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Ardmore, TENNESSEE

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Convenient Trailhead Camping

The trailhead campsite is a short walk from the parking lot, but makes for a great basecamp for exploring the area. The campsite is level and large enough to accommodate many tents. There are also trees that would be suitable for hammock camping. The site is on the edge of an overlook of the canyon and has multiple fire rings if there are multiple groups there. This site and trailhead serves both the Walls of Jericho trail and the Bear Den Point Loop Trail. 

This is primitive camping so no bathhouse, but there is a porta-john in the trailhead parking lot. The site is a good distance from any convenient stores or grocery stores so plan accordingly. We found good cell phone service with Verizon at this site. Trash cans are located in the trailhead parking lot. Please pack out your trash from the campsite.

Great!

Love everything about this RV park!

Great park with lots to do

There were many options for sites, including nice pull throughs. Some were well shaded , others had nice water views. We had an oversized site that was a pull through. We got there after sunset, so it was nice to have a quick and easy set-up. Large swimming lake, hike loops, playgrounds, leisure areas including picnic sites, tennis, basketball, and disc golf give you lots to choose from. They also had a large marina and a restaurant on the property.

We will be back in warmer weather for sure.

Some much fun so close to home

Although we have been to Monte Sano many times to hike and attend events, this was our first time camping here. Monte State Park Campground is a large campground with 15 full hookup sites, 59 water& electric sites, and 21 primitive tent sites. All the sites are gravel, most sites are wooded with lots of shade, and most site are mainly level. All style sites include a picnic table and fire ring. 

Check-in is at the camp store if you arrive during store hours or with camp host if you arrive after hours. We stayed on site 24, which had complete shade throughout the day. This site backs up to a draw and each evening just before dust we could watch the deer walk up through. 

The bathhouse is centrally located, newer, and cleaned daily. There are also laundry machines available between the men’s and women’s area. 

Firewood, ice, limited grocery items, and souvenirs were available at the camp store. There is a full grocery store about 15 minutes away. 

We found ok to limited cell phone service with Verizon throughout the property. The state park did have wi-fi near the camp store. 

The park has many trails for hiking and mountain biking, as well as host the North Alabama Japanese Garden. The North Alabama Land Trust also connects to the state park and adds many more miles of trails. We hiked about 15 miles this weekend and there are many more miles to explore on another visit. 

The state park is located 5 minutes from Huntsville where you can find many restaurants, breweries, and the Space& Rocket Center. Check the Huntsville visitor’s center website for all that is offered in the area. In addition, the Burritt on the Mountain located just minutes from the park entrance and has an open air museum and an amazing overlook of Huntsville. 

We are very excited that this gem is located so close to use and are proud to call this our home camp!

Nice lakeside park

Nice quiet park out on the lake. We were in loop C at the end of the improved sites. The site was level, but the power, water, and sewer were all closer to the center or front of the site than the rear. That wasn’t a dealbreaker, but the sewer was a good bit higher than the paved pad. This made dumping the black tank a little iffy at best. That aside, the park is full of deer, squirrels, birds, all kinds of stuff for the kids to look at. The playground is a bit dated, and the bathhouse could use renovation, but was functioning and relatively clean. The sites are too close together which was nice. It looked as though all of the improved sites had a fire ring and picnic table. There was a dumpster at the end of our loop where the road to the primitive campsites started, so it was only about a minute walk away. The camp store at the front had all the essentials and some souvenirs, as well as the laundry facility. Everyone we met there, including the staff and volunteers, were all great. The kids loved it, and we will definitely be back to the park again.

Mountain views

This is my new favorite park close to home. Monte Sano is located in Huntsville but you would never know it once get get up here. It is so peaceful. The sites are shady & far enough apart that you feel like you have a little privacy. And if you love to hike then this is the park for you. Wonderful trails that are clearly marked. There is a trail for all skill levels so you can decide how intense you want and how long you want to hike. There are several sites on the edge of the mountain that offer stunning views but they go quick so it’s hard to get those. The same with the few sites that offer full hookups. Having sewage isn’t that big of a deal for us but it is nice to have. We came up here last summer & there was literally a 10° difference in temperature when we got to the top of the mountain. So even in the heat of summer it’s pleasant up here. If you like to venture out there is plenty to do in Huntsville & several great places to eat. The bathhouse could stand to be updated but it’s usually clean & the water is hot so I’m happy.

Long term

Down here working for a few months and wanted a clean quiet safe place. This place is all the above. The owners are very nice and helpful. Will definitely stay here when ever I'm down here again working. $450 a month including utilities. No pool. Does have a laundry room. Pond on site.

Relax

I love this campground and at least stay a weekend every time I’m in TN. I love how close to the city it is and the warm water.

Vintage Galore

David Crockett State Park is located near Lawrenceburg, Tn off I64 or I43 depending on your direction of travel.

We visited in March for the Vintage Camper weekend and had an excellent time. The campground is sort of a double loop design , down hill, so makes for a good walk. Full hook up, cement pad, level sites and everyone would have shade if the leaves had come in, though that early in the season it wasn’t really needed. The sites are adequate but not overly roomy. You can fit yourself in, and an extra car. A small tent or hammock would fit too. The showerhouse was newer and well maintained, as well as the campground. The host was very helpful and knowledgeable.

The trail we took was a little rough , definitely technical but plenty of cool things to keep my granddaughter interested in the next turn. The lake will accommodate water sports of all sorts, we did not stop by though because the granddaughter would have ended up in the water ;)

Great camp ground

Stop there when we go to Nashville.

Free Camping on TVA land

I assumed for a long time that you weren't allowed to camp on the TVA trails, because while there are many hikers and birdwatchers who enjoy the trails, you rarely see anyone camping out there. I learned recently, and confirmed through their website, that you can camp for free on TVA land. It just isn't well advertised. This particular trail is a great area, and there are many little side trails to explore. Plenty of places to make a primitive campsite. Many of the side trails lead to the river. There is even a small beach area down the one that leads along the river to the old train bridge. This trail is rich in history, and there are a lot of plaques telling about certain natural and man made features along the trails. The trails are clean, well-kept, and well-marked. At the trail head and parking area, there is a nice well-kept, clean restroom building with flush toilets. Behind that building, they recently put in a very nice playground and a pavilion with picnic tables. There are not really any ready made campsites with tables or firepits or trash cans, but there are plenty of benches and trash cans along the trails. I highly recommend going to the train bridge. There are also small plaques around some of the plants telling what they are and a little about them. If you want a beautiful, primitive camping area, with nice, fairly modern facilities nearby, this is a great place to go. Also, keep in mind there are several trail heads along this road, and you could potentially start out at any of them, but the particular trail head I mentioned has the best restroom facilities and a wonderful playground. Most of the others only have a parking area.

Beginner friendly!

The backcountry campsites are just a short trek from the camp store, the hike itself follows the river. We only saw one other couple and no one else was staying at the second site so it was such a secluded weekend! Definitely recommend for quick overnight trips!

Weekending

For several months while living in TN, we spent almost every weekend at Henry Horton State Park. It’s not quite an hour from Nashville. We always got a primitive site, shady site. I was never disappointed by any of our sites and never felt cramped or too close to other campers.

HH has RV sites, cabins, “hammock sites,” and a large group site. They also have a camp store, firewood, and restrooms. Rates are pretty standard. Backcountry primitive hike-in sites are $8.

Interactive heritage festivals and other activities frequently came to the center across the street. I don’t really recall if this is part of the park or not.

Closed campground but nice to visit park

As far as I know the campground is closed, but its a pretty little park with a small playground, bathrooms, grills, and pavilions. Also has war aircraft displayed you can walk around and see and its free. So if you are in the area (possibly camping at McFarland Park) you can take the family and go see the war crafts. Picnic tables, areas to walk. Lots of woodland.

Good for Kids

This campground is in my hometown of Florence, AL. It is right on the Tennessee River and it is a very large park/ campground. There is a marina, RV and tent campsites, a playground near the campground, and on the other side of the marina is another playground. There is the River Bottom Grill at the Marina. There is also a small sandy beach between the marina and campground. Showers and toilets are available. This park is where our city holds its annual 4th of July celebration, so if you camp there during 4th of July expect literally hundreds and hundreds of people. Lots of boat traffic at the marina, but its pretty far from the campground. There are also lots of other events here year round, so check before you go to make sure you either won't be there during an event, or the huge crowds won't bother you. Lots of woodland. Within city limits. downtown Florence is about 5 mins from the campground. I don't know if that's good or bad for you, but this is not a campground for those looking to really get out away from everything. It's a great place to take small kids for a weekend campout. There are grills, picnic tables, bathrooms, and pavilions throughout the park. For being a city park, it is quite pretty and the views of the river are great. To get to the campground, when you go into the park, keep to the right of the marina, and drive all the way back and around to the right. You'll go past the parking area for the little beach, and there should be signs. You'll see a playground and pavilion to your left right on the water and that means you're entering the campground.

Basic campground

I have things I love and hate about this campground. Personally, I'd rather just hike into the woods throughout TVA reservation and camp for free, but this campground does have bathrooms and a good playground for the kids. There is also a pretty nice waterfall down a "road" (limited to foot traffic and officials). However, it is way too busy and "paved" for my liking. LOTS of visitors and fisherman down here most of the time. Lots of people leave trash/fishing line/etc. The campsites look out at the river but they just aren't very pretty. right beside the parking lot. You can see the dam from here. Much better in my opinion to go out on one of the nearby trails and camp off the trail. If you drive down reservation road, in the opposite direction of the dam, you will find several trailheads with parking areas. The pics I'm posting are from these trails in TVA reservation.

Camping in the Heart of Tennessee Amish Country

On August 30, 2019, my wife and I camped at Blackberry Row Campground located on Shalom Farm near Ethridge, Tennessee. The private campground is right in the middle of Amish country, so on our drive in we were able to stop and enjoy the fields, windmills, animals, and horse and buggies of the Amish people. There are other campgrounds located near the Amish community in Ethridge but none quite as beautiful and centrally located as Blackberry Row. 

The campground is simple. There’s a bathroom building with a composting toilet. At the time we camped, there was no running water in the bathroom building, but there was a spigot located near the campsites. This doubles as a water source for many of the farm animals that will join you on your camping trip at Blackberry Row. For instance when we got up in the morning, we were greeted by five beautiful hens and their ever watchful rooster. They enjoyed picking up the scraps from our S’mores the night before. 

The campsite we stayed at was near the woods. It had a permanent structure built there that a tent or hammock camper could use during the rain. We parked next to it and used it as a porch for our chairs, cooking setup, and campfire.  It was nice sitting under it and enjoying coffee from our Banner and Oak Coffee Cups.

Some of the camping areas are not level, but there’s a large field that has plenty of level spots if that’s what you need. The campground is near a small paved country road but there’s very little traffic. The whole time we were there only two or three cars passed. We had full cell phone reception which was really nice.

This would be a perfect place for kids. I know my children would have loved visiting the many animals that call Shalom their home. 

TIP: I would make sure to pick up all of your essentials before arriving to set up camp. This is a rural location and stores are a bit away. We brought our Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast(yum) and a few snacks to get us through the night. We also had fun using our Grub Stick  to make S’mores over the fire. 

TIP: By the way, don’t forget to bring some cash. The Amish make wonderful items for sale (Monday-Saturday, closed on Sundays), but as you might imagine, you can’t buy their fried pies or peanut brittle with a card. We took $25 in cash and ate like kings.

TIP: Please remember that the Amish do not like to be photographed.  If you stay at Blackberry Row you will be camping in the heart of their homeland.

Best Kept Secret in North Alabama

Monte Sano State Park offers: 21 Primitive(tent only) campsites, 59 Water& Electric sites, and 15 Full- Hook-Up sites. Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, especially when the fall leaves show off their colors. In the spring, native azaleas bloom along the 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Quite campground. Great Camp Hosts, very friendly and helpful ranger staff. This is the best kept secret in North Alabama. Lots of activities within just 20 miles from campground. Beautiful views and trails(from easy to advanced). Biking trails are awesome. Every site has it all. https://youtu.be/I_84tyldNNw

MONTE SANO STATE PARK HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA

Monte Sano State Park offers: 21 Primitive(tent only) campsites, 59 Water& Electric sites, and 15 Full- Hook-Up sites.

Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, especially when the fall leaves show off their colors. In the spring, native azaleas bloom along the 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails.

Quite campground. Great Camp Hosts, very friendly and helpful ranger staff. 

This is the best kept secret in North Alabama. Lots of activities within just 20 miles from campground.

Beautiful views and trails (from easy to advanced). Biking trails are awesome.

Every site has it all.

https://youtu.be/I_84tyldNNw

Campground is peaceful

Campground is peaceful really good area next to the duck River no electric or water unless you have a camper the state park is across the street what the millions and play areas for the kids with a hotel restaurant in ground pool

So Much to Do at Monte Sano.

We visited Monte Sano State Park in the middle of summer (June) and stayed in the campground for five nights. We made our reservations through the Alabama State Parks web reservation portal at https://guestrez.megasyshms.com/5Q5BT for campground and cabin rentals. 

The campground is located near the city of Huntsville, Alabama to the east. The park was easily accessible and the drive from the city to the park was not typical as it takes you though some of Huntsville’s neighborhoods before arriving to the park’s entrance. Once we arrived we went directly to the visitor’s center where the staff was friendly and organized. Our paperwork was already completed so the check in process was quick but very informative. We also received the gate code for the campground as the gate is electronically operated and closes after every opening to provide a welcomed level of security. We stayed in site 25 of the first loop, the park was not crowded in the campground as the summer temperatures were near extreme highs. The camp sites are very well spaced and there’s enough trees and underbrush to offer privacy. There are a few sites that have full hookups but most are without sewer. The park map I’ve included shows the ones with full hook up services. The bath houses were clean and orderly, the staff came by in the mornings to clean and restock. There are two camper/tent loops with rest rooms and showers at each. One tent only loop with no facilities but beautiful large sites. 

The park has several scenic areas where the views of the mountains are great and provides a nice place to sit and ponder. There's also an operational Planetarium on the park sponsored and operated by the Von Braun Astronomical Society (https://www.vbas.org/). There are shows on Saturday’s at 7:30PM with an admission or $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students. You will need to get there early though as parking is limited but worth the effort to visit. 

There are miles and miles of bike and hiking trails here, on the weekend it’s amazing how many cyclists come here to ride the trails. Some of the trails are very aggressive and some moderate for those of us that want this pace, the parks paved roads also offer a good place for a casual ride in the evenings. 

All in all, we really enjoyed this park and will add this to our return list in the future. I also have to recommend a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (https://www.rocketcenter.com/) in Huntsville, you won’t be disappointed.

Amazing hideaway

It’s quite on private land small campground, the beach is tiny kind of secluded, bath house is near, it’s definitely in the woods, mountain biking is amazin

Closed permanently

Closed permanently

Great campground

Nice campsites with a creek and a small waterfall nearby

A hidden gem

This is a wonderful park that is worth the time and effort to visit. We’ve gone here a few times now as it’s one of our favorites on a hot summer day. The temperature inside the cave stays a cool 62 degrees and the paths through the cave are wide and paved. The tours take about two hours and we’ve never seen it crowded, the guides are very knowledgeable and entertaining. The price to see the cave is $19.00 per person and the tours are started at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00, be sure to go to the office to obtain you tickets before the tour starts.

There is a small campground here that as a limited number of sites with 30 amp electricity, water but no sewer. The sites are not reservable yet so call beforehand for availability. There are also tent camping sites and a bath house for the campground. We like it here and will come again in the future.

Beautiful and Convenient to Huntsville

We stayed 4 nights in our 23 foot Airstream in site 14, a pull-thru, with our 2 kids, ages 5 and 13. A hiking trail that leads to the Japanese garden runs directly behind the site and it is close to the bath house, but not too close 😉 The Japanese garden is small but lovely and definitely worth the short walk.

Nearly every site was full while we were there (because of the city wide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing), but it never felt crowded and everything remained clean and well stocked. We attended a show at the planetarium, they run every Saturday. The 13 year old and I enjoyed it but the 5 year old and my husband found it excruciatingly boring. If space and astronomy aren't your thing, don't go 😂 On clear nights you are invited to look through the telescope. The view from the overlook just past the planetarium is not to be missed.

We had zero Verizon service at site 14 but it was nice to unplug. If we wanted to check the weather or email we just took a quick bike ride to the sites on the bluff or to the camp store. The store doesn't stock much but there's a great little family owned grocery store, Star Market, at the bottom of the mountain. We got pizzas and some hot items from the deli. Everything we tried was good!

We took an afternoon to tour Cathedral Caverns which is about 20 miles away. If you are even remotely interested in caves or nature or pretty things DO NOT MISS IT! There are not words enough to express the spectacular beauty of the caverns. There's a paved path the entire way, making it accessible to everyone regardless of physical capability. They offer a golf cart tour to those unable to walk the 1.5 miles. It's wide open and triggered none of the anxiety I typically feel in a cave.

Back to the camp ground… lots of wild life to see. Tame-ish deer wander among the camp sites and snack nightly at the camp host's site. Mind the 15 mph speed limit! They are not bashful about giving tickets. Very friendly staff. We'll definitely be back

Very quiet

No shade but a very clean campground.

Great Place To See The Stars

Most campgrounds in Tennessee are buried in the woods, but not this yurt campsite at Ray of Hope.  The yurt sets on the side of a beautiful Tennessee Hill offering almost a complete view of the nighttime sky.  We watched the moon rise over a hill directly in front of the campsite, and we even saw a brilliant shooting star blaze across the sky for what seems like an eternity.  The Ray of Hope campground is a private campground that went above and beyond our expectations.  The yurt was clean, included battery powered lights and a LED lantern, and a full sized bed that made the night pass with ease.  The campsite also offers free firewood and a large fire ring.  There are two deck chairs at the campsite which are perfect for stargazing.  The entrance of the yurt faces sunrise and the farm animals serenade you in the morning when the mist begins to burn off the valley.  There is a well stocked outside shower surrounded by sweet smelling herbs.  Water and a toilet are near the shower stall.   The campsite is near the small town of Petersburg, TN where you can find two gas stations and a Dollar Store.  If it's hot outside, you might want to bring a battery operated fan.  This place is a perfect glamping experience for an extended date or weekend in beautiful Tennessee.

One complaint

This was a pretty campground. Very clean…didn’t go to bathhouse but did see laundry area and bathroom area and it was very clean. Our only complaint was our pull through site. Our slide is on the left side and if opened would have been almost in the road. It was however overlooking the lake.

T’s outback

Very nice campground The owner is so helpful. It was tight but the owner helped us get backed in at 6:30 pm on a Sunday. Very much under priced for what this park is. I’m here for work but would come to have a great get a way. Not many aminities as far as pool and such but super nice level spots. And very quiet