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Pitch a Tent at These Top Camping Spots in Middle Tennessee

Adventure seekers have many options when looking for their next camping spot in Middle Tennessee. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking, fishing, picnicking and more from several scenic camping sites located throughout this region. The one thing all of them have in common is that each one is unique.

Photo: Odinn Media

Barton Springs Campground, Normandy

The Barton Springs Campground is situated on the upper portion of the Duck River in Normandy. It offers seasonal long-term and short-term camping from March to December for RV and tent campers. Each of the campground’s 128 sites offers electric power, a water faucet, a lake view, a picnic table and a fire pit/grill. Eleven sites are lakefront and ideal for campers who want to fish on the river from their camp.

Photo: Odinn Media

Barton Springs Campground offers RV rentals for those who may not have a tent or RV. The four RVs available for rent include a fully stocked kitchen, refrigerator, stove and oven. The only things renters will need to bring are towels and bedding. During the warmer months, the swim-at-your-risk beach is popular with campers and day trip visitors alike.

Peaceful Hills Retreat Campground, Centerville

Family-owned Peaceful Hills Retreat Campground is located in Centerville. An idyllic getaway for campers who prefer to be surrounded by nature, this campground features a freshwater spring-fed creek, wildlife sightings and potential arrowhead discoveries. The campground offers 32 secluded campsites on 97 acres for RV and tent campers. Visitors who want to have a peaceful experience but do not have a tent or RV can rent one of three homes on the property. Peaceful Hills Retreat donates a portion of its profits to A Soldier’s Child Foundation, which serves children who have lost a parent who served in the military.

Homestead on the Duck, Columbia

The Homestead on the Duck campsite in Columbia is surrounded by the Yanahli Wildlife Management Area and the Duck River. This smaller campground packs a big punch with its scenic views of forests, wildlife and the river. There are 10 campsites located on this 23-acre property. They comprise two RV sites, seven tents and one glamping site.

The one glamping campsite is for campers who want to be close to nature without sacrificing some of the comforts of home. A large bell tent that has a platform base and hardwood flooring, the accommodation includes a queen bed, refrigerator, freezer and wood-burning stove. The camp keeps seasoned firewood in stock for guests to use. Hunting is not allowed on the property, but campers will have easy access to hunting, fishing, and hiking due to its proximity to the 12,800-acre Yanahli WMA .

Walls of Jericho, Belvidere

Belvidere is home to one of the most primitive camping spots in the Southeast. The Walls of Jericho straddle Franklin County in Tennessee and Jackson County in Alabama, a large, intact, protected land area tucked away in the Southern Cumberland Mountains. The Walls of Jericho is a favorite of seasoned hikers and campers because of the difficulty getting in and out of the rugged area. There is a 3.5-mile one-way hike into the camping area at the bottom of the gorge, and while the trail is marked, hikers must cross several streams, so getting wet should be expected.

The Walls of Jericho are open year-round for public access with trails that lead into the gorge and a tent-only, primitive camping area located near the natural amphitheater. The campsite is flat with two fire pits and room for a couple of tents. There are also plenty of sturdy trees to hang hammocks for leisure or camping. The land outside of the 750-acre state natural area is open for hunting. Campers and hikers should be aware of Tennessee hunting season regulations.

Meriwether Lewis Campground, Hohenwald

The Meriwether Lewis Campground is one of three campgrounds along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway in Hohenwald. It is located at milepost 385.9 on the northern end of the parkway. This campground is considered the best of the three RV sites that run along the famous route. Campers will enjoy scenic trails, rolling hills and the history that accompanies their stay at this campground.

What makes this camp experience unique is its location near its namesake Meriwether Lewis' death and burial site, an explorer who is well known for leading the infamous Lewis and Clark Expedition. The free campground is open year-round on a first-come, first-served basis. It has 32 well-spaced campsites with a maximum stay of 14 days. Each one, nestled among mature trees, is outfitted with a fire pit and picnic tables. Campers have access to clean bathrooms with running water but not electricity, showers or a dump station. The campground is busiest during spring and fall, especially holiday weekends.

Mousetail Landing State Park, Linden

This state park in Linden spans 1,247 acres on the east bank of the Tennessee River. With a prime location along the river, Mousetail Landing State Park is an ideal spot for fishing. The park allows visitors to fish anywhere they can reach water and that includes the 21 primitive campsites lined along the banks of the river, meaning campers can fish or kayak right from their designated camping spot.

All primitive campsites are equipped with a fire ring and grill, so cooking what you catch is doable on this camping trip. Mousetail Landing State Park also has a main campground with 25 campsites equipped with picnic tables and grills. All have access to a bathhouse, laundromat and dump station.

Tims Ford State Park, Winchester

Winchester’s Tims Ford State Park sits on 3,456 acres where campers have access to one of the most popular recreational lakes in the state, known for its bass fishing and water sports. The park is open year-round and has traditional and primitive camping options.

There are 168 campsites available, many with electric and water hookups. The main campground has 52 RV and tent camping sites with access to centrally located, heated bathhouses. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill. A playground is located within the campground along with the camp store and Wi-Fi is available. The park’s primitive camping areas are available with hike-in options and no amenities, some require paddles because they are located on islands. Primitive campers are required to bring what they need in and carry out.

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, Manchester

Old Stone Fort was built 1,500 to 2,000 years ago in what is now Manchester, Tenn. The area was used by Native Americans as a ceremonial gathering place for approximately 500 years before it was abandoned. The hiking trails at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park are surrounded by natural beauty, including waterfalls and watering holes.

Photo: Odinn Media

The campground was upgraded in recent years and is open to RV and tent camping. There are 50 campsites with fire rings, water and electrical hookups, grills and picnic tables. The camp areas are wooded with space between each campsite. The park is open year-round with maximum stays limited to two weeks.

David Crockett State Park, Lawrenceburg

David Crockett State Park is a 1,319-acre park in Lawrenceburg, named after frontiersman David Crockett, who settled in Lawrence County in 1817. The park is located on Shoal Creek, the same land Crockett established businesses on during the 1800s.

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This state park has two campgrounds; one along Shoal Creek is open seasonally from March 15 through November 30. It has 45 campsites, all with electric and water hook-ups along with 10 walk-in-only primitive sites. The second campground is open year-round with 52 paved sites each with electric and water hookups. Stays are limited to two weeks during peak season and 28 days during the off-season. Visitors who are not interested in camping but want to stay overnight can rent one of seven lakeside cabins that are available year-round.

Henry Horton State Park, Chapel Hill

Henry Horton State Park is a 1,520-acre park located in Chapel Hill on the shores of the Duck River. There are several lodging options offered at this verdant state park that includes a variety of camping sites, cabins and a lodge. Each of the 56 RV sites has water and electric hookups. The 10 tent-only sites do not offer hookups, but tent campers are allowed to book an RV site if they want them.

One of the more unique lodging options available at the park is hammock camping. There are six hammock-only, hike-in primitive campsites. Anyone who wants to ease into backcountry camping should try one of the two camps that require a 1.5-mile hike to reach the campsite. All campsites except for backcountry sites are equipped with a grill, picnic table, fire ring and bath house access. The park has a well-stocked camp store that sells basic camping supplies, snacks, drinks and more.


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