Tellico River Area Cherokee National Forest
The Tellico River Area is a large remote backcountry with over 30,000 acres of land which guarantees plenty of privacy and solitude. It is part of the larger Cherokee National Forest and thus offers plenty of dispersed camping opportunities.
Generally, you can camp anywhere but not within 100 feet of water, trails, parking lots, roads, and any developed recreation areas. Some of the best sites are along the river where you can fish for brook, brown, rainbow trouts and have them over a campfire dinner.
- Best season : Summer, Fall
- Map coordinates :8VC4+25 Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA
Is There Potable/drinking Water
Meriwether Lewis Campground has two freshwater lines that you could pull up to and hook up your hose or gallon jug.
We ran dry on freshwater towards the end of day three, as is typical for us, and it was a great relief to go for a short walk to a spigot and grab some water for handwashing, dishwashing, and helping out with the toilet flushing.
Remember, you still have to find somewhere to dump your grey and black water. But if you need freshwater, it is there!
One water line is located between the two loops on the entrance/exit road, and the second is located near the bathrooms and the host site of the campground.
Camping For Appalachian Trail Hikers
Roughly 71 miles of the 2,180-mile long AppalachianTrail passes through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In fact, the highest point of this famous trail is locatedin the park the 6,625-foot summit of Clingmans Dome.
Most section hikers and backpackers will need around 7 daysto hike the portion of the trail that passes through the national park .
Appalachian Trail thru-hikers often spend much less time on the trail, between 3 and 5 days, depending on their pace.
No matter how many days you plan to spend camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park while hiking the Appalachian Trail, it`s important to apply for an overnight backcountry permit.
Specialbackcountry permits are available for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers toensure that all thru-hikers have a place to stay overnight.
Do note that, unlike some sections of the trail, those hiking through Great Smoky Mountains must camp in designated backcountry campsites or shelters.
The national park provides 12 totalshelters along the 71-mile stretch of trail. These shelters fill up quicklyduring the prime hiking season, especially in rainy weather.
You May Like: Tent Camping Near Elko Nv
Edgar Evins State Park
Camping at Edgar Evins State Park on the Eastern Highland Rim is a Tennessee camping experience unlike any other.
Set on the edge of beautiful Center Hill Lake,the state park is notable for its varied outdoor activities, including boatingand fishing, in addition to its camping. It boasts a single campground with 60sites suitable for tents and small trailers/RVs. Hookups are available as wellas wooden tent platforms. Bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers areoffered at three locations through the campground.
Another lodging option is to rentone of 34 modern cabins. Also design and layouts vary slightly from room toroom, most have a bathroom, full kitchen, and comfortable sleeping area.
Leconte Lodge Best Camping Spot In Tennessee In Winter
Address:250 Apple Valley Rd, Sevierville, TN 37862 Activities and highlights of the campground:
- Cool cozy cabins
- Heating available in the winter season
This quiet lodge on the slopes of Mt. LeConte is yet another attractive camping ground.
Although it is one of the coziest camping grounds within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you will have to earn all the comforts it has to offer. The only way to access the lodge is by hiking up to the top.
There are about five different hiking trails to the lodge ranging in length from 5.5 to 8 miles. As you trek up the path, you get to see the immense beauty that the nearby scenery has to offer. The Lodge is 6,400 feet above sea level, so the view from the top is mind-blowing.
You will spend the night in a handmade log cabin, taking in the magnificent views around you and having a great time.
Dinner is usually a jovial affair, and the hearty meals you will enjoy will be the perfect climax to a beautiful day.
You May Like: Tent Camping Near Anaheim Ca
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Campgrounds
Reservations: In half of the campgrounds at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reservations are required. The rest of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can make a reservation ahead of time on recreation.gov.
Peak camping season: Ranges from May to October
Seasonal Closures: The mountainous region has large temperature fluctuations, that means the open and close dates vary depending on the campground. Smokemont and Elkmont campgrounds are open year-round. Most of the campgrounds are open between April and November.
Water and bathrooms: All campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains have flush toilets and potable water. However, there are no shower facilities within the park.
Electricity: No campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains have electric hookups for camping.
RV camping: When it comes to large motorhomes, the Great Smoky Mountains is a very friendly National Park. Six of the campgrounds can accommodate RVs and trailers over 30 long, and three of the campgrounds can house campers 40 feet or longer. Although there arent any electric or water hookups within the park, there are dump stations open year-round at Cades Cove, Elkmont and Smokemont.
Cell phone service: Mobile coverage is spotty or non-existent throughout the park. Youll get the best reception at Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, and Deep Creek campgrounds.
Pets: Leashed dogs are welcome in all of the campgrounds but they must be kept on a six-foot leash.
Anderson Road Day Use
J Percy Priest Lake
Anderson Road Day Use has a swim beach, picnic tables, and grills for guests to enjoy. At just $5.00 per vehicle per day, recreation is affordable for any family. Please remember though to leave the pets at home. Anderson Road Day Use does not allow pets. Anderson Road Day Use provides a swim be…
Cherokee National Forest
Near Shady Valley, Tennessee
Backbone Rock Campground is open for the 2022 season. Backbone Rock Campground is a small campground situated along the beautiful Beaverdam Creek at an elevation of 2,100 feet in northern Johnson County. This developed campground is popular with those visiting the nearby Backbone Rock, a tunnel ori…
Cherokee National Forest
Near Shady Valley, Tennessee
The pavilion at Backbone Rock Recreation Area is a popular location for family reunions and other types of group gatherings. The pavilion is large and adjacent to an expansive field, Beaverdam Creek, and a large parking area. The area includes accessible grills, picnic tables, dumpsters, and vault t…
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
Near Oneida, Tennessee
Bandy Creek is a spacious and modern campground, situated in The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area–a vast and scenic expanse of land that offers visitors countless recreational activities.Bandy Creek combines the experience of traditional woods camping with the modern conveniences o…
Also Check: Hickory Run State Park Camping
Other Great Smoky Mountains National Park Lodging Options
Options for overnight stays aside from camping in GreatSmoky Mountains National Park are minimal.
LeConte Lodge, the only lodge in the national park, is accessible only by foot on a hiking trail that varies from 5.5 miles to 8 miles, depending on the route. Luckily, plenty of Airbnb`s, cabins, and hotels are located just outside of the park`s borders and you won`t have to hike in to them!
Here is the best lodging in Great Smoky Mountains NationalPark.
Best Camping Sites In Tennessee:
Also set only a few minutes from Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, Riveredge RV Park is a family-friendly campground offering various lodging facilities.
Whether you opt for the classic RV camping or one of their park models, deluxe cabins, or camping cabins, youll be delivered comfort, modern conveniences, and the great outdoors right at your doorstep.
Spend your day by the pool, relax in the hot tub, cast a line in the adjacent Little Pigeon River, or set off exploring the Smoky Mountains National Park and the nearby towns. Riveredge RV park will not let you get disappointed.
This campground is also open all year round. Its great for a weekend getaway, as well as a family vacation home base. Pets are welcome!
Don’t Miss: Looking For A Camping Partner
Exactly How To Find Free Campsites Across The Usa
The majority of campgrounds charge a fee for camping at their location. These fees range in cost depending on the location of the campground, how many people are in your party, the type of vehicle you are arriving in, and the amenities that the campground provides. You have already invested quite a bit of money on camping gear, food, fuel, etc and now camping fees too. For this reason, I want to share with you all the tips on how to find free campsites so you can have a much more budget-friendly trip!
Glorious Campgrounds In Kentucky Where No Reservation Is Required
Kentucky is a beautiful state and one of the best ways to experience it is by camping. While most campgrounds require advanced planning and reservations, there are a few places throughout the state that allow for those last minute free camping trips that you just have to take. And since any season provides a great opportunity for camping in Kentucky, now is the time to check out these five glorious destinations in Kentucky that are not only free campgrounds, but no reservation is required.
Quick Hits: Camping in Kentucky:
What are some of the best campgrounds in Kentucky? Kentucky offers countless options for camping adventures! We featured some of the free campgrounds in the state in this article, but thats just the beginning. Kentuckys state parks are a wonderful option when planning a family camping trip, and we particularly love Cumberland Falls State Resort Park for its range of options. If you want to be right on the water, consider Axtel Campground at Rough River Lake for scenic campsites and plenty of amenities.
Are you allowed to camp in state parks? Absolutely! Kentuckys state parks have designated areas for RV camping, as well as primitive set ups. State park camping is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Kentucky, and you can find everything from a cabin in the woods to a secluded campsite thats all your own.
And for more rustic camping spots throughout Kentucky, check out our previous article here.
You May Like: Camping Near Port Angeles Wa
Camping Near Isha Yoga Center Camping Near Rock Island State Park Camping Near Fall Creek Falls Camping Near Cumberland Caverns
Looking for Camping near Isha Institure or Camping near Fall Creek Falls? Bring your soul and feast in the beauty of Hammock’Sway. Open areas perfect for meditation and relaxation.
Hammock Sway is a perfect getaway for Yoga and spiritual connections. Isha Institute of Inner Science is located just 8 miles from Hammock’Sway.
Spend the day at Rock Island State park, Fall creek falls or Isha and finish your spiritual event here in the forest and along the beautiful Rocky River.
Experience camping where the nature and beauty around you make you forget the worries attached to our electronic lives. See the stars from atop Tennessees mountains. Relax by the fresh spring creeks that make up the Rocky River leading down the mountain to Rock Island State Park. Walk in the water before the world touches it.
Perfect for larger groups of campers whether or not you have a tent or an RV. You will find a place to relax and unwind up on the mountain where the stars light hits first.
What Is The Monument Like
Meriwether Lewis is a Tennessee National Park with Camping!!
The Meriwether Lewis National Monument sits on the Tennessee portion of the Natchez Trace managed by the National Park Service. The grounds, trails, facilities, and campsite are kept in impeccable condition by the dedicated staff. There is an information center where you can learn about the Natchez Trace and Meriwether Lewis, one of Americas great explorers.
Being part of the National Park Service gives you a strong feeling of security and competence to the dry camping experience.
Don’t Miss: Rv Camping Near Spokane Wa
Clarksville Rv Park And Campground
Another one of the best RVcampgrounds in Tennessee, Clarksville RV Park and Campground is extremely cleanand convenient for exploring Tennessee as well as nearby Kentucky.
It has over 65 RV sites with fullhookups. The vast majority of these are shaded thanks to large, leafy treesplanted throughout the park. A pool, clean bathrooms with showers, free Wi-Fi,and an on-site general store are additional amenities. Shaded tent campingsites and modern cabin rentals are also available.
While enjoying your stay at Clarksville RV Park, dont forget to check out nearby Mammoth Caves and Lake Between the Lakes Recreation Area, both just minutes away in Kentucky.
Nearby Hotels Cabins Airbnb`s
There are a wide variety of hotels, cabins, and guest housesnear Great Smoky Mountains.
Almost all of the areacommunities, especially gatewaycommunities, have at least a small selection of lodging available.
Gatlinburg, to the north of the park in Tennessee, has the most accommodations, including large hotels like the Hilton Garden Gatlinburg, budget motels like Motel 6 Gatlinburg Smoky Mountains, and cabins like Parkside Cabin Rentals.
On the southern side of the park, Cherokee has numerousaccommodations, such as Harrah`sCherokee Casino Resort, HamptonInn Cherokee, and GreatSmokys Cabin Rentals.
Airbnbis another option for finding guesthouses, cabins, and other lodging near GreatSmoky Mountains National Park.
Read Also: Rv Camping In Southern Colorado
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping Itinerary
It takes roughly an hour to get to Great Smoky Mountainsfrom Knoxville to the northwest or two hours from Asheville to the east.
Thanks to its convenient location straddling the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains are an extremely popular camping destination for locals living in each state as well as for out-of-town visitors.
Here are three popular road trip itineraries for camping inthe Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area.
Bureau Of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for managing public lands. These lands are used for a variety of purposes such as livestock grazing, recreation, energy development, maintaining natural, cultural, and historic resources, and more. While they do have developed campgrounds that you can pay a fee to use, they mostly have dispersed camping available.
These campsites are good for tent camping but can also be used for RVers, vans, campers, and other styles of camping. To camp on BLM grounds, you need to know a few things first. These are stated on the BLM website as well.
Search BLMs interactive map here so you can find free camping areas that will suit your needs. You shouldnt depend on Google Earth for BLM locations as they are not shown on their maps.
You May Like: Little Beaver State Park Camping
Rhea Springs Recreation Area
Located in Spring City, Tennessee on Rhea Springs Road, the GPS coordinates for the campground are 35.6832, -84.8262.
Rhea Springs was created by the Tennessee Valley Authority, when the Piney River was dammed to provide electricity. The recreation area sits on Watts Bar Reservoir, giving campers the opportunity to fish or enjoy boating and swimming in its waters.
Campsites are plentiful and widely spaced, with shady, lakefront sites being the most popular. The campsite provides fire rings, picnic tables, and a bathhouse.
Grateful campers enjoy this beautiful campground, not only for its price , but for the quiet and peaceful location on the reservoir. A swim beach and boat ramp tempt many into the water.
Free Camping in Tennessee Vibes: 7.9/10
T O Fuller State Park
T. O. Fuller State Park is located within the southern city limits of Memphis, with plenty of activities in store for its visitors.
But aside from its diverse terrain and quiet setting, this state park offers plenty of history.
Initially designated as the Shelby County Negro State Park, the name was changed in 1942 to T. O. Fuller State Park in honor of Dr. Thomas O. Fuller, an African American author, pastor, and civic leader who spent his life educating African Americans.
Before this, there is evidence the adjacent site was a burial ground for the Chucalissa Native Americans, and it has since been developed into the Chucalissa Indian Village, complete with preserved archaeological excavations and a museum.
Essential InformationAddress: 1500 W Mitchell Rd, Memphis, TN 38109 | 901-543-7581Months Available: Year-roundAmenities: RV sites , tent sites , ADA sites, grills, picnic tables, fire rings, lantern hanger, dump station, pet-friendly , showers, restrooms, laundry, swimming pool, splash pad, playground, ball fields, basketball court, tennis court, gift shop, heat-treated firewoodActivities: Hiking, biking, birdwatching, wildlife watching, swimmingNearby places of interest: T. O. Fuller Interpretive Center, C. H. Nash Museum, McKellar Lake, Discovery Trail, Pond Trail, Wildlife Trail, Graceland, MemphisMore information:T.O. Fuller State Park | Tennessee State Parks
Read Also: Rv Camping Near Eureka Ca
Blog Posts And Road Trip Guides
Blog posts and road trip guides are a great way to find free campsites. I often find fun things to do in the area by researching other guides and blogs. You can find these on social media platforms by following travel influencers and bloggers and also on Pinterest by searching for travel guides for specific destinations. I share a few travel guides on my website that can help you find free camping and fun road trips. For example, on my Death Valley National Park GuideI feature tips on places where to stay, things to do, and also include my favorite nearby BLM camping spot. I also have an in-depth guide about How To Sleep In Your Car On Road Trips.