Elkmont used to be a small town within the limits of the national park. The residents tried to hold out before being kicked out of their homes. When I went., there were signs saying "Save Elkmont". It was kind of creepy, but cool. But, the campground is nice and big and close to a lot of awesome hikes in the park. It's also a little farther in than other campgrounds so ot feels a little more wild.
Usually, most of the parks in Tennessee are great, but I did not have a great experience at Bledsoe Creek. The campground was dirty and not well kept. It seemed like people had been basically living out of the campground. Old Hickory Lake is nice, but there are better places to view it. The trails were ok, nothing special. I wouldn't really recommend this place especially when there are others so close!
I'm not too sure how many people would find themselves in Beulah (we were there because my father-in-law worked in the area for a bit), so I was surprised the see there was a park for camping. There's not a ton to do, which is one of the reasons for 3 starts, but the park is along the Knife River and the park is small but nice. It does feel like a bit of an oasis in the pretty much vast nothingness. It's not too far from Bismarck so it might be a nice getaway. The town is very small but for some reason there is a golf course right next to the park, so that could be a draw.
While this may be in the middle of nowhere, it is worth the trip off the beaten path. From what I understand, the north unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is even leas visited and less crowded. We were there in the middle of the summer and only saw a handful of others. The scenery is breathtaking and unique, not exactly like anything else I have ever seen. There are abundant buffalo wandering the fields roads. The campground was quiet and clean, kind of in a prairie with abundant trees. While we didn't go hiking, there are a few trails, both long (18 mile backpacking loop) and short. If you are making the trip to Glacier from the east, don't miss this park/campground!
Pokagon was one of the first Indiana state parks, so there's some history here! One of my favorite memories is the toboggan run, which FYI, is seasonal. It's a ton of fun for the whole family. Also, in the winter, there's sledding, ice fishing and cross country skiing. There's a few trails and swimming and boating in the lake in the summer. The campground is standard and has a bathhouse and fire pits at each site (both electric and non-electric). There's a nice Inn as well, if you need a non campgroud place to stay in the winter. It's a great easy trip, even from Chicago. So, come winter or summer!
…although you probably wouldn't want to camp in the Indiana winter. I grew up coming here mostly to sled on the hills! But, there is a lot more to do. It surrounds Worster Lake and there are cabins, RV sites, and tent sites along with horse trails and bike trails. In the winter, there's sledding hills and ice fishing. The campgrounds are pretty standard, nothing special. If you live in the area, it's a fine little getaway.
…well, at least up to two weeks, because that's the park limit.
Fall Creek Falls is the largest park in Tennessee, and it is, well, big! There's a ton to do and it's in such a beautiful spot. I like to think of this state park as a beginner South Cumberland (in hiking at least!). There's a few hiking trails with plenty of overlooks and waterfalls and a suspension bridge to a nature center. There's also a trail down to the bottom of Fall Creek Falls where you can swim.
The campsites are nice with a bath house and firepits and there is a whole complex and general store not too far from the campsites. There's even a mini laundry mat and a snack bar! Just a ton to do especially if you have kids.
I would recommend this state park as a family vacation!
Rock Island has some great spots. There's a few waterfalls, a swimming area, and some picnic areas. However, the camping is just ok, especially the tent camping. It's small, right off the road and not super close to the trails. The RV camping parts looked a little better when I drove by. There's a pavilion, a better bathhouse, and it just looked nicer. I'm all for rustic camping, but it felt like it was trying to be a better campground.
Anyways, Rock Island has a few hiking trails and a pretty awesome swimming hole beneath Twin Falls. I hiked the Blue Hole trial, which basically descends to the river via a waterfall. It's pretty difficult and you are ensured to get wet feet, but it's great!
In my opinion, there are better places to camp in the area and I would just make a day trip here to see some of the waterfalls and the huge dam that creates Center Hill Lake.
Pulling into the campground made me feel like I was in a beautiful oasis. The trees were really lush and the campsites felt private even though they were in the same area. All of the sites are rustic, but there is a bathroom with showers. There are also some walk in sites and a parking area for it if you want to feel a little more like you are in the back country. There is also a camp store near the entrance if you need to restock anything. The only thing that I could say is a negative is that the beach isn't right there. It's about 1.5 miles away, but it's so close that it's not a problem. Highly recommend!
Also, on this trip, I got to try out one of my prizes from the June contest from Montana, a Buff headwear piece! I got a few with my Buff gift card, but my favorite is the slim fit. Before purchasing a Buff, I had a similar product and didn't know if the Buff would be any better than what I had. (Maybe not so) surprisingly, it was! It stayed on my head better and the material felt softer and higher quality. I usually wear it as a headband, but there's a ton of different ways to suit a lot of activities. And at only $20, it's definitely worth the money!
Frozen Head is a wonderful place. For starters, the ranger that was on duty at the Visitor's Center was so helpful and kind. The campground is in close proximity to many of the trailheads. There is a nice bathhouse, but all the sites are rustic (non electric). There are also many well kept backcountry sites with fire pits if you are backpacking. The surroundings are gorgeous: the foothills of the Appalachians and the hiking is superb and challenging. If you are able, make sure to hike to the Lookout Tower! This is a great park and campground if you want to experience the beauty of East Tennessee without the crowds of the Smoky Mountains.
This area has around 100 sites, both RV and tent sites both with and without electricity, so you can camp any way you'd like. All of the tent sites here are facing the lake so it feels a little more private. The RV sites are more grouped together (but I don't have an RV so I can't speak for these as much) There is some great hiking in the area and you can find some quiet and restful spots. There is the Lost Springs Trail that is right near the campground if you like hiking and hikes above the nearby Marina and this campground.
Boswell Landing is a quiet spot of the park with gorgeous views of Kentucky Lake where you can pull up a chair (or tent!) and relax. Be advised, this is a "backcountry site" which basically just means there are no electric hookups. There are restrooms available. The trails that are nearby are overgrown and not so great, so I wouldn't recommend hiking over here. However within walking distance of the campground, down the paved road are a few notable things: Buchanan Cemetery, which is a civil war cemetery, and the site of Fort Henry. From what I understand, this is a pretty quiet spot in the park. The trade off is that it is not near a ton of stuff.
This was a favorite getaway spot when I was a student at Purdue University. This area is such a drastic difference from the surrounding areas with canyon-like structures and cooler temperatures on the trails. It definitely doesn't feel like you are in Indiana. There are ample campsites (all electric) and a camp store. It is separate from the rest of the rest of the park, just down the road but easily accessible. Personally, the best part for me is the awesome hiking trails, rivaling my favorites in Tennessee!
Just an hour south of the west entrance of Glacier, Flathead Lake provides a quieter scene than the national park with the view of one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in the country. Coming down to this state park is a nice "getaway" (if you even need to call it that!) from the summer crowds of Glacier with a great view of the lake and a relaxing atmosphere. There's also a cute winery just down the road called Mission Mountain if you are looking for other activities. Highly recommend this spot!
Two Medicine is in a "wilder" part of the park. It just feels a little more primitive and wild than the other campground I've been to in Glacier (Apgar). Plus, the trial head for (in my opinion) the most beautiful hikes in the park, Dawson- Pitamakan. Most all the campsites are right on the lake and there is a ranger station nearby as well. Such a great part of the park, highly recommend! It gets crowded but not as bad as Apgar.
Glacier is one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Apgar provides a great jumping off point for a lot of Glacier Adventures because of it's generally central location. The campgrounds definitely get very full, especially on summer weekends (we got lucky and found one!). There's a little village close by with restaurants and ice cream. It's a fabulous place for kids too!
Despite the name, this park pleasantly surprised me. There are 3 different campgrounds and 2 of them are primitive, so there is something for everyone. There are also some backcountry sites along the NBF 10 and 20 mile trails. Some of the rustic camping sites are right along the Kentucky Lake. There are also a few trails (both short and long) and are nice with views of the lake.
This is a pretty decent sized campground with plenty of electric hookups and also has a few tent sites. However there are no primitive, backcountry sites, so skip this one if you are wanting a backcountry experience. But, it is a very nice area with so many old, old hardwood cedars. It smells wonderful. There are also a few trials that take you through most of the park and is relatively easy so they are great for kids too.
Defeated Creek is a larger campground area with lots to do. I don't have kind, but I am sure that it would be a great place to bring them! The lake is beautiful and if you hike a little ways up the Bearwaller Gap trail, you can get some great overlooks! It's actually owned by the US Army Corp of Engineers. If you want a more primitive version of camping, take the Bearwaller Gap trail! It has one of the best backcountry sites I have ever been to! Lots of room and a great firepit!
Foster Falls is located at one end of the Fiery Gizzard Trail, one of the most beautiful trails in Tennessee, possibly the country! It is a great spot to camp if you want to feel like you aren't really at a campground because all sites are rustic (no RV hookups). Foster Falls is right around the corner and you can even take a dip in the little waterfall pool when it isn't too hot out! Plus it's super easy to get to from Nashville!