Lillydale Campground and Recreation Area is located along the shores of Dale Hollow Lake in the hills of Tennessee.
Dale Hollow is renowned for its fishing opportunities. In addition to yielding the world record smallmouth bass and being known as a trophy smallmouth lake, the Obey River below Dale Hollow Dam is also known for excellent rainbow and brown trout fishing.
Boating and water skiing are also popular activities, and with 27,700 surface acres of water and 620 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of space for campers to explore the lake. Secluded tie-ups are located around the shore, offering campers a peaceful nature experience.
The campground is surrounded by a dense canopy of forest, and a hiking trail snakes through the landscape and along the lake shore. Lillydale hosts the best lake view of any campground on Dale Hollow Lake, with the most waterfront campsites.
The Accordian Bluff Hiking Trail is a 7.5 mile one-way trail that ascends to a ridge-top and back down to the shoreline of Dale Hollow Lake. The trail is ideal for birders and wildflower enthusiasts. This trail connects both Lillydale and Willow Grove Campgrounds and can be accessed via the trailhead located at the campground.
Lillydale Campground features 114 campsites and one large group picnic shelter. Electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets and a dump station all create a comfortable camping experience.
Two boat ramps, two volleyball courts and two swimming beaches offer additional recreational opportunities.
Camping is limited to a 14-day stay within a 30-consecutive day period.
Site Type Definitions :
An RV Site is a paved/concrete site for wheeled camping units such as motorhome, fifth wheel, pull trailer and pop-up campers. RV sites are not suitable for tents. A Standard Site is one with a fine gravel surface pad. It will accommodate wheeled units and tents. A Tent Site will accommodate tents only. Group Sites are the picnic shelters. For site specifics such as site measurements, parking and if the site is level, be sure to review the Information text at the bottom of each specific site page.
All camping equipment and vehicles are to be located on the designated site pad or parking areas.
General Site Notes:
30 Amp Service and Water Hookups on sites 18, 20, 23, 26, 33, 64, 68, 71, 74, 78-93 50 Amp Service and Water Hookups on sites 16-17, 19, 21-22, 24-25, 27-32, 34-63, 65-67, 69-70, 72-73, 75-77, 94-99 Accessible & Paved Site: 93 Paved Sites: 66, 67, 69, 70, 72, 73 Tent Only Sites: 2, 3, 8-15, 23, 31, 32, 34, 101-115 Island Camping Sites 110-115. Remote Park and Walk-In. No electric or water hookup on Island. Visitors to Campers will be charged $3 per vehicle per day. Fees are subject to change Natural Features
Dale Hollow Dam and Lake was completed in 1943. Although the dam was built for flood control and power generation, it has now become a recreational oasis for more than 3 million visitors each year.
The dam is located on the Obey River, about 3 miles east of Celina, Tennessee. Surrounded by a thick expanse of forest, the clear blue lake creates a stunning scenic backdrop for a variety of water and land recreational activities.
Centrally located on Dale Hollow near the Tennessee-Kentucky State boarder, Lillydale was named one of the National Recreation Reservation Service's Top Ten Most Scenic Campgrounds to visit.
In the late fall through early spring, the American Bald Eagle can be spotted flying overhead or perched on low-lying limbs. Dale Hollow hosts the second-largest wintering eagle population in the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. For a short time surrounding the Labor Day holiday, Purple Martins put on quite a show as thousands of these birds darken the evening sky. Needing to roost, they are using the small island adjacent to Lillydale campground as a layover during their migration south.
The Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery is located about 32 miles from the campground. Operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the hatchery is the largest federal trout hatchery east of the Mississippi, producing 1.5 million trout annually. The hatchery is open to visitors daily.
Charges & Cancellations
Full rules and reservation policies for fees associated with changes and cancellations can be found at https://www.recreation.gov/rules-reservation-policies
There is no fee to make a reservation. A $10 service fee will be withheld from any refund for a cancellation. A $10 service fee may be charged to changes made to an existing reservation (see full policies for when this is applicable). A customer who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee (not to exceed the total paid for the original reservation). Customers who cancel a group day-use facility reservation (picnic shelter) less than 14 days before the arrival date will forfeit the total day-use fee. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night’s recreation fee for a campsite or forfeit the entire day-use fee for a day-use facility. Applicable fees, including service/cancellation fees and change fees, are non-refundable and subject to change. No refunds for recreation use fees may be made at the campground. Early departures must depart and drop their tag before the checkout time in order to receive a refund for the unused day. ADA Access: N
Our family just returned from a 4-day stay at Lillydale and we couldn't have been more pleased. We stayed at site #61 - the lake was literally steps away from our door, and it was a no wake zone (the lake comes to a dead-end back by this row of campsites, so there isn't a lot of boat traffic). I felt completely comfortable with my kids swimming just off-shore next to our site. The campground was pristine - we saw staff members come around periodically cleaning out fire rings and blowing stray gravels back into the sites. There weren't many extra amenities - we noticed a playground and a few bathhouses with laundry available. There was no wifi or cable/TV connection and we had zero cell phone coverage (our carrier is T-Mobile). However, lack of television or ability to surf the web/social media really didn't bother us much. Our family of 4 (two adults, a teen and a tween) spent most of our time kayaking, biking, fishing, and swimming and were just fine with that.
I will note that the lack of connectivity, although refreshing, was a little terrifying for me simply for lack of text and calling ability - we left several animals back home and were nervous about problems with them or family not being able to get in touch with us, which is why I'm rating 4/5 stars. Other than that, this campground was perfection for us.
Our lot was gravel and almost perfectly level - we didn't have to do anything other than back in and connect our water and power. We loved the picnic table, and also the added grill and grate/grill over the fire ring! We used that a lot for cooking.
We have a rather unconventional RV (a converted school bus - @thesouthernskoolie on Instagram ), and had no problems with anyone in the campground - lots of positive curiosity from staff and other campers! With a school bus, sometimes you get weird reactions, but everyone here at Lillydale was wonderful. :)
If I could do anything different, I would have stayed at one of the paved sites (I believe they were 66-70, 72, and 73, as the gravels from our site certainly got tracked all through the bus.
We will definitely be back!
Lillydale sits on Dale Hollow Lake, which -- for some delightful reason -- has serious limits on development. This makes for green hillsides, clean water, minimal power boats, and very, very few houses or businesses along the shores.
The campground itself is clean and quiet. Hosts were very kind and helpful. Many of the sites back up to the lake; we were fortunate enough to find one of the lakeside sites, and just dropped our kayaks and paddleboards right into the water.
The lake has dozens of little "fingers" and "tendrils," making for great little coves to paddle, explore, or just find some peace and quiet.
We'll definitely be back!