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Pickett State Forest and WMA

Birding Seasons:
Spring A
Summer A-
Fall A
Winter B

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Site Description and Habitats

Situated in a remote section of the upper Cumberland Plateau, Pickett State Park and WMA is known for its geological, botanical, and scenic wonders. Rhododendron thickets and geologic features are one of the highlight of this park. The state park lies within the 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest and WMA, and adjacent to the massive 120,000 acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, both areas containing prime wilderness country. Visitors to the park can explore large rock houses, natural sandstone bridges, scenic bluffs, and wild mountain streams. Spring brings dazzling displays of wildflowers, summer an abundance of blackberries and wild blueberries, and autumn a patchwork of colors to the countryside.

There are over 60 miles of trails through the area that lead into Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Hikers can plan overnight trips throughout the area.

Bird species of interest

Spring and Fall Migration: Warblers, vireos, and thrushes are often common across the area. Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Phoebe, Chipping Sparrow, Tennessee, Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Blue-winged, and Blackpoll Warbler can be common. Eastern Whip-poor-wills can be very abundant (mostly heard only) in spring and early summer at dusk and especially on nights with a full moon.

Summer: Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, and Scarlet Tanager. Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Worm-eating Warbler, Northern Parula, Swainson's Warbler.

Winter: Woodland birding can be slow, but look for Red-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglet, and sparrows may occur along forest edges.

Year-Round: Barred and Eastern Screech-Owl are regular, resident species including Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, among other residents are common.

Species list via eBird Hotspot Explorer

Submit your data to eBird here

Detailed directions for birding Pickett State Forest and WMA
From junction of Hwy 154 and Hwy 297 north of Jamestown, travel 3.7 miles on Hwy 154 to the state park entrance and office.

There's dozens of miles of hiking trails to explore without any very specific target locations to visit.

Lat-Long (GPS) coordinates
State Park office - 36.552181,-84.797417

Pickett State Park and WMA map

Fees and Hours
State park hours are 7:30am to dark, WMA hours are daylight hours both are year round.

There are restroom facilities, cabins, and campgrounds.

Please refer to TWRA Hunting Guide about hunting seasons and public access dates. Access dates vary by site.

Pickett State Park

Info for other sites
Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife web site