Parks and Green Spaces
near Arlington, TN
Fort Pillow State Park
About an hour’s drive north of Arlington is Fort Pillow State Park, just take 51N to 371W. Named after General Gideon J. Pillow, the fort was built by Confederate troops in 1861 in this strategic location due to the steep bluffs overlooking the Misssissippi River. It was abandoned in 1862 as the Union Navy advanced upon it. It became a state park in 1971.
The 1,642 acre park is home to the reconstructed fort, and its museum showcases Civil War memorabilia, like its canon, as well as interpretive displays. The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Designated a Wildlife Observation Area by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Fort Pillow State Park is an ideal place to do some birdwatching. There’s a family campground, as well as miles of hiking trails. A beautiful picnic area overlooks Fort Pillow Lake, where there is a boat ramp available for use.
Chickasaw State Park
Named after the Chickasaw Indians who used to call West Tennessee “home,” this 1,400-acre park is an hour’s drive east of Arlington.
Named a state park in 1955, Chickasaw sits on some of the highest terrain elevation in western Tennessee and has plenty of activities for visitors.
The park has over four miles of moderate hiking and mountain biking trails, and visitors are encouraged to take to the water of Lake Placid with rented rowboats and pedal boats. For those interested in staying overnight in a cabin, there are 13 historic WPA (Works Progress Administration) cabins, equipped with fireplaces and TV to provide a healthy layer of comfort in the great outdoors. There are also camping and RV sites. Interestingly, the park hosts one of very few Wrangler Campgrounds, which are designed to accommodate visitors with horses.
Children are welcome to enjoy the Educational Programming available to them, where teachers
can use the park like a classroom and teach the children about the world they’re living in.
Realfoot Lake State Park
From 1811-1812, a series of earthquakes reversed the flow of the Mississippi river, causing the water to travel backwards and create Reelfoot Lake. Described as a “flooded forest,” the park’s ecosystem is truly unique in the state of Tennessee. Tall Cypress tree stand above the water, while the stumps of their shorter friends live below.
Perfect for birdwatching, the lake is home to nearly every type of shore and wading bird. It’s also home to golden and American bald eagles. These eagles nest by the thousands from January to February, with daily tours taking visitors through amazing scenes. The annual Reelfoot Eagle Festival takes place each February and is a popular birdwatching destination. And if you were to visit in fall, you’d see hundreds of white pelicans as they take a break from their seasonal migration.
Deep swamp canoe trips are offered through March and April, while pontoon boat tours occur May through September.
While swimming isn’t permitted, guests are invited to boat and fish the lake. You can camp overnight at one of its two campgrounds, and then take a nice long hike on one of its hiking trails.
Give Yourself Some Time in Nature
Get out and enjoy these fun and relaxing activities.
We’ll see you there!
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