Best Camping in Tennessee

welcome sign at the Tennessee state line
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Prepare to be captivated by the enchanting world of camping in Tennessee. In this post, we delve deep into the diverse landscapes and stunning natural wonders that make this state a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. From the majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains to the hidden treasures of the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee offers a plethora of camping destinations that will leave you awe-inspired. Join us as we explore the best camping spots, share insider tips, and unveil the secrets of this remarkable state. Whether you’re seeking solitude in the wilderness or an adventure-filled family getaway, Tennessee has something for everyone. So, grab your gear, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable camping experience amidst the breathtaking beauty of Tennessee.



Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Embark on a captivating journey through the iconic Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With mist-kissed peaks, verdant valleys, and a kaleidoscope of foliage, this natural wonderland captivates visitors from all corners. Immerse yourself in its timeless beauty, vibrant wildlife, and enchanting trails, as you forge unforgettable memories amidst this Appalachian paradise.

Reasons to Camp in Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Unmatched Natural Beauty: Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Smoky Mountains with its misty peaks, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant forests, creating a stunning backdrop for your camping adventure.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter a rich diversity of wildlife, from black bears and white-tailed deer to colorful bird species, offering unique opportunities for wildlife observation and photography.
  • Hiking Paradise: Explore a vast network of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks, leading you to hidden gems, panoramic viewpoints, and secluded backcountry campsites.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Discover the cultural legacy of the Appalachian region, including historic log cabins, preserved homesteads, and heritage sites, providing a glimpse into the lives of early settlers.
  • Stargazing Spectacle: Witness the mesmerizing night sky, free from light pollution. The park’s dark skies offer a canvas for stargazing, where you can marvel at countless stars, constellations, and even occasional celestial events.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Camping Stove, Backpack, Headlamp, Camping Chairs, Water Filter


Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

Escape to the untamed beauty of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. With its rugged landscapes, breathtaking canyons, and roaring rivers, this hidden gem in Tennessee beckons adventurers seeking a wild and immersive camping experience. Explore the vast network of trails, indulge in thrilling water activities, and discover the enchantment of this untouched wilderness that awaits within the heart of nature’s embrace.

Reasons to Camp in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area:

  • Scenic Grandeur: Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the rugged landscapes, towering cliffs, and deep canyons that define the Big South Fork. Marvel at breathtaking vistas and stunning rock formations that create a backdrop like no other.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Embark on thrilling outdoor adventures, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding. With miles of trails and the mighty Cumberland River, there’s no shortage of exhilarating activities to enjoy.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter a diverse array of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species. Keep your camera ready for captivating wildlife sightings and the chance to connect with nature on a deeper level.
  • Stargazing Delight: Camp under the vast night sky and witness the brilliance of stars unobstructed by city lights. The Big South Fork offers optimal conditions for stargazing, providing a serene and awe-inspiring experience that will leave you in wonder.
  • Tranquil Seclusion: Experience the peace and tranquility of this secluded oasis. Away from the crowds, you can enjoy a sense of serenity, solitude, and an escape from the fast-paced world, immersing yourself in the harmony of nature.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Camping Stove, Backpack, Water Shoes, Hiking Boots, Camping Chairs


Fall Creek Falls State Park

Indulge in the natural splendor of Fall Creek Falls State Park. With its majestic waterfalls, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, this Tennessee gem promises an unforgettable camping experience. Immerse yourself in the serenity of nature as you explore scenic trails, witness cascading falls, and find solace in the tranquil beauty that surrounds you, making lasting memories amidst this enchanting wilderness.

Reasons to Camp in Fall Creek Falls State Park:

  • Spectacular Waterfalls: Experience the breathtaking beauty of cascading waterfalls, including the iconic Fall Creek Falls, which plunges 256 feet, along with other impressive falls within the park.
  • Abundant Outdoor Activities: Engage in a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, fishing, swimming, boating, and wildlife spotting, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  • Scenic Trails: Explore an extensive trail system that winds through diverse landscapes, leading you to stunning overlooks, tranquil streams, and hidden natural treasures.
  • Natural Wonders: Discover the park’s rich biodiversity, from vibrant wildflowers and ancient forests to diverse wildlife, including deer, foxes, and numerous bird species.
  • Peaceful Serenity: Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of Fall Creek Falls State Park. With its serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, it provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing you to connect with nature and find inner peace.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Camping Chairs, Binoculars


South Cumberland State Park


Discover the captivating allure of South Cumberland State Park. Nestled within the scenic Cumberland Plateau, this enchanting park invites you to embark on a journey through its rugged beauty and serene wilderness. With breathtaking waterfalls, pristine hiking trails, and abundant wildlife, South Cumberland State Park offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a sanctuary for those seeking solace amidst nature’s embrace.

Reasons to Camp in South Cumberland State Park:

  • Spectacular Waterfalls: Explore the park’s captivating waterfalls, including the iconic Foster Falls and the scenic Grundy Forest. These cascades provide stunning backdrops for hikes, photography, and moments of tranquility.
  • Scenic Hiking Trails: Immerse yourself in the park’s extensive trail system, which offers diverse landscapes, including sandstone cliffs, lush forests, and panoramic overlooks. The famous Fiery Gizzard Trail is a must-visit for hikers seeking a challenging and rewarding adventure.
  • Unique Rock Formations: Encounter impressive rock formations, such as natural bridges and stone arches, that showcase the park’s geological wonders. These natural features create a sense of awe and wonder as you explore the park’s hidden gems.
  • Abundant Wildlife: South Cumberland State Park is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and songbirds. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to observe and connect with the park’s diverse ecosystem.
  • Backcountry Camping: Experience the thrill of backcountry camping in designated areas within the park. This allows you to immerse yourself fully in nature, away from the crowds, and enjoy a serene camping experience surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Water Filter, Trekking Poles


Cherokee National Forest

Venture into the awe-inspiring realm of Cherokee National Forest. With its vast expanse of unspoiled beauty, this enchanting forest beckons adventurers and nature lovers alike. Immerse yourself in its lush greenery, meandering rivers, and majestic peaks. Explore the network of trails, encounter abundant wildlife, and discover the tranquility that awaits within the embrace of Cherokee National Forest’s pristine wilderness.

Reasons to Camp in Cherokee National Forest:

  • Breathtaking Scenery: Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Cherokee National Forest, with its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, serene rivers, and majestic mountain vistas that create an unforgettable backdrop for your camping adventure.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, and wildlife viewing. With numerous trails, rivers, and lakes, Cherokee National Forest offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species. Nature enthusiasts will relish the chance to observe and appreciate the rich biodiversity found within the forest.
  • Peaceful Solitude: Escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and find tranquility in the serene and secluded atmosphere of Cherokee National Forest. The forest’s vast expanses provide ample space for solitude, reflection, and a chance to reconnect with nature.
  • Unspoiled Wilderness: Experience the thrill of camping in an unspoiled wilderness. Cherokee National Forest offers the opportunity to explore remote areas, discover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in a truly pristine natural environment.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack Water Filter, Camping Chairs


Frozen Head State Park

Frozen Head State Park, nestled in the scenic Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee, awaits your discovery. Step into a world of untouched wilderness, where nature reigns supreme. With its majestic forests, meandering trails, and breathtaking vistas, this captivating park offers a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts and a haven for those seeking solace amidst the serenity of the natural world. Prepare to be enchanted by the wonders of Frozen Head State Park.

Reasons to Camp in Frozen Head State Park:

  • Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring scenic beauty of Frozen Head State Park. From its lush forests and meandering streams to its towering peaks and panoramic vistas, the park offers a visual feast for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Hiking and Trail Exploration: Explore a network of diverse trails that wind through the park, offering opportunities for all levels of hikers. Discover hidden waterfalls, encounter abundant wildlife, and experience the thrill of reaching the summit of Frozen Head, the park’s highest peak.
  • Peaceful Seclusion: Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace the tranquility of Frozen Head State Park. With its secluded camping areas and serene atmosphere, you can truly disconnect from the world and find solace in the quietude of nature.
  • Wildlife and Bird Watching: Witness the wonders of wildlife in their natural habitat. Frozen Head State Park is home to a variety of animals, including deer, foxes, and a wide array of bird species. Grab your binoculars and enjoy the thrill of wildlife and bird watching throughout the park.
  • Outdoor Adventures: From fishing in scenic streams to picnicking by sparkling lakes, Frozen Head State Park offers an array of outdoor activities. Engage in mountain biking, backpacking, or simply relax by the campfire and savor the serenity of the surroundings.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Water Filter, Camping Chairs


Natchez Trace State Park


Experience the serene beauty of Natchez Trace State Park, a tranquil oasis nestled in the heart of Tennessee. Surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, and shimmering lakes, this park offers a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Explore its scenic trails, enjoy boating and fishing on its pristine waters, and immerse yourself in the captivating charm of Natchez Trace State Park.

Reasons to Camp in Natchez Trace State Park:

  • Abundant Outdoor Recreation: Natchez Trace State Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, horseback riding, and bird-watching. With its expansive trail system and picturesque lakes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  • Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the park, with its rolling hills, serene lakes, and lush forests. Experience breathtaking sunsets, vibrant foliage, and the tranquility of nature surrounding your campsite.
  • Rich History: Explore the park’s historical significance, as it lies along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. Discover remnants of the past, such as old homesteads and Native American archaeological sites, adding a layer of cultural depth to your camping experience.
  • Wildlife and Nature Observation: Observe a diverse array of wildlife, including deer, foxes, eagles, and various bird species. With its abundant flora and fauna, Natchez Trace State Park provides ample opportunities for nature enthusiasts to connect with the natural world.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Natchez Trace State Park offers a family-friendly environment with amenities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and designated swimming beaches. It’s an ideal destination for a memorable camping trip with loved ones of all ages.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Insect Repellent, Camping Chairs


Cumberland Mountain State Park

Immerse yourself in the enchanting landscapes of Cumberland Mountain State Park. Nestled within the breathtaking Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, this hidden gem invites visitors to embrace the serenity of nature. With its tranquil lakes, majestic mountains, and verdant forests, the park offers a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solace amidst the beauty of the great outdoors. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure in Cumberland Mountain State Park.

Reasons to Camp in Cumberland Mountain State Park:

  • Natural Beauty: Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Cumberland Mountain State Park. From its rolling hills and pristine lakes to its dense forests and picturesque waterfalls, the park offers a breathtaking backdrop for camping and outdoor exploration.
  • Outdoor Activities: Enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and bird-watching. With miles of scenic trails, a tranquil lake for water-based adventures, and diverse wildlife to observe, Cumberland Mountain State Park offers endless opportunities for outdoor fun.
  • Historical Significance: Discover the rich history of the park, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Explore historic structures, such as the Homestead Museum and the Byrd Creek Dam, and learn about the park’s cultural heritage and conservation efforts.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Cumberland Mountain State Park is a fantastic destination for family camping trips. With amenities like playgrounds, picnic areas, and designated swimming areas, there are plenty of opportunities for quality time and outdoor recreation for the whole family.
  • Peaceful Retreat: Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find tranquility in the peaceful ambiance of Cumberland Mountain State Park. Whether you’re unwinding by the campfire or simply soaking in the serenity of nature, the park offers a rejuvenating retreat from the stresses of modern life.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Lantern, Camping Chairs


Henry Horton State Park

Immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Henry Horton State Park, a hidden gem in Middle Tennessee. Surrounded by scenic landscapes, this park offers a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore its winding trails, relax by its peaceful lakes, and indulge in a variety of recreational activities. Experience the beauty and serenity that await you at Henry Horton State Park.

Reasons to Camp in Henry Horton State Park:

  • Natural Beauty: Henry Horton State Park is nestled amidst breathtaking natural beauty, with its rolling hills, picturesque lakes, and verdant forests. The park offers stunning landscapes that create a serene and rejuvenating camping experience.
  • Outdoor Activities: Enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, golfing, and bird-watching. With miles of scenic trails, a tranquil lake for water-based adventures, and an 18-hole championship golf course, Henry Horton State Park provides endless opportunities for outdoor fun.
  • Historical Significance: Explore the rich history of the park, which was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Discover historical structures, visit the on-site museum, and learn about the park’s cultural heritage.
  • Peaceful Atmosphere: Experience a sense of tranquility and escape from the bustle of everyday life. Henry Horton State Park offers a peaceful atmosphere, allowing you to relax, unwind, and reconnect with nature in a serene environment.
  • Family-Friendly: Henry Horton State Park is an excellent destination for family camping trips. With amenities such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and designated swimming areas, the park provides a family-friendly atmosphere where you can create lasting memories together.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Camping Chairs, Lantern


Edgar Evins State Park

Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes of Edgar Evins State Park, a hidden paradise nestled by the tranquil shores of Center Hill Lake. Delight in the breathtaking beauty of its expansive woodlands, pristine waters, and majestic vistas. From hiking the scenic trails to fishing in the calm waters, every moment spent in Edgar Evins State Park is a testament to the magnificence of nature’s embrace.

Reasons to Camp in Edgar Evins State Park:

  • Scenic Beauty: Edgar Evins State Park boasts breathtaking natural beauty, with its picturesque lake, lush woodlands, and stunning views. Camping here allows you to immerse yourself in the serene and captivating surroundings.
  • Water Activities: Center Hill Lake offers a variety of water activities, including boating, fishing, and swimming. Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast or simply enjoy relaxing on the water, camping at Edgar Evins State Park provides ample opportunities for aquatic adventures.
  • Hiking and Nature Trails: Explore the park’s scenic trails, which wind through the woodlands and offer glimpses of wildlife and diverse plant life. Hiking enthusiasts will appreciate the peaceful ambiance and the chance to reconnect with nature.
  • Peaceful Atmosphere: Edgar Evins State Park provides a tranquil and serene atmosphere, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life. Camping here allows you to unwind, disconnect, and recharge in the midst of nature’s tranquility.
  • Wildlife Observation: The park is home to a variety of wildlife species, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Keep an eye out for deer, foxes, birds, and other fascinating creatures as you explore the park’s natural habitats.

Recommended Gear: Tent, Sleeping Bag, Hiking Boots, Camping Stove, Backpack, Lantern, Camping Cookware


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