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With scenic locations such as the Appalachian Trail, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Norris Lake, it is no surprise that Tennessee is a particularly popular choice when it comes to camping destinations. 

If you haven’t been camping in the state of Tennessee before, it can be a bit difficult to know where the best spots are. That’s where we come in!

In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the best camping areas to be found in Tennessee, as well as what each camping spot has to offer. Let’s get started. 

1. Cades Cove Campground

Nestled within the Great Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove is a beautiful, broad, and lush valley that is a particularly popular choice when it comes to camping. 

The cove is a great camping spot if you are looking to get up close and personal with wildlife, with white-tailed deer being frequently seen in the area. Other animals that have been sighted included raccoons, groundhogs, skunks, turkeys, coyotes, and even black bears!

There are numerous hiking trails in the area as well as the campground, which features 159 sites, allows tents and RVs of up to 35 feet, and is open all year round. 

2. Chester Frost County Park

Located on Chickamauga Lake- which is one of the biggest lakes to be found in Tennessee- Chester Frost County Park is definitely the place to go if fishing is what you are looking to do during your camping trip. The Chickamauga Lake is one of the best places to fish in the entire country as well as in Tennessee!

As well as fishing, you can also do some paddling out to nearby marshes and sloughs if you want to spot some of the local wildlife. 

This option is a little less crowded than some of the other campgrounds, making for a good choice for those looking for some peace and quiet. 

3. Greenbrier Campground

With 120 campsites- both back-in and pull-through- that range from wooded sites to river frontage areas, Greenbrier Campground has some of the best swimming holes to be found in the Smoky Mountains as well as a private beach and trout fishing on the banks of the river.

Greenbrier features amenities for both adults and kids, such as luxury bath houses, outdoor billiards, bounce houses, and playgrounds to name a few. 

4. Harrison Bay State Park

A 1,200-acre park, Harrison Bay State Park is a historically significant area, becoming the first Tennessee State Park back in 1937. 

The park is a dream for campers thanks to the extensive list of activities available in the area, such as fishing, golfing, picnicking, and boating to name a few. 

If boating is your thing, then Harrison State Park is surely the Tennessee camping site for you, as the park features one of the most complete marina facilities out of all the TVA lakes, allowing for all kinds of water recreational vehicles and boats. 

5. David Crockett State Park

With a museum, a lake and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, you will find plenty to keep you occupied at David Crockett State Park. 

There are two separate campgrounds here, with the first located along Shoal Creek and featuring 45 sites and being equipped with 30-amp electric and water hook-ups. Along with this, there are also ten primitive sites. This first campground is only open at certain times, from the middle of March until the end of November. 

The second campground is open all year long and features 52 paved sites with 20, 30 and 50 amp water and electric hook-ups. 

Best Camping in Tennessee

6. Abram’s Creek Campground

Found in a remote area near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Abram’s Creek Campground offers a secluded setting where guests can enjoy nature based recreational activities such as fishing and hiking without the hassle of crowds. 

You get the traditional camping experience at Abram’s Creek, but with the convenience of drinking water and flushing toilets. You don’t get showers or hook-ups though, so this is definitely a campground for those who want to go back to nature. 

7. Fall Creek Falls State Park

One of the most visited and the largest parks to be found in Tennessee, Fall Creek Falls State Park has over 29,800 acres spread across the eastern top of the Cumberland Plateau. 

There are both long and short hiking trails to be found in Fall Creek Falls, as well as two long-distance, overnight trails for the more adventurous campers. 

As well as that, you can also opt to visit The Nature Center for some environmental education taught through various naturalist-led programs. 

8. Cosby Campground

Another campground to be found in the mountains, Cosby Campground has an elevation of 2,460 feet and makes for a wonderfully secluded environment. 

If the beauty of pristine rivers and the quiet of mountain ranges are what you are looking for with your camping experience, then the Cosby Campground is definitely the choice for you.

9. Edgar Evins State Park

This 6,000-acre park can be found in the hills of the Eastern Highland Rim and on the shores of Center Hill Lake, making for plenty of fishing and water – thanks to the on site marina- as well as the chance to explore the grassy knolls. 

There is an abundance of wildlife to be found in the area too, from different species of owls to bald eagles.

10. Elkmont Campground

One of the busiest campgrounds to be found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont has a moderate climate as well as a 200 tent/ RV capacity. 

Some of the most popular activities for campers at Elkmont include the standard hiking and fishing as well as picnicking, auto-touring and wildlife viewing to name a few. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have ten of the best places to go camping when in Tennessee!

Whether you are looking for a campground that has a range of activities to engage in or a quiet and secluded place to relax in the midst of nature, you’re sure to find the right camping spot to suit your preferences perfectly with our list.

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