Local residents can create special Christmas memories and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors at three nearby scenic state parks this weekend. Special Christmas events are slated for Pickwick Landing, Chickasaw and Paris Landing state parks this weekend.
* Pickwick Landing
Join Pickwick Landing State Park for its fifth annual Christmas in the Park celebration, slated for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12.
Enjoy Pickwick Landing's Festival of Lights via trolley or a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park, while more than 50 local retailers and crafters display and offer unique items at the park's Holiday Mart.
And last but not least, the little ones will enjoy a special visit from Santa and his elves - complete with a special train ride, bedtime stories by the fire each evening, and a special breakfast with Santa planned for Saturday morning.
In conjunction with this holiday event, Pickwick Landing is offering an $80 package for two, including one night's lodging with no charge for children under age 16, breakfast for two in the dining room and a special holiday treat basket. Reservations are required and rooms are based on availability. Other restrictions may apply.
Pickwick Landing State Park is located just south of Pickwick Dam and 12 miles south of Savannah, Tenn.
The lake and river offer excellent fishing, boating, swimming and a marina. Accommodations in the park include a modern inn and restaurant, cabins and camping. The park consists of 1,400 acres of forested hills and hollows, with a 2.8-mile trail to explore and enjoy the wildlife and plant life around the lake. Picnicking, swimming, golfing and play fields are just a few of the amenities offered.
For more information about Pickwick Landing State Park's fifth annual Christmas in the Park or to make reservations, please call 1-800-250-8615.
Additional information about the park can also be found on the park's Web site at www.tnstateparks.com/PickwickLanding.
* Chickasaw State Park
Get in the holiday spirit at Chickasaw State Park's annual Christmas Lighting, slated for Friday through Sunday, Dec. 11-13.
Hosted by Chickasaw State Park and the Friends of Chickasaw, auto tours are available from 6-9 p.m., nightly. The spirit of Christmas will abound with countless light displays throughout the park and candle luminaries lining the roadway.
Chickasaw State Park is located on some of the highest terrain in West Tennessee. Of the area's 14,384 acres of timberland - 1,280 acres are used for recreation. The remainder is state forest managed jointly by the State Forestry Division and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The park is located in Chester and Hardeman Counties, 18 miles south of Jackson on State Hwy. 100.
* Paris Landing State Park
As part of the 2009-2010 Tennessee State Parks Running Tour, Paris Landing State Park will host the Over the River 8-Mile Run, beginning at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Sponsored by the Paris/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Over the River Run will loop through the scenic beauty of the park.
Paris Landing State Park is an 841-acre park located on the western shore of the Tennessee River, which is dammed to form Kentucky Lake. The park sits on the widest part of the lake and is the perfect location for water sports such as fishing, boating, swimming and skiing. Plenty of activities area also available on land, including golfing, hiking, camping or just relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife.
Be on the lookout for the deer, turkey, fox and coyote that roam the park. Eagles can also be seen in the winter months.
For more information about the park, please visit www.tnstateparks.com/ParisLanding.
Tennessee's 53 state parks offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families, or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free 1-888-867-2757. For additional information, visit our Web site at www.tnstateparks. com.