Temporary Road Closures to Take Effect at Pickett State Forest

Friday, May 31, 2024 | 11:02am
Pickett State Forest Damaged Roads

NASHVILLE – Visitors to Pickett State Forest in Pickett and Fentress Counties will be able to enjoy the northwestern portions of the forest only on foot or horseback beginning June 3, 2024.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Forestry Division is instituting temporary restrictions for 120 days to repair roads and forest trails destroyed by off-road vehicles. The extensive damage has jeopardized the protection of the forest and the safety of visitors.

“The off-road vehicle damage to portions of Pickett State Forest puts visitors at risk and impairs our ability to fulfill our duties as forest stewards,” State Forester Heather Slayton said. “Because of this, we are addressing the issues now as part of our commitment to protecting, conserving, and enhancing this state’s forest resources and upholding rigorous sustainable forestry standards.”

To facilitate repairs, a gate has been installed where Redmond Rim Road and Redmond Mountain Road split, restricting motorized traffic north of that point. This provides safety to workers conducting repairs, prevents further damage, and ensures road and trail work can be completed in a timely manner.

All trails, roads, access points, and areas north of the gate are closed to all motorized traffic and camping. Access north of the gate is restricted to people on foot or horseback during scheduled visiting hours. Hunting north of the gate is allowed by foot traffic only and only in accordance with TDA and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency rules.

Law enforcement will patrol the area to ensure compliance with motorized vehicle restrictions. Failure to comply is a violation of state law and may result in civil penalties and/or criminal charges. This order expires Oct. 1, 2024 unless extended or otherwise rescinded by the State Forester.

“Although it’s not ideal to temporarily close roads, visitors to all of Tennessee’s forests deserve to have a safe and enjoyable visit. We’re going to do everything necessary to ensure that positive experience and safeguard our natural resources,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said.

Updates regarding closure status and damage mitigation efforts at Pickett State Forest can be found online at www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/state-forests/pickett.html, on the department’s Facebook page, and on the Protect TN Forests social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

The Forestry Division protects and promotes the responsible use of forest resources in Tennessee. Focus areas include assisting landowners with a variety of services, providing quality tree seedlings, supporting forest health programs, collecting forest inventory data, assisting forest industries, and fighting wildland fires. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.

Pickett State Forest Map