Three Tennessee Trips for History Buffs

Pickett State Park | Tennessee Conservationist

There’s so much to see and learn about not far from Knoxville. Today we’ll head west and then north to Morgan and Fentress counties for three destinations linked to days gone by. They’d make great field trips for kids and adults alike!

1. Historic Rugby. Historic Rugby, Inc. is a living Victorian village, originally founded in 1880 as the Rugby colony by British author Thomas Hughes. In addition to historical tours of the village, you’ll find historic lodging, local arts and crafts, Rugby State Natural Area trails, and special events and programming. It’s also near Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and its trails and outdoor activities. Rugby’s tours are offered Thursdays through Sundays. 

2. Pickett State Park. Pickett CCC Memorial State Park lies within the 19,200-acre Pickett State Forest and is adjacent to Big South Fork. The land was donated to the state in 1933 and initially developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1934 and 1942. Five rustic cabins built by the CCC are still available as lodging in the park in addition to newer cabins. The park is also a Silver-tier International Dark Sky Park, meaning visitors can enjoy views of the stars similar to those in many Western states.

3. Alvin York State Park. Sergeant Alvin C. York State Historic Park is located in Pall Mall and pays tribute to one of the most decorated soldiers of World War I. The park includes a visitor center modeled after York’s general store, his two-story house, a gristmill, the York Bible School, and picnic facilities. Just outside the park are the Wolf River Methodist Church where he experienced his religious conversion and the Wolf River Cemetery where he and his wife are buried.

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