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Free Camping Collection

Dispersed Camping

Meriwether Lewis Campground

About

National Park Service

Natchez Trace Parkway

The Meriwether Lewis Campground at milepost 385.9, on the northern end of the Parkway, has 32 sites. All sites are free and available on a first-come, first served basis. They do not offer electricity, showers, or dump stations. Drinkable water and flush toilets are available on site. Enjoy the Meriwether Lewis site which includes hiking trails, a section of Old Trace, exhibits and picnic areas.

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Location

Meriwether Lewis Campground is located in Mississippi

Detail location of campground

Directions

At mile post 385.9 exit off of the Natchez Trace Parkway. At the dead end turn right, follow to the fork in the road and turn right. Take the second right to enter into the campground. Latitude: 35.522516 Longitude: -87.455926 GPS Site Address: 190 Meriwether Lewis Park Hohenwald, TN 38462

Coordinates

35.522492 N
87.455685 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Available

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Phone Service
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol

Reviews

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24 Reviews

TThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 11, 2023

TN pit stop

Got here early early morning, only 1 other slot was taken. Easy to find and park. Great mornings by the water.

Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Tracy T., October 11, 2023
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Tracy T., October 11, 2023
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Tracy T., October 11, 2023
  • (4) View All
S
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2023

Super awesome spot!

Super easy to find in the dark even! I enjoyed our overnight stay here. It was packed, felt super safe and just have a easy night. Recommend if you need just a quick little place to rest your head. Thanks Merriweather!

SiteMeriweather
Month of VisitNovember
Michael W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2023

Great Free campground

Came in for the night on stopover. All paved spots, flushing toilets with water spots Al around campground. Almost full when I got here at 3pm. So far quite.

Site11
Month of VisitApril
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Michael W., March 22, 2023
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Michael W., March 22, 2023
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Michael W., March 22, 2023
  • (9) View All
C
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2023

Nice and peaceful

Nice campground, toilets were clean and has fresh water

Site24
Month of VisitFebruary
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Chris M., January 24, 2023
s
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2023

Meiwether Leiws Campground

Clean, safe and an overall great place to stop on our way to Memphis. It wasn’t very busy since we were visiting in January. The bathrooms were open and clean!

Sitefar back loop
Month of VisitFebruary
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by samantha S., January 17, 2023
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by samantha S., January 17, 2023
TylerWende O.
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2022

NPS Campground, free.

Great sites for free! Plentiful, clean & convenient on the Natchez Trace.

Month of VisitDecember
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by TylerWende O., November 29, 2022
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by TylerWende O., November 29, 2022
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by TylerWende O., November 29, 2022
  • (8) View All
a
Reviewed Aug. 7, 2022

Great stay

Really enjoyed our stay. Several trails to enjoy. Lots of history to learn. Two close waterfalls to hike to. Beautiful area. Will definitely be staying again!

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by angie H., August 7, 2022
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by angie H., August 7, 2022
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by angie H., August 7, 2022
  • (6) View All
Aspen H.
Reviewed Apr. 22, 2022

Cool spot

Lots of Interpretation signs of the history of merriweather & Chris Columbus. Love to see it. Pleasant; more popping of a campground. Gets busy

Month of VisitMay
Hannah W.
Reviewed Mar. 22, 2022

Very Impressed

This is one of three free campgrounds that can be found along the Natchez Trace. After visiting all three, this one is by far the nicest. Located at the site of Meriwether Lewis’s death, this campground is steeped in history. There are many great hiking trails around this campground and there are amazing views. Be sure to drive down to the creek and check it out. There were 31 campsites. They are pretty close together and some of them are pretty far from the bathroom. Everything is in good condition and there are trash cans scattered throughout the campsites.

Month of VisitApril
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  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Hannah W., March 22, 2022
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Hannah W., March 22, 2022
  • (6) View All
Joey S.
Reviewed Nov. 8, 2021

Historic

Walk down the Natchez Trace, visit the grave of Meriwether Lewis, all around a good visit. No electric, first come first served free campground, show up early and you're good to go. Beautiful park to stay

Site5
Month of VisitNovember
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b
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2021

Free Rainforest

20 minutes from town. Cell phone service. Regular bathrooms with running water. There are water fountains and water pumps. Fire pits and tables at each site.

Watch out for poision ivy and posion oak!

Plenty to do. Trails to walk and some waterfalls. As much as it rained here we were disappointed with the springs and waterfalls. Place stayed very wet. Take a drive down Natchez parkway things to do both directions.

Town is 13 miles away ( easiest route is not taking the left to the parkway but go straight and you will see the sign saying turn right to Hohenwald. Town includes walmart, fast food, gas and dollar general, one laundromat, library. There is a brand new dollar general. We also discovered an elephant 🐘 sanctuary but it is not open to the public. Watch out for snakes.

Month of VisitSeptember
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b
Reviewed Aug. 14, 2021

A priceless jewel

Amazing Clean Safe Free Family friendly Plenty of trails and nature to explore

Month of VisitSeptember
H
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2021

Awesome free camping

Boondocked here for the night.. got way more than expected! It was extremely clean. Flat, paved campsites with firepits, picnic tables, and trash cans. No water or bathrooms but a great little stop over for our trip west.

Site6
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Hannah L., July 30, 2021
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Hannah L., July 30, 2021
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Hannah L., July 30, 2021
River R.
Reviewed May. 10, 2021

It's Freeeeeeeeee!

It's Free! It's opened up now and it's free! And nicer than I expected. All the sites are paved with large fire rings and picnic tables. Trash cans are pretty much everywhere. There are back in and pull through sites. Most of the sites aren't very level so plan for that. There are bathrooms down the road but only open from sunrise to sunset. Oh and did I mention it's free?!

Site7
Month of VisitJune
Kristina D.
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2021

It’s open!

Great place and it’s FREE! Bathrooms and trash cans. This is dry camping - no electric/dump. Water at bathrooms

Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Kristina D., April 25, 2021
Jeremy A.
Reviewed Mar. 11, 2021

Great rest stop along the Natchez Trace

One of three first come first serve free camps on the Trace. Potable water and flush toilets, fire rings and tables, pull through and back in sites. There’s relative privacy, though that’s largely dependent on seasonal deciduous canopy. The campground sits next to a creek cascade and some hiking trails, including part of the old Trace. The Trace today is a far cry from the early days of interstate travel with sunken roads, mud bogs, and bandits. The two-lane is closed to commercial traffic, making this a fun alternative route for a leisurely paced road trip.

Hohenwald, the “High Forest”, holds an Oktoberfest heritage festival and craft fair highlighting the Swiss-German Community that was established here, which is an excellent opportunity to get a feel for the local culture. It was in nearby Grinder House on the night of October 11,1809 that the tragic last chapter in the life of Meriwether Lewis unfolded. Following the Corps of Discovery Expedition, Lewis had been appointed second governor of the Louisiana Territory, and turned his hand to expanding the road networks, negotiating treaties between Native American nations and managing the encroaching settlers moving west. In response to political infighting over his policies, including an expedition to return a Mandan chief to his people, the War Department refused to reimburse him for debts incurred in office, threatening personal financial ruin. The state of the mail led Washington to believe him incommunicado and, on the brink of insolvency, he set out to the Capitol with receipts to make his case. Rather than continuing by boat via New Orleans, Lewis elected to travel the Trace. After finishing a meal at the roadhouse and retiring to his room, shots rang out, and Lewis was discovered by the innkeeper’s family shortly before he passed away. Over a century of dispute followed, with competing narratives of suicide, robbery, and even assassination. His gravesite was lost among the final resting places of the pioneer cemetery, and a monument to one of the great explorers was later erected in his honor.

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy A., March 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy A., March 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy A., March 11, 2021
  • (6) View All
Ashley R.
Reviewed May. 19, 2020

Loved it here!

Free on a FCFS basis. Roomy. Clean. Well maintained. Beautiful falls to go see. Careful on the hiking trails though, many cross paths with no directions on how to get back to camp. We wondered around for a few hours before making it out. Loved it there though and can’t wait to go back!

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Ashley R., May 19, 2020
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Ashley R., May 19, 2020
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Ashley R., May 19, 2020
  • (6) View All
B
Reviewed May. 18, 2020

Free to camp

It is a first come site but well worth checking out. The couple that stays at and maintain the camping area are nice and do an amazing job. Trails to hike that are challenging but not too hard for kids of multiple ages. Pretty water falls not far from the camp site. History and adventure!

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Brittni F., May 18, 2020
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Brittni F., May 18, 2020
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Brittni F., May 18, 2020
  • (19) View All
A
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2019

Super Quiet

Good bathhouse with flush toilets and cold water sink. No Shower. Great for tent camping.

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Anita C., September 4, 2019
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Anita C., September 4, 2019
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Tommy S.
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2019

Can’t beat Free

I have tent camped here twice, once in 2013 and just last week. Both times I was traveling the Trace by motorcycle and stopped for the night. Camping spots are easy accessible and first come first served. Both times I’ve been here has been during 4th of July week/weekend and the campground has only had a few campers, never packed. The grounds are nice and well maintained. If you’re tent camping or wondering about be sure to spray down with bug spay, red bugs and ticks are present as with an natural camping woods.

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Tommy S., July 9, 2019
Jeremy H.
Reviewed Jul. 7, 2019

Camp Where An Explorer Died Mysteriously

“Let’s go camping where one of the most remembered American explorers died a tragic death.” That’s probably not something I would have said before visiting the Meriwether Lewis Campground near Hohenwald, Tennessee. This campground is amazing. First, its setting couldn’t be anymore beautiful being nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of central Tennessee. The campground is filled with tall, stately oak trees that provide great, all day shade and shelter from the sun. It was hypnotizing listening to the wind from a summer storm swoosh through them. The sites are tent, car camper, and RV friendly though if you are staying in a tent you might have to be selective about which site you choose. Some are rocky and have quite a slant. Site 16, the one we chose to call home for the night, would not have made a good tent site at all even though it offered a breath-taking view of a cool, green hollow. Each site has a fire ring with an attached grill. The rings are about three feet wide and around 18 inches deep. They rest on a concrete slab. Camp parking is asphalt as are all the roads that wind through the park. All sites are within walking distance of a fully functional and positively clean bathroom that is cleaned regularly. You will need to bring your own soap to the bathroom though. The park doesn’t supply it or paper towels. Each campsite also has a secure trash can that is emptied daily(late in the evening during our stay). The campground is full of wildlife so it's nice to know they won’t be feasting on full trash cans. We shared our campsite with a pleasant and oddly curious Tennessee Rough Green Snake or Vine Snake. He enjoyed hunting bugs in the leaf litter at our campsite, and for about an hour, my son Oz and I enjoyed watching him on the hunt. We also saw a box turtle speeding down one of the many trails located within walking distance of the campground. The campground had three rounds of campers arrive on Friday night, July 5. The early campers who arrived between 2PM and 6PM, the after-work campers arriving just before sunset, and the evening crowd that arrived after sunset. The after-sunset crowd made a quick camp and went right to sleep. The camp has fresh water sources scattered throughout the campground including water fountains and spigots. Park staff were welcoming and hard working as you can instantly tell by the overall tidiness of the entire park. You may want to grab supplies before you head into camp since the two nearest towns are a few miles from the camp: Hohenwald (8 miles) and Summertown (11 miles). There is no store in the park or vending machines. You will also need to purchase firewood or be willing to walk to get it. The campground is well used so most sites only have twigs available. We lucked out and found some charred wood in unused campsites that supplemented our kindling we found while hiking. Overall, this is a great family campground. Access to the park isn’t restricted at night so you may want to make sure you carry a light with you as you walk around the campground in the dark. There is a lot of after dark traffic and you want to make sure you can be seen by other campers driving to the bathroom or the occasional guest who might just be driving through. I look forward to going back again soon. This is a five star park.

Site16
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy H., July 7, 2019
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy H., July 7, 2019
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jeremy H., July 7, 2019
  • (13) View All
Crystal C.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2018

When you think FREE you probably don't think of sites THIS NICE!

For My FULL VIDEO Of My Experience At This Campground CLICK HERE

Following the winding a scenic Natchez Trace you begin to climb higher and higher into the beauty of the mountains. When I was making this trip in late August, I could already see the shifting of the leave in its most early stages and I could only imagine what it would be like only a month later.

As I entered the park and followed the signs toward the campground I was very eager to see what this FREE site had to offer. I had discovered this site when searching youtube for things to do and someone suggested camping here because of the historic landmark in the park. After further research I discovered it was a pretty decently sized campground with semi primitive camping.

I arrived at the camping loops and discovered two loops of camping each with differing sizes of spaces, some designed for pull through style RV parking and some for back in car parking. Spaces were large and while there were several people staying here it did not seem overly crowded.

The first loop was much further from the restroom than the second, which also housed the campground host in his RV just as you entered the loop. He was welcoming with a smile and wave and I just felt like this was going to be a nice place to stay for the night.

You can stay for up to 14 days at this location and I could easily see this being one of those stops you wouldn’t necessarily want to leave in a hurry because it was so peaceful. There were numerous hiking trails and a well landscaped creek area which made for a great place to come for day use as well.

My site was pretty typical in that it had a fire ring and picnic table. The ground was semi level and very rough so camping in a tent I was happy to have brought a little padding. The restrooms were very nice and had both flush toilets and drinking water. They were well lit and for a minute when I walked in I wondered how on earth this was a free site because they were so nice.

All was great until about 8 p.m. when some people pulled in after dark and weren’t quite sure how to set up their tent and were pretty loudly disagreeing with one another in debate of how to do so. But after they finally figured that out about an hour later the night was again left to the sounds of the cicadas and frogs.

TIPS

  • If you are tent camping bring some kind of cushion on pad for your floor otherwise it will be a rough evening on the ground.
  • Bug spray is a must, the mosquitoes are thick here because of all the moisture of the forest and ticks can also be a problem during certain months.
  • Don’t tell all your friends, they will take over your secret little camping spot after they find out just how amazing this site really is!! (lol)
Siteupper loop
  • The drive into camp, the roads here are nice and even, great for small cars or RVs
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  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Crystal C., September 5, 2018
  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Crystal C., September 5, 2018
  • (11) View All
R
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2018

Camping at it’s finest

This place has everything you’ll want.

Jessica L.
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2016

Great spot on the Trace!

This is such a great spot if you are driving down the Trace from Nashville. It was quiet, had great primitive spots (and RV if you are into that sort of thing) and there was stuff about Meriwether Lewis, like the cabin he died in (weird I know, but kinda cool, right?!). I like campgrounds that kind of feel like you are in the backcountry and this is exactly what this felt like!

  • Review photo of Meriwether Lewis Campground by Jessica L., June 17, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Meriwether Lewis Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Meriwether Lewis Campground does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Meriwether Lewis Campground?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is unknown, AT&T is unknown, and T-Mobile is available.