Campers venturing across Tennessee have access to hiking, boating, fishing, biking, rock climbing and picnicking across 56 state parks, enough variety to satisfy any adventurer’s soul. With terrifically high Appalachian peaks and plunging caverns, Tennessee travelers can get a sense of the sublime landscape that inspired music legends from Nashville to Memphis by camping in Tennessee.
East Tennessee is home to a part of the oldest mountain range in the world, the Great Smoky Mountains. As the name suggests, the peaks are often shrouded in fog, but that doesn’t make the view from Clingmans Dome any less spectacular. At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome towers as the highest point in Tennessee and the third highest point east of the Mississippi River. Make sure to say hi to the hardcore hikers, many people hiking the entire Appalachian Trail will stop at this unforgettable lookout.
A clear day at the dome observatory provides views as far as 100 miles. But explorers camping in Tennessee should plan on hiking their way up to the point, the roadway that leads to the observatory closes during inclement weather and from Dec. 1 to March 31 every year.
If you’re camping with the kids and they’re looking for more occupation than your campsite offers, many of the natural attractions in Tennessee are also family friendly. Lookout Mountain is only minutes from Chattanooga and offers several world-famous sites like Rock City and the See Seven States point.
All the mountain peak trails may leave the heights-averse camper less than enthused. But Tennessee has something for everyone. Also at Lookout Mountain, but plummeting beneath ground level, is where you’ll find Ruby Falls, the largest and deepest underground waterfall in the nation.
Scenic views and dramatic natural landscapes are part and parcel for any Tennessee camping adventure, as long as you know where to look. Camping in Tennessee can be done right with The Dyrt to guide you along your trails!
Our weekend started and ended rainy with cold/sunny days in the middle, but still always love going to FCF. Lots of hiking and views to take in. B loop is our favorite for camping (large sites that provide some separation/privacy and lots of shade). Broke down camp in heavy rain so it was nice to find hot coffee and a biscuit at the snack bar on the way out. Snack bar also has local craft beer on tap and does growler fills. The park has a General Store with basic grocery and camping/hiking supplies as well as a decent sized gift shop. Bundles of wood for sale but if you talk with the park staff there is always free, cut up wood somewhere in the park for the taking from them clearing downed trees.
Sites are gravel so they are not perfectly level. RV sites have a concrete pad and a fire ring and most have a picnic table. Bath houses are nice and kept clean. Best price in the area hands down. The camp store is connected to a convenience store and gas station. Fast food close by, and cheap propane fill ups just down the street. We've stayed here a couple of times and will be back. Some sites are not very long and some are not very wide. We usually stay close to the rear of the park - a lot quieter. Very friendly staff!
We had a great pull thru spot (D2) for our one night stay. We stayed one night as a halfway point on the way up and then again on the way back. It seems they have a lot to offer, though we just used the area as a place to sleep. Very friendly staff. Gave 4 stars because the cable didn't seem to work at our site. We didn't stay long enough to try to figure out how to work it.
This is the best camp ground I have ever stayed at. During the summer they have activities for the kids. The camp staff is friendly. The bath house is awesome. It is like your own personal bathroom with shower. There is several of them. My son loves the pool.
This place is surrounded by thousands of miles of riding trails, so bring your Side-by-side! New River runs through it also, so it’s perfect to fish, float or kayak. We were in a tent, but the have cabins also, not sure about rv sites. We stayed in August and they had a concert event going on and it was a blast!
I will say that when I was looking into this camp I was really impressed with its great peace that came over me when I was there. Unlike many of the sites it does not seem to be as crowded and it seemed a bit more relaxed. For this reason I found it to be a great place for a day use area or perhaps you can camp as well.
I personally was in the area for the day, but I did manage to check out the camping options which offered both flush toilets and drinking water. There were no connections at the camp but no one seemed to mind. There were more than enough hammocks relaxing in the area.
My favorite thing about this are was the access it had to numerous trails which were just moments away from where you would lay your head for the evening making it a great place, that until this trip I didn't know was here!!
I wanted to visit MaryVille Kentucky because they have what was known to be the Largest Elmtree. I was very excited to see this. However there is no camping directly in Maryville so I doubled back and went to Poland Creek campgrounds which came highly recommended by someone in town.
This is a medium size campground which offers both RV and tent camping. There is a recreational facility which can be used for day use as well. Overall everything is grassy green and beautiful.
Sites are well shaded and even. There is a playground as well as a water area where you can launch a boat. I really enjoyed the campground as a whole because even if it was highly occupied it didn’t seem as though you were right on top of your neighbor.
The location wasn't far from Louisville which made it a great escape from the city yet close enough to get back easily. I can see this being a perfect spot for a day cation as well with a swimming area perfect for families.
My site was not located right on the water, those sites are reserved for those wanting electricity. Instead I was a short distance from, still very doable. I paid $18 for the site and it was great. I had full access to all the amenities at a fraction of the $30 charged for electricity.
- The camping season here is April through October so if you are trying to stay during off season you will need to contact the City of Louisville to make arrangements.
*If you would like to bring a boat, it must have inspection and tags for the state of Kentucky.
This site is a manufactured housing site and is not available to short or long term rv campers or tent campers. It appears on all major listings as a campground however it is not!! Don't make the mistake of driving here like I did :(
Having both RV and tent campgrounds, each with large fire pits and lantern stands, this peaceful creekside setting lies just beyond low mountain farms in the northern part of Greene County Tennessee. A thick forest of deciduous trees partially isolates each campground for a relaxed evening of fire provided comfort and repose.
Came to stay at this campground because we wanted to do some hiking nearby that we haven't done in FOREVER! We really loved this campground, and was surprised to find that it was super busy when we were there. People love this place, especially in the summer time. I also think people had the same thing in mind that we did, because the hiking trails were super busy too! The campground was fairly big, not sure how many campsites there were but seemed to be about 25ish. The restroom was fairly clean, and there was a water spigot as well which was nice. We brought plenty of water because we knew we would be hiking, but nice to know that you could use that if you ran out of water. The campground was easy to locate, and the road leading to the campground was in great shape. I read some reviews online that the road was super bumpy, but didn't seem to notice that. We did have a truck, though so maybe that's why. There is a picnic table and fire ring within the campsite which was nice. We used the fire ring during the evenings to make smores! Bring your own firewood :) We had to let some people borrow ours that we brought. Awesome hiking nearby, definitely put that on your to do list!
I wasn't really a huge fan of this campground, but the hiking and outdoor nature was great. We saw tons of chipmunks around, they were definitely after our food both at our campsite and hiking. Wish I would have got some pictures of them! We also really enjoyed doing some bird watching and trying to figure out what birds were which. My grandpa brought his bird book, so we were able to look in there and find what birds we were seeing. The experience of doing it was worth it! There were definitely lots of different beautiful colored birds. Really enjoyed the hiking and nature walks. The paths were so beautiful, I couldn't help but take pictures of it all. Felt like we were the only ones on the paths, because they were bare and we hardly saw anyone. People used on of the trails for trail running, which looked like a ton of fun. We passed a few runners on our way up and back. The views from the top were amazing. The campground was a bit small and dirty. There was garbage everywhere it seemed, and the bathrooms were a mess. Not sure if people using the trails also use the bathrooms, BUT it was gross and smelly. Bring your own toilet paper would be my suggestion and plug your nose! We probably wouldn't come back and stay here again, but would come back to go hiking on the trails.!
This campground is so cool, I would definitely come back and stay here! The name of the campground is just so cool, too. There are waterfront campsites which we really LOVE!! You cant beat waterfront and being able to step outside your tent and see water. What also loved was that I didn't feel crammed by other people. There was plenty of room between sites, and going in the summer time I still didn't feel like I was on top of our neighbors. It was a bit loud but didn't bother us. Being able to play in the water was super nice as well. We love camping in places that have water close by to do things during the day. We brought floaties and just hung out in the water during the afternoon to escape the hot weather. We also did some hiking in the morning which was a blast. Highly recommend doing that. The campground was fairly clean, although we did pick up some trash a few times from people leaving their food by the water. This was a little annoying, but we picked it up anyways. There are garbage's around so not sure why people still leave there garbage around. Would come back and enjoy this place again, but would love to come with tons of friends next time!!
When traveling to the Smoky Mountains there are so many options for camping. Depending on your preference, group size or location you can find sites scattered throughout the park which suit your needs. As a solo traveler, a lot of times I miss out on the awesome amenities offered by the various group camps around the country, however I decided while enjoying my time in the Smoky Mountains to check out a few of them just to see what I was missing.
Cosby Group Camp is about 5 miles from the town of Cosby. Despite being in the park, unlike many which are located inside its bounds this means you are closer to amenities like modern stores and plenty of supplies. The roads here are wide and sites are spacious and the sites are secluded in a beautiful shaded array tall trees.
The bathrooms here are much nicer than some of the campgrounds in the area and offer flushing toilets and drinking water, although I didn't notice any showers when I was visiting.
The camp is made of 3 main sites, so it by no means is the largest group camp in the park, so if you are looking I would suggest trying to make your reservations early. Each site has tent pads and firings with grills. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the site and plenty of parking is available for guests so you could probably have a pretty sizable group in each of the sites.
I'd say this site would be great for a group of friends traveling together or a family out on a vacation together. And I think the overall best part of the site was that it only was $30 for each site, which is crazy considering some of the solo sites I had looked at in the area were that much with the same amenities.
Stop off in Crosby if you need food or other supplies, the closest next town would be Gatlinburg which has tons of entertainment.
Book in advance, don't try to arrive and book on same day, that apparently is rare.
Keep in mind this campground is not open year round so if you are traveling check online first before trying to stay to make sure it is open. Dates are flexible for opening based on weather in the area.
I stayed at Elkmont on the regular camping side designed for smaller families, solo travelers and such, but while there I wanted to see just what the big differences were in the solo camp and the group camp. I was so impressed with the amenities, the feel and the layout of the camp I was staying at, and it quickly became one of my favorite campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains.
The group site did not disappoint! Same vibe just bigger spaces. The spaces are about 3 times as large as the single sites and are available for larger groups of around 20 people. You can set up multiple tents int his space or one of those mega tents. While there are not a lot of these sites available, they are sectioned off from the other sites and perfect for groups. I could see this being really fun for a trip with friends.
The tree coverage in this area is great for keeping the early morning rays from beaming in so strongly and makes for a great peaceful feel when there is a slight breeze blowing through.
I loved the amenities of the campground which included well maintained bathhouses that were large and supplied showers, flush toilets and warm water which was great, especially considering it can be a bit chilly in the mornings in the mountains.
Also, this site was located very close to one of the many visitor stops which had an interpretive center, a National Park Information Video, interpretive programs for all ages and of course hiking.
- Book in advance, this location stays booked more than any others I found!!
- Stop in town to get supplies, there are no stores in the campground itself which offer all the things you need.
- Remember to use common sense when it comes to animals. There are bears in this area so keep all food items locked away.
I love elkmont! It’s located only a short drive from Gatlinburg and several major hiking trails including Chimney Top. It’s also beautiful, surrounded by trees, you can hear waterfalls, plenty of space from other campers, etc. Definitely makes you feel like you’re more remote than some other campsites I’ve been to.
Old Stone Fork State Park in TN is my idea of good camping. It’s a good family campground too.
No big thrills and tourist attractions. You can”unplug” and pry your kids away from the electronics. Pre-historical sites and the river trail is very technical and scenic. You can stay at the top for an easy hike or crawl down to the river and follow the trail through the tree roots and rocks. There are informational plaques along the way and a small store/museum at the trailhead.
The campground has good shade and space between sites. The usual picnic table and fire ring. A few of the sites can become water logged if there’s a good downpour. Bike riding to explore the park is quite common so watch your speed when driving in.
We stayed here overnight and had a relaxing , quiet time after exploring the river area. It just has that old feel to it, like Duck River has been there forever and will be there long after us.
This small campground is a really beautiful meadow. I camped here with a friend over Labor Day weekend. It's very primitive but also very beautiful. Only a few miles from the city and a short bike ride on country roads or mountain bike trails!
Beautiful campground on the lake. Sites are FHU level and wonderful. Bathhouse suites with great tile work are immaculate. Pool swim beach and many other amenities. Very quite with awesome sunrise and sunsets.
short drive to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.