Hardin County, the pick of Pickwick


David A. Brown

Historical Battle of Shiloh sign in Counce, Tennessee.

On the south side of State Route 57 East, near the intersection of SR 22, a weathered historical marker denotes the Battle of Shiloh. Taking place April 6-7, 1862, the engagement also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was one of the Civil War’s major early battles.

Visit the Shiloh National Military Park, just north in the town of Shiloh, and you’ll find fascinating exhibits recounting the days when musket fire and cannon blasts shook the landscape — a fitting metaphor to the thunderous strikes and explosive power of feisty largemouth and smallmouth bass abounding in nearby Pickwick Lake.

Stretching 52.7 miles and covering approximately 43,000 acres, with islands, bluffs, creeks, ledges, docks and shallow cover, the lake is an absolute treasure. With multiple B.A.S.S. events to its credit, Pickwick offers incredible habitat diversity with healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth, along with whopper catfish, tasty crappie, panfish galore and plenty of striped, spotted and white bass. 

This magnificent Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir has long enjoyed a national reputation as a stellar fishery and Hardin County Tourism Director Beth Pippin points to the convenient access via Pickwick Landing State Park, along with a delightful bouquet of historical and cultural elements found at the lake’s Hardin County commencement.

“Our biggest draws are Pickwick Landing State Park and Shiloh National Military Park; we’re blessed to have a national park and a state park,” Pippin said. “The Tennessee River runs right down the middle of the county and while we attract a lot of people for (vacations), we also attract a lot of people looking to relocate. They want that waterfront and we have river on both sides, plus the big lake.”