By Mark Boehler
Pickwick Reservoir is a boater’s dream destination, from personal water-crafts, canoes and kayaks – to ski boats, sailboats and bass boats – all the way to large scale houseboats and yachts.
There are quiet coves and inlets to the open waters of Pickwick, large embayments of Yellow Creek and Bear Creek, plus access to the Tennessee River and Tenn-Tom Waterway.
It’s where the state of Tennessee meets the northeast corner of Mississippi and northwest corner of Alabama. The 43,100-acre TVA reservoir gains access to inland waterways from northern states all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Pickwick is part of the The Great Loop as transient boaters move north and south. The area near Pickwick Dam and the Mississippi – Tennessee has much to offer.
Pontoon boat rentals are available at Pickwick Landing State Park Marina, Grand Harbor Marina and Aqua Yacht Marina.
TWRA has boat ramps at the state line with a large parking area. Others are available at the state park, all of the marinas and below the dam at the TVA campground. The TVA boatramp below the dam underwent renovations in 2018 with new concrete and better access. The area had to be closed after February, 2020 flooding and TVA wasn’t sure when it might reopen. Check the TVA website for availability.
There are many boat storage options, boat launch service, boat service and repair, name brand boat dealerships and sales of boating supplies.
Don’t own a boat and want to take a short ride?
Seasonal park rangers (SPRs) at Pickwick Landing State Park offer free one-hour pontoon excursions in the summer months.
Trips depart from the dock at The Inn. Reservations are recommended and many cruises stay booked, especially during holiday weekends.
The state park also rents canoes and kayaks during the warm months. A storage area and large fleet of canoes and kyaks were added at the park in 2018 due to high rental demand. The rental includes life jackets and paddles.
The quiet waters in the inlet around the start park offers a great place to canoe and kayak away from the more bumpy ride out on the larger lake.