There are more than a dozen campgrounds along the Natchez Trace Parkway corridor, three in the park, and many others just outside the park. The three Parkway campgrounds are free, primitive, and available on a first come, first serve basis. They do not offer electricity, showers, or dump stations. They are spread out along the Parkway: Rocky Springs (Milepost 54), Jeff Busby (Milepost 193.1) and Meriwether Lewis (Milepost 385). Many of the other campgrounds along the Parkway corridor offer electricity, showers, and dump stations.
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.
“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.
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.
- 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)
This place has everything you’ll want.