With more than 42,000 square miles of mountains, waterfalls and lakes, Tennessee has lots to offer nature lovers. Camping is a great way to commune with the state’s many natural wonders. From amenity-filled parks to back-country camp sites, Tennessee has exactly what you’re looking for when you want to get away from it all.
Here are some of the best places to camp in Tennessee this spring.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park
3122 Park Road
Henning, Tennessee 38041
Forty miles north of Memphis, Fort Pillow State Park features steep cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River, which were used as a strategic position during the Civil War. Today, the park houses remnants of the Civil War including artifacts, a well-preserved fort and museum. It also offers ample spots to camp.
A family campground has 32 sites, including six for RVs. Want to get away from the crowd? Grab a backpack and tent and head out on the moderately difficult five-mile trail for some incredible backcountry camping.
Tims Ford State Park
570 Tims Ford Drive
Winchester, Tennessee 37398
The site of one of the most beautiful lakes in Tennessee, Tims Ford State Park, near the Cumberland Plateau, has lots to offer. Along with excellent bass fishing, pontoon boat rentals, a boat launch and a golf course overlooking the lake, you can camp at one of two permanent tent and RV campgrounds. The campgrounds offer ADA
accommodations and hot showers in a bathhouse. For a more solitary adventure, pitch your tent on one of the lake’s six islands.
Cherokee National Forest
Spanning 650,000 acres, The Cherokee National Forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee. The massive park offers campers a multitude of places to sleep under the stars, while 30 developed sites provide spots for tents and RV camping.
Some sites include amenities like bathhouses, grills, tables and electricity; others are less developed and closer to roughing it. Most campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but you can make reservations for some.
Plus, the Cherokee National Forest allows camping throughout the majority of the park. In the remote Tellico River Zone, you’ll find excellent fishing in three rivers, a chance to explore historic structures and a view of 90-foot Bald River Falls.
Natchez Trace State Park
24845 Natchez Trace Rd
Wildersville, Tennessee 38388
Located in west Tennessee about halfway between Memphis and Nashville, Natchez Trace State Park is one of the few places you can camp with your horses. With 250 miles of trails to ride, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy during the day before returning to the 65-site developed campground. In addition to the trails, anglers will love the park’s four lakes, and with on-site museums, historic markers, boating and picnic spots, there’s something for everyone in the family.
Roan Mountain State Park
1015 Hwy 143
Roan Mountain, Tennessee 37687
Located at the base of 6,285-foot Roan Mountain in Northeast Tennessee, this state park is ideal for campers interested in higher altitudes. Fish for trout year-round in the cool waters of the Doe River or hike along the mountain ridges, learn about early Appalachian culture at the Miller Homestead or visit the unique Catawba rhododendron garden. The campground has spots for 87 RVs or 20 tents, and bathhouse facilities are available.
These are only a few of the best places to camp in Tennessee. There are plenty of others located in Tennessee’s many state and national parks. So now that the weather is warming up, fire up your camper or throw a tent in your car and enjoy the state’s natural beauty at its best.
Most outdoor activities have some level of risk, and you may need to consult an expert before engaging in the activity. Alwayscheck the current weather conditions before embarking on any outdoor activity.