowed on park roads, and cyclists may access miles of additional roads in the adjacent Chickasaw State Forest. Hikers can enjoy marked, easy to moderate hiking trails at the park. A park recreation director, on duty during the summer months, conducts group games, arts and crafts, evening movies, campfire programs and hay rides.

For more information about Chickasaw State Park, visit:

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