Pickwick Landing Dam is the gateway to Kentucky Reservoir, the largest man-made lake in the world. Its 184-mile length has a shoreline of 2,380 miles. Surrounding this vast expanse of blue are more than $17 million worth of land- and water-based recreational facilities. Last year, by TVA's calculations, there were more than 6¼ million visits to the lake for recreational purposes. Nearly 2 million people came just to visit Kentucky Dam. Fourteen years ago this dam did not exist. Today it forms the most heavily used recreational area in the Tennessee Valley.
A minimum of three days, preferably a week, should be allocated to Kentucky Lake. It has a tremendous variety of shoreline, ranging from pink-tinted rock cliffs which rise above the water to lush meadows which stretch into the Kentucky countryside. The river lake is fairly narrow to the first overnight stop at PERRYVILLE, 72 miles from Pickwick Dam. A swift current runs toward the Ohio and makes traveling on this lake somewhat faster than on any of the others.
Shiloh National Military Park is on the left bank, 8.7 miles downstream from Pickwick. It shouldn't be missed but often is, for the only marker on the shore is a small wooden sign at PITTSBURG LANDING (mile 198.1) which says, NO FISHING. Decades ago, old steam paddle wheelers used to dock here. Although it is probably not encouraged, the water is deep enough to pull in and moor to the NO FISHING sign. A small path leads up from the river's bank to a peaceful Civil War cemetery high on a hill overlooking the Tennessee. On this spot, the first great western battle of the war was fought in April of 1862. The course of this two-day battle is marked throughout the park. In the museum theater, a 20-minute film made recently in Hollywood reenacts the battle and is shown free of charge upon request.
From Shiloh, the next gas stop is just under Milo Lemert Memorial Bridge (mile 190) at Savannah. Although navigation charts show SAVANNAH DOCK here, the dock was abandoned six years ago. Commercial mussel fishermen have since taken it over as a camp for their mussel-gathering operations. They welcome visits from passing cruisers and will telephone to Savannah for gas. The city is only a short distance from the river, so there is no real delay at this fueling point. Stop again at BROWN'S DOCK (mile 158.6). From Brown's it is 23 miles to TENN-TUCKY LAKE COTTAGES at Perryville.
Bob McCauley's Tenn-Tucky Dock at Perryville is equipped to handle 54 boats up to about 28 feet in length, has a bait and tackle shop on the water and 30 fishing boats for rent. Tenn-Tucky cottages, many with two bedrooms and complete kitchens, were built this year and rent for $7.50 up daily. Perryville is a fine overnight fishing stop for bass enthusiasts.
It is a 69-mile run from Perryville to PARIS LANDING. Attention, bird watchers! Just outside Perryville the TENNESSEE MIGRATORY WILDLIFE REFUGE begins where the river broadens into wide shallows and numerous tributary creeks. The first gas stop is at LUCAS HARBOR (mile 100.5). Gas is also available at TRAIL'S END and CLYDETON DOCKS in Big Richland Creek (mile 88.1) and at the EVA FISHING CAMP DOCK opposite Daniel Light (mile 97.7).
The Inn at Paris landing state park (mile 66.4), owned and operated by the State of Tennessee, is the most beautiful resort between Guntersville and Kentucky Dam. Its 30 rooms each have secluded private balconies overlooking landscaped lawns which stretch to the water. There is an island-in-the-tropics quality here which stems partly from its exotic architecture, unusual in this part of the country, and partly from an atmosphere of leisure, fine service and luxury.
The Inn's great-windowed dining room serves the best food on Kentucky Lake. A private dining room, which accommodates 250 people, is frequently used for banquets, dances and conventions. The park has a large stable, tennis courts, an archery range, golf-putting green, beaches and facilities for horseshoes, badminton, shuffleboard and croquet, as well as an excellent dock, where 50-foot yachts are a common sight.
The park and inn are open year-round. Rates at The Inn—which include use of its fine facilities—are $5 single, $7 or $8 double, per day. There is only one thing wrong with Paris Landing: everything it has to offer is so superior that The Inn is generally booked solid months in advance.
Several tourist courts and smaller resorts in the immediate area of Paris Landing provide less elaborate but good accommodations. LAKE VIEW COURT, within walking distance of PARIS LANDING DOCK, is a streamlined motel with good service and a television set in every room. GARRISON'S RESORT is 3½ miles away, on the water. It has housekeeping cabins and excellent water-skiing equipment and facilities. A complete skiing outfit: Cherokee boat, new 35-hp motor and skis, rent at Garrison's for $20 a day. The best bass fishing in this area is in Lost Creek, Piney Creek and Buzzard's Cove, across the river from Garrison's Resort.