Nate H.

Pro

Knoxville , TN

Joined April 2019

Colorado born and raised. Living in the Smokies missing the Rockies! Chasing what's in season, catching what's biting and exploring God's amazing creations as often as possible.

Nice area, close camping

Melton hill is A nice option for camping that is conveniently located not far from I-75. The Melton Hill dam is a great place to fish. The campground is fairly small, it has hook up sites as well as primitive tent sites, i don’t believe any of the sites have septic hook ups. I had a tent site when I was there, and had to set up

My rooftop tent off the parking lot above my site, but it worked out, so I was overlooking the lake.  The sites have fire rings and concrete picnic tables. The sites with hook ups were all pretty close to each other. However it is very wooded so you do have a feeling of privacy despite being close to your neighbor. The bathrooms were pretty small and I only noticed one shower in each, so plan accordingly. There is a Camp store with essentials, ice, firewood. And the people working in the store were very friendly. The campground is very well taken care off, very clean, and the lake is beautiful, so I do recommend this campground.

Awesome Waterfalls

 Rock Island State park is a great place to camp. The campground is large and the campsites are spacious and far enough apart that you feel secluded, even when it’s full. It’s heavily wooded, so you don’t feel like your neighbors on right on top of you. The sites are paved and have water and electric, no septic where I was, however and they have a dump station that was large enough for two people to use at the same time. There are so many things to do at the campground, or the park, you will not be bored. Rock Island has some of the best waterfalls in Tennessee, and you can get right up to some them, if you are brave enough to kayak close to them. They also have a swimming area, and sand volleyball. Great biking in the park also. The area has lots of little shops and antique stores, if you’re into that, and Calf Killer Brewery is a short drive, and I highly recommend visiting there. Overall, this is a great park to visit, and a great place to camp.

River glamping

 Whooping Crane Farm is a private glamping site that you can find on Tentrr. The property is 12 minutes from downtown Nashville, making it a perfect Glamping location. Being close to great restaurants is definitely a plus. The site is gated and right on the river, so the only traffic you have to worry about are the barges that are passing by on the river, or any boaters that are out. There’s a pond on the property, and they advertise kayak rentals. You could ride a bike around the property also, if you bring your own bike. The canvas tent was decorated nicely, with some cool lanterns and a wood burning stove. There was a battery powered fan, that lasted most of the night. The bed was comfortable for glamping. There’s a picnic table with a cooking station, and a charcoal grill. Plenty of cut firewood for the fire pit. There is a restroom, but it’s not a flush toilet, just a bucket toilet, but was nice to have while camping. This is a great spot, convenient to town, perfect for a relaxing weekend.

RV camping close to amenities

 This campground is located on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, so it is a short drive or trolley ride to the heart of town. There’s a road that goes through the campground that passes through to the back side of Gatlinburg, but it was very rough and dangerous in a big truck, but there’s some great hiking back in there. The campground has been around for decades, and is regularly updated, and it is very clean, and always has nice staff. The spots are paved and spaced well enough. There’s a pool and playground, and a creek, but the perfect locating is the best feature in my opinion. This is a great spot if you want to be close to attractions, but not deal with the traffic on the strip. It is quiet and peaceful at night, and bears frequently pass through. I would recommend this if you are looking to RV camp, and be close to attractions.

Best Around

 Greenbriar campground is located in Pittman Center, west of Gatlinburg, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains. The campground is certainly one of the nicest camping spots I’ve n the area. The campground is very large, and has multiple camping options. They have tent and rv spots, as well as cabins, but I also saw some teepee style tent cabins. The campground is very wooded, so you feel like you are getting a legitimate Smoky Mountain camping experience. The pigeon river runs through the campground, and is great for fishing, or swimming/tubing in summer. There is a dog park also, and the campground is pet friendly. This campground has so many things to do, and it is very popular, so if you want to camp here, I would suggest booking early, because spots are booked months in advance. The campground is very quiet at night, with just the sounds of nature. There is a camp store, with firewood, and you’ll want to enjoy a campfire, even in the middle of summer. I Highly recommend Greenbriar Campground for camping in the Smokies.

Awesome lake

Ragland Bottom is a great lakefront campground. It’s a very popular spot, and you’ll need to book well in advance. The lakefront sites all have water access right from the site, so you can launch a kayak, or throw out a line, or just go for a swim right from your site. Mostly all the non-waterfront sites have a view of the lake. You really can’t get a bad spot here. There’s nice hammock trees in the campground, and at most sites. The sites have fire rings and picnic tables. The bathrooms were clean and practical. The campground has a day use area, and a playground. Great spot for lake camping!

Vintage campers!

Camp Leconte Luxury Resort is located in Gatlinburg near the Greenbriar area of the Smokies. It’s a fairly small campground right on the Parkway. It’s close to town, but far enough away to avoid traffic. The campground has nice, paved spots for rv’s. It has glamping tent cabins, as well as vintage campers. There is a camp store, but the campground is not far from a grocery store and liquor store. There’s a trolley stop nearby also, so if you’d like To go to the strip, you can take the trolley and not worry about parking. There’s a nice pool and playground. Very clean campground.

Family fun

 This campground is in Gatlinburg, but is almost all the way to Cosby. The campground has RV sites, tent sites, cabin rentals, and rv rentals as well. There are several riverfront sites. The campground is large and has several amenities, such as a game room, pool, alpine water slide, fishing pond, and playground. This is a great campground for kids, but is also very quiet at night, even when the campground is full. There is a camp store, that sells camping essentials and souvenirs, and ice cream. There was a shaved ice truck there on the weekend also. We stayed in site 213, which is a riverfront site, however there were campers on the other side of the river. I would recommend staying in one of the riverfront sites on the other side of the park, they would be a little more private. My brother and family stayed in one of the rental campers, and it was nice, however not very clean, despite being charged a cleaning fee. The campground is near the Greenbriar area of the Smokies, and there’s great hiking and fishing nearby. Overall a great spot.

Royal Blue

 North Cumberland/Royal Blue is located a few miles off I-75, and is a good spot for outdoor recreation. This place is a bid draw for ATV’s, and from what I understand they ride up there year round. The area is a WMA, so it’s a good spot for hunting, just make sure to check local regulations, I know they have elk in this area, and quota hunts and such. You can find some great camping spots here, outside of hunting season anyway. The area is large, so you can definitely find a great spot to camp. We chose a spot that someone had used previously and made a fire pit. We were on top of a ridge, and had good cell reception. It was quiet and peaceful. I did take note of several other really good spots too. If you want to escape civilization and enjoy camping for free, this is a good spot.

Flooding Possible

The campground road was flooded when I was here, another truck made it halfway, but the campsites were underwater, so if you’re planning to camp here, make sure it’s dry! I could see the campground when i walked down, and it looks like a great place to camp, right on the river. I set up camp in the parking lot, since the actual campground was inaccessible. The area is great for turkey hunting, and I did see some deer on my morning hunt also. The WMA is very large, with lots of open space, however if hunting season is open, you can’t be there. If this area, Big Bottom Unit doesn’t suit your needs, there’s other areas in the WMA with great camping too. I’ll try again when it’s on the drier side.

Bridgestone- Firestone, Virgin Falls

Bridgestone-Firestone-Virgin Falls WMA This WMA is the cream of the crop. I think it’s the largest WMA I’ve ever been to. I think we had the perfect camp spot. Nice and level, wooded and secluded, fire pit already constructed, plenty of firewood around. If you love primitive camping, this place is a goldmine. There’s no shortage of great camp sites too. Virgin Falls is nearby, however the trail was closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. There is also a store there, but it was also closed. I was here back in spring turkey season, and there were only a couple other hunters that were camping that I saw. During hunting season, you can only camp here if you are hunting, but it is always free. This is a very nice choice for free primitive camping.

Nice lake camping

 Cherokee Dam campground is a TVA campground and is similar to other TVA campgrounds I’ve been to. The campground had just reopened from being shutdown due to Covid, so the place was extremely clean. The camp hosts were so awesome, I feel like they take great care of the campground all year. The office/camp store had all the things you might need, including firewood, which they delivered to our site. We had site 36, lots of space in that one, and water views. There are some really great lakefront sites here, and the tent spots are great, note- they are walk in sites, and you can get in the water from these sites. There is a playground and a swimming area, lots of picnic spots, kayak rentals, etc. Several people were walking/running across the dam. The campground is close to the town so it is easy to get to. There is a railroad tunnel on the route our GPS took us, so if you are pulling a camper, you will be able to take a side road and go around the tunnel. This is a great lake campground.

Party Bus

 Adventures Unlimited is located near the Ocoee River, which was the whitewater location for the‘96 Olympics, so yeah, world class whitewater. AU is a whitewater rafting outfitter, campground, restaurant, gift shop, and home of the Bus Bar. Literally two yellow school buses converted into a bar, with open air seating. The bar was a good time. Live music and craft beer, and with the water sports crowd letting loose after hitting the river, it is a good time. The campground is a lot bigger than I realized. I took my camper, they have water and electric hookups in the rv sites, and a dump station, but tent camping is where it’s at at AU. Grab all your buds and pick a spot, they are all heavily wooded and awesome. The have a newly remodeled bathhouse with several showers. We did book a rafting trip while we were there and had a blast. This is a great weekend camping spot with friends.

Brutal Backcountry

Big Ridge State Park has some great features, like Norris Lake, which is arguably the best lake around this area. Fishing, boating, biking, campground, nature trails, etc. and then there’s the backcountry. If you choose to stay at one of the backcountry sites, heed the warnings, the hike will be tough, and if you take Sharps Station Site, May God have mercy on your soul! Not only is it steep both ways(don’t even know how that’s possible), the trail is overgrown and rough. The campsite is heavily wooded, and perfect for hammocks. The site leads you to believe the site is on the lake, that is false, so if you plan to get water from the lake, be prepared to hike an additional 2.5 miles to get it and back up to the site. The park has some interesting history, and that’s really cool. There’s three backcountry sites that you can reserve, I would try one of the other two, and avoid sharps station.

Best Kept Secret

Smooth Rapids is one of my best “back pocket” campgrounds to date. This is the best place you’ve never heard of. I booked a spot for July 4th, with no problem, along with a group of 12 friends. In fact, there were several open spots. My friends chose a group stop right on the river, but secluded from the other spots. There’s no shortage of great spots. I took my camper, mainly for the restroom, since there’s just a porta potty at the campground.Mickey runs the place, and he takes care of literally everything. Anything you need, he’s got you. Smooth Rapids is a kayak and tubing outfitter, so you can take a float down the river, and they have a shuttle that will drop you off. We took a river tube and a paddle and it was awesome. They have a restaurant and bar too, and the food was good. They have a selection of beers including the local favorite, Calf Killer. This place is right on the river, but also in town, so it’s easy to get to, and convenient to grab food or anything else. They also have campers set up for rent, so if you don’t want to fully be roughing it, they have you covered.

Great State Park

 Cumberland Mountain State Park has everything you need for a great time outdoors. Located near Crossville, the park is close to restaurants, shopping, a winery, and some antique shops too, if you want to venture out. Crossville is on the Cumberland Plateau, and even in the middle of summer, it is very pleasant at night, and even with the park being fully booked, it was so quiet and peaceful! The park has a lake with kayak, canoe, and paddle board rentals, and fishing is allowed. I saw several playgrounds in different areas of the park, and it’s really good for bike riding. The office has any essentials you might need. I had a site in area 3, which has water and electric, it was pretty much level and very spacious. I did make a note that area 1 has full hookups, so I plan to try to get a spot in there next time, even though the spots looked a little smaller. This is a really nice state park.

Lakefront Goodness

 Obey River Park is a lake front campground on one of the best lakes in Tennessee, Dale Hollow Lake. The waters of Dale Hollow are so clean, clear, and almost turquoise in color. I have been on this lake a few times, and I have never seen a dock other than at a marina. I have never seen any trash in it either. Dale Hollow is known for great fishing and boating as well. The campground is pretty large and just about every site has a lake view, and many are lake front with lake access. If you get a lakefront site you can throw your kayak or float in right at your site. You can’t go wrong in site selection. The campground was full, but the sites have enough space to not feel crowded, with the exception of a few of the interior loop sites. Bathrooms were clean and functional, but could use an update. Cell service is very spotty. Great campground on a very nice lake!

Amazing State Park w/ countless outdoor activities!

If you are looking for a place with outdoor activities for any and all, this is your spot! The campground itself is fairly large with options for all types of camping. The camp store has just about anything you could need and extremely friendly service. Bathrooms were clean and sufficient as far as availability for use. My biggest complaint was privacy as far as sights being very close together. Tent sights seemed to be fairly spacious and secluded but we drove around the loop 3 times before I found an electric sight where I felt we had some privacy. This campground and park itself is extremely beautiful and so worth the stay to get to explore it. Whether it is hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking, horseback riding, sight seeing, nature exploring, photography or whatever it is you like to do outside, this place will give you plenty of options to keep you busy or just relaxing at peace out in nature. I highly recommend this as a stop on your list of campgrounds to go visit.

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.