The best camping near
Cherokee National Forest, TENNESSEE

690 Reviews311 Campgrounds
Camping Tennessee Cherokee National Forest
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Most Recent Cherokee National Forest Camping Reviews
1st Camping Experience Couldn’t Have Been Better!

This is a private camping ground and it has a very small site fee. The place is absolutely stunning next to a running river. At night they set up a camp fire where all visitors can meet and greet, have a beer, or eat some burgers. The place offers a lot. They got a lounge, showers, clean bathrooms, and they have a small kitchen where you can buy some food each night. The owners are pleasant folks. Really nice and polite. I mean you can’t go wrong. Give this place a shot. Well worth it.

Great place to stay

Close to Bristol Speedway, immaculate bath house and laundry, office staff is very friendly and helpful,well kept sights and maintenance and camp host during race time are superb

TN state Park Campground

This is one of my favorite campgrounds.  Family and friends try to go several times a year.  Due to its popularity, make sure you make reservations n advance. 

Paved roads and sites. Both 30 and 50 amp service along with water.  There is a dump station as you exit the camping area. 

Park is well maintained, bathhouses are clean with LOTS of hot water.  Water pressure is not as good as it used to be.  WIFI can be spotty to weak.

Nice, clean, friendly campground

A little too wide open for my taste and a bright light on a pole blared in my face all night, maybe the light should go off or dim at a certain time. Overall, a nice spot to sleep for the night before getting into Nashville

Great campground!

The owners are wonderful and this campground has great amenities. It is small and the sites are kind of close together, but the sites by the river have plenty of space for the kids to play.

Great little resort

Nice low key resort. Only back in spots but still nice. The front desk does close at 4 from what I have found though

Love it

Favorite campground! RTT friendly. Gorgeous views and sunsets. Great staff!!

Amazing Views Within Feet of the Campsites

Access: I've read a lot about the road leading into this campground/trailhead area. There are two different ways to access it from what I can tell. I came in from the north (despite coming from I-40). Googlemaps took me all the way up Hwy 181 to Gingercake Rd, in the Gingercake residential neighborhood. From there, it is about 7 miles to the Table Rock Picnic Area. Approximately 5 miles of that is compacted gravel/dirt road. I did this in a Honda Accord. You DO NOT need an SUV or 4wd to do this route. You do need patience however. There are some spots where rocks are sticking up and if you don't have tires designed for SUV's, you could risk a puncture. There are some potholes to dodge and some washed out areas. All of this can easily be navigated. I saw a Prius that had made it up. Again, I did this with an Accord with zero issues. The last two miles is a relatively steep paved road. The alternative route up (which you pass on the way to how I went) is about 13 miles off of Hwy 181. I think this is the way that many people go and review that it is very rough. It brings you up to the Picnic Area from the south. The two ways merge just before the paved portion.

I should note that there are campsites all the way up once you hit the dirt portion of the road. Several of those campsites would be good options getting to the northern portion of the gorge. 

At the Picnic Area, there is plenty of parking, a bathroom and well, a picnic area with tables and grills. To the right is the trail to Table Rock and beyond up to Hawksbill. There are no campsites, at least not to the point where you go up to Table Rock. To the left is the picnic area and then the campsite area. I would estimate there are at least ten spots where a tent could be pitched with an accompanying fire ring (made of rocks). This is on the ridge heading up to The Chimneys. I was there in winter and there were still at least four sites taken, so in summer I imagine you would have any privacy for what that's worth.

I stayed at the site further up on the right (they aren't numbered). This was the last spot before you really hit the trail (which by the way is immediate world-class views. I don't know if it was just in my head or not, but the winds were extremely high that night and it felt like some of the sites a little way down the hill closer to the parking lot (maybe 100 yards) had less wind. Not sure if that was real or not, but you may consider that a lower spot. All of the sites are between 100-400 yards from the parking lot. So no need if you decide to bring more than you might need. 

Overall, can't recommend this location enough. Bring what you need though. There are not facilities and the nearest anything is essentially an hour away in Morganton.

Hike to a beautiful waterfall!

At milepost 339 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another typical National Park Service campground. At this one, there was someone to greet and check us in at 4 pm, which was welcome especially as it was mere days before the campground closed for the season. We did not make reservations for a weekday so late in the season, but I would recommend you do so at peak times. There are three loops in this campground: one for RVs (but no hookups), and two for tents/vans. We drove around the tent/van loop, which was much more sparsely occupied, but not all of the pads were level. Many of the pads were meant to be shared with multiple campsites, making them more optimal for tent campers, but not out of the question for our van. We settled into Site 22 in the A (RV) loop, which was a pull-in side pad(making it easy in and out). 

Restrooms are typical of what I’ve come to expect in NPS campgrounds– functional but not luxurious. Three stalls plus what looked to have once been a fourth. Two sinks but the water was sparse in one and dripped from the other. No showers but there was a soap dispenser, garbage receptacle, and lights, things not always found in NPS campground bathrooms! 

The biggest draw to this campground is the 2.5-mile loop hike to Crabtree Falls. I recommend you hike in a clockwise direction, starting from the B loop and ending in the A loop. This leaves the bulk of the strenuous climbing for the end, rather than descending sharply at the beginning. The waterfall was beautiful, likely made more so due to recent rains.