by Laura Locke
Autumn is in full swing here in West Tennessee. There are a lot of wonderful things about this time of year—cool weather, football, the return of the peppermint mocha—but one of my favorites is the changing fall scenery. All around campus the leaves have begun to turn to shades of golden yellow, fiery orange, and deep burgundy. Some of the most stunning views of the changing colors can be found just down Highway 100 on the short drive to Chickasaw State Park.
Chickasaw is one of West Tennessee’s hidden natural gems. Rarely crowded, the 14,000+ acre park is an oasis of calm and natural beauty just minutes from campus. It’s a favorite spot for romantic dates, hikes, and the picnic sites are often used by Freed-Hardeman’s social and academic clubs for meetings and cookouts. Student-led devotionals and singings are hosted on the docks at Lake Placid. When a formal event isn’t planned, Chickasaw is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy sunny day with a few friends.
The typical state park activities—hiking, fishing, camping—are all welcome at Chickasaw, and the park is home to a number of other recreational activities. Paddle and rowboats are available for rent, and those looking for outdoor sports can take advantage of facilities for basketball, softball, volleyball, and archery, or head over to the Chickasaw Golf Club and play the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature designed course. Animal lovers can enjoy horseback riding along one of the park’s many trails.
If you’re planning to be in Henderson to visit campus sometime, plan to carve out some time one afternoon to explore the beauty of Chickasaw State Park.