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Tennessee State Parks

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USA Parks
East Region
Scott State Forest
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(lat:36.4834 lon:-84.6833) map location
The Forest is located in northeastern Tennessee, in Scott and Fentress Counties. It is completely surrounded by the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Some land was purchased by the State, but the main portion of the Forest was acquired by the State at a tax delinquent sale in 1938. The Forest is unique in the system in that it is completely surrounded by the Big South Fork National River and recreation Area. There are no interior holdings, cemeteries, or natural areas. The forest is used for research including tree improvement studies, where improved strains of various species are grown and tested. Most timber stands on the Forest are sawtimber size hardwood stands, with many of the stands at or near rotation age. Superior stands of eastern white pine were located on the Forest, but most have been lost to the southern pine beetle in the last two years. Recreational activities hunting, hiking, horseback riding will be a primary use for this Forest.
History of the Area
Pre-European Settlement:
Before European settlers arrived, the area now encompassing Scott State Forest was inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw and Creek tribes. These tribes relied on the forest's resources for their sustenance and livelihood.

European Settlement and Logging Activities:
In the early 19th century, European settlers began moving into the region, attracted by the fertile land and abundant natural resources. Logging, primarily for timber, became a significant economic activity in the area. Large-scale logging operations caused widespread deforestation and impacted the region's ecosystems.

Formation of the Scott State Forest:
In response to concerns over the rapid loss of forests due to logging, the Tennessee Division of Forestry was established in 1914. One of the major initiatives undertaken by the division was the creation of state forests. In 1937, the division acquired land in Scott County, Tennessee, and established what is now known as Scott State Forest.

Conservation Efforts and Reforestation:
Following its establishment, the Tennessee Division of Forestry focused on reforestation efforts in Scott State Forest. By planting millions of trees, the division aimed to restore the forest cover that had been lost due to logging activities. Various tree species, including pine and hardwood, were planted in the area.

Promotion of Outdoor Recreation and Education:
Besides conservation efforts, Scott State Forest has also been developed for outdoor recreation and educational purposes. The forest provides opportunities for activities like hiking, trail riding, and wildlife viewing. It serves as an important educational center, offering programs and events to teach visitors about forest ecosystems, sustainable forestry practices, and natural resource management.

Modern Management and Conservation:
The Tennessee Division of Forestry continues to manage Scott State Forest, focusing on sustainable forestry practices and the preservation of its ecological integrity. The forest remains an important resource for timber and also serves as a natural habitat for a diverse array of wildlife. Conservation efforts aim to balance the economic benefits of forest resources with the need to maintain a healthy, biodiverse ecosystem.
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Scott State Forest is located near Jamestown

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Area Cabins and Lodges
Laurel Fork Rustic Retreat
300 Manis Ln
Oneida, TN
(423) 569-5135

1. Start on I:40 E from Nashville, Tennessee.
2. Take exit 239A to merge onto US:70 E/Sparta Pike toward Watertown/Lebanon.
3. Continue straight for about 20 miles until you reach Smithville Hwy in DeKalb County.
4. Turn right onto TN:56 S/Smithville Hwy and continue southward for approximately 10 miles.
5. Turn left at the sign indicating Scott State Forest entrance.

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Tennessee State Parks