Middle Tennessee offers a picturesque landscape that beckons outdoor enthusiasts to explore its beauty through camping. Nestled within this region are a plethora of stunning state parks and natural reserves, each offering a unique and immersive experience. With its moderate climate, camping in Middle Tennessee is a year-round adventure, allowing visitors to witness the breathtaking changes of the seasons. From the vibrant colors of fall to the lush greenery of spring and the serene winters, every season offers a new perspective on the area's natural beauty.

Whether hiking through scenic trails, fishing in tranquil lakes, or simply unwinding by a crackling campfire under a starlit sky, camping in Middle Tennessee offers an opportunity to embrace unforgettable experiences and create cherished memories.

Are you ready? Jump into our picks for Middle Tennessee’s top camping spots!

Cades Cove
10042 Campground Dr | Townsend

Cades Cove, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is renowned for its rich wildlife, picturesque landscapes, and well-preserved historic buildings dating back to the late 1800s. This valley, a typical "cove" in the region, is a flat expanse surrounded by towering mountains, making it a popular destination within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its fame stems from the diverse wildlife it harbors, including deer, black bears, and wild turkeys, easily spotted due to the valley's accessibility from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Originally a thriving town, Cades Cove retains its charming scenery and historic structures, such as a working grist mill, offering visitors a glimpse into its past. The miller is often available for a chat, particularly from March to October daily and on weekends in November.

Exploring Cades Cove is most easily accomplished via an auto tour along its 11-mile loop road, with several trailheads leading into the wilderness. Despite the short distance, the many stops and sightseers can extend the drive to over four hours, especially on busy weekends. We recommend visiting early in the day or during the off-season to avoid crowds.

Anderson Road Campground
4010 Anderson Rd | Nashville

Nestled along the gorgeous 14,200-acre Percy Priest Lake shores lies the Anderson Road Campground, a well-appointed haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Managed with care by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this campground boasts 37 generously sized campsites, each offering ample shade and picturesque views of the lake.

One of Anderson Road Campground’s standout features is the sandy swimming beach, exclusively available to campers. Here, you can bask in the sun, take a refreshing dip, or simply disconnect from the digital world as you unwind by the water's edge.

Beyond the beach, a wealth of recreational activities awaits. From fishing and paddling to horseback riding and hiking, there is no shortage of ways to connect with nature. For those seeking a leisurely stroll, the one-mile paved fitness trail offers a scenic route through cedar trees, offering glimpses of the tranquil lake. The campground's serene setting also offers ample opportunities for wildlife spotting, adding to the allure of this hidden gem in Nashville.

Peaceful Hills Retreat Campground
390 American Way | Centerville

Peaceful Hills Retreat Campground offers a tranquil escape for families seeking peace and quiet. This family-owned business boasts a picturesque landscape featuring a freshwater spring-fed creek and rolling hills, creating an ideal environment for campers craving solitude.

What further sets Peaceful Hills Retreat apart is its commitment to giving back; the owners donate a portion of their profits to A Soldier’s Child Foundation, which supports children who have lost a parent who was actively serving in the military.

With 32 secluded campsites spread over 97 acres, this retreat provides ample space for RV and tent campers. The land on which Peaceful Hills Retreat is situated has historical significance as well, as Native Americans once inhabited it. Arrowheads found around the property serve as a reminder of the area's rich history.

Poole Knobs Campground
493 Jones Mill Rd | La Vergne

Poole Knobs Campground offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts on the shores of Percy Priest Lake. Campers can partake in a variety of recreational activities, including fishing for large and small-mouth bass, catfish, and trout, exploring the lake by boat or kayak, wildlife viewing, photography, horseback riding, and picnicking!

Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Poole Knobs features 87 shaded campsites that are open from early May to late September. The campground offers both RV pull-through sites and tent sites. Please note that site reservations are highly recommended due to their popularity.

Amenities include a shower house, well-maintained restrooms with flush toilets, hot showers, laundry facilities, and a waste disposal station for added convenience. For those looking for a more secluded experience, the forest campsites are located off the beaten path, accessible via a gravel road. These sites vary from hilltop views to tucked-away spots, each with its own fire pit.

Firewood bundles and fresh farm eggs are available for purchase, and hammock and cart rentals are optional add-ons with advance booking.

Meriwether Lewis Campground
191 Meriwether Lewis Park Rd | Hohenwald

Located at milepost 385.9 on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, the Meriwether Lewis Campground is renowned as the premier RV camping spot among the three campgrounds along the Parkway. Situated at the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway, this campground offers a blend of natural beauty and historical significance.

The campground is nestled among scenic trails, rolling hills, and rich historical sites, including the Meriwether Lewis death and burial site. Despite its historical context, this campground is a free and rustic camping experience, with 32 well-spaced sites available for a maximum stay of 14 days.

Campers should be aware that this is strictly dry camping, meaning no hookups or amenities are available. Despite this limitation, the campground's picturesque setting and historical allure make it a popular choice for those seeking a unique outdoor experience.

Cedar Creek Campground
9264 Saundersville Rd | Mt. Juliet

Cedar Creek Campground, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, offers a scenic retreat on the shores of Old Hickory Lake, a 22,500-acre reservoir fed by the Cumberland River. Open from April to October, Cedar Creek Campground offers 60 spacious sites with water and electric hookups.

Located about 24 miles northeast of Nashville, this campground is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking time to enjoy the site’s many recreational activities. In addition to swimming, hiking, and fishing, the area is also renowned for bird-watching opportunities. Many migratory birds and other wildlife species can be spotted here, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Amenities at Cedar Creek Campground include restrooms with hot showers, laundry facilities, a waste disposal station, and a boat launch, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay for campers. Whether you want to relax by the lake or explore the surrounding natural beauty, Cedar Creek Campground offers a peaceful retreat.

Tims Ford State Park
570 Tims Ford Dr | Winchester

Nestled on the picturesque Cumberland Plateau, Tims Ford State Park spans 3,456 acres and is home to Tims Ford Lake, a beloved destination for campers and outdoors enthusiasts. Renowned for its excellent bass fishing and recreational opportunities, the lake boasts eight public boat ramps and two marinas, making it perfect for getting out on the water.

The park offers over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, providing visitors with many opportunities to explore the area's natural beauty. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the Bear Trace 18-hole golf course, which has absolutely stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Open year-round, Tims Ford State Park features 168 campsites across three areas. Campers can choose from a variety of options, including 14 primitive campsites with paddles for island camping and hike-in options with no amenities. Those staying in primitive campsites must adhere to the Leave No Trace rule to ensure the preservation of the stunning natural environment.

For those seeking more amenities, the non-primitive areas feature two centrally located, heated bathhouses with hot showers and bathrooms. Each site in this area includes a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill, providing a comfortable camping experience for families.

Tims Ford State Park also has several playgrounds throughout the park, including one indoors, making it a popular destination for families with young kids. Additionally, the park has a camp store that is open year-round, and Wi-Fi is available for campers' convenience.

Bledsoe Creek
400 Zeigler Fort Road | Gallatin 

At Bledsoe Creek State Park, you’ll find 57 standard campsites with hookups, recently upgraded amenities, grills, and picnic tables, providing a comfortable camping experience for visitors. In addition, eight primitive campsites along the waterfront have impressive views of Old Hickory Lake, allowing campers to immerse themselves in nature.

The park's rich history as a Native American hunting ground extends back 12,000 years, and numerous artifacts have been found throughout the site. Today, visitors can explore over six miles of scenic hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the lakeshore. One mile of these trails is paved, making it accessible to those with disabilities and ensuring that everyone can enjoy the natural beauty of Bledsoe Creek State Park.

Cedars of Lebanon State Park
328 Cedar Forest Road | Lebanon

Cedars of Lebanon State Park, located in Wilson County and part of the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, presents visitors with a wealth of outdoor experiences. The park features eight miles of hiking trails that wind through the forest, offering views of the park's iconic eastern red cedar trees.

With 117 campsites that have electric and water hookups, grills, and picnic tables, campers can enjoy a comfortable and convenient outdoor living experience. Additionally, there are 30 campsites specifically designed for tents and pop-ups. For those seeking an experience with additional amenities, the park offers nine fully furnished two-bedroom cabins for reservations only.

Amenities at Cedars of Lebanon State Park include hot showers, flush toilets, outdoor wash-up stations, laundry facilities, three bathhouses, and Wi-Fi. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and grill, with firewood, ice, and other items available for purchase. Campers can shop for essentials at the visitor center.

Despite being only 33 miles from Nashville, Cedars of Lebanon State Park feels like a world away, offering miles of horseback riding trails and hidden natural wonders, such as springs buried deep below ground. The park also features a splash pad, making it a popular family destination.

Visitors can also explore the nature center and butterfly garden, play disc golf, or go on a nature hike. Cedars of Lebanon State Park is proud to have something for virtually everyone!

Montgomery Bell State Parks
1020 Jackson Hill Road | Burns 

At Montgomery Bell State Park, which sprawls over 3,850 acres, visitors can partake in a range of outdoor experiences. With 109 campsites, including 40 with hookups for small campers and RVs, 47 sites with water and electrical hookups, and 22 tent-only sites, the park provides options for every type of camper. Additionally, backcountry shelters are available to those seeking a more rugged experience, though a permit may be required.

For vacationers who prefer indoor accommodations, the park is home to the 117-room Lodge Montgomery Bell as well as eight cabins near Lake Acorn.

The park's three lakes mean there are ample opportunities for swimming, paddling, canoeing, and kayaking. Guided hikes, golf cart safaris, and all-day waterfall tours are available for those looking to explore the park's natural beauty.

Montgomery Bell State Park is open year-round and located just 40 minutes from Nashville, making it a convenient destination for a weekend getaway or extended stay. Campground amenities include three bathhouses, showers, two waste disposal stations, a laundromat, Wi-Fi, and a seasonal store. Firewood and ice are available for sale on-site.

The Takeaway

No matter how you prefer to camp, Middle Tennessee has the perfect getaway for you!

Did we include your favorite campground? If not, please let us know; we may include your recommendation in a future article.

Happy camping!

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

e.g. yourwebsitename.com
Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.