As much as we love America’s music city and its fast pace of life and sound, it’s pretty great to head out of town sometimes to experience a quieter pace of living. Listed here are 25 campgrounds within two hours of Nashville so that you can hear the sweet music nature has to offer without having to go too far for a little rest and relaxation. On the menu of activities within this list are plenty of hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating. Whatever you are into, there are some great places to unwind and get outdoors in campgrounds within two hours of Nashville.
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Montgomery Bell State Park: Burns, TN
Montgomery Bell Campground is the perfect trip for those looking to get away while still enjoying the comforts of home. The area is the site of a former large iron industry in Tennessee, but now boasts many miles of sprawling trails for biking and hiking, three beautiful lakes for swimming and fishing, multiple camping setups, cabins, a golf course, and even a gourmet restaurant. Travelers seeking the perfect work retreat can convene in the Montgomery Bell Conference Rooms or various pavilions located throughout the property. The park also includes a full resort experience for those interested, but regardless of your interests, there’s sure to be some way to relax on the enormous grounds.
This beautiful state park, named after the legendary pioneer, includes eight miles of scenic hiking trails that offer scenic views of Shoal Creek and Crockett Falls, bluffs made of limestone, much wildlife and, and soothing forests. Fishing and swimming are popular summertime activities. Paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and fishing boats are available for rental. There are many options for whatever style of camping suits you, including primitive camping, RV hookups, and cabins. Various events during the year, including David Crockett Days in early August, assure that there is plenty to do in the park throughout the year, making it wone of the best campgrounds within two hours of Nashville!
Featuring 57 campsites and more than six miles of scenic hiking trails, Bledsoe Creek State Park boasts a rich history. It once served as a hunting ground for Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Shawnee, Creek, and others. The park became a Tennesee state park in 1973 after existing for a long time as the Bledsoe Creek territory. Campers enjoy exclusive use of a boat launch pier. For a peaceful weekend of birdwatching, boating, hiking, and history, enjoy the sites and activities that Bledsoe Creek State Park has to offer.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is part of the Cedars Lebanon State Forest. The cedar trees in the area reminded early American settlers of the famed Biblical cedar forests that thrived across Mount Lebanon. During the 1940s, botanists noticed unique natural ecosystems called limestone glades, which are natural rock gardens. These were found in and around the forest of what is now the state park. The park features 117 campsites featuring water hookups, grills, and picnic tables. In addition, 30 primitive campsites available to rent. The property also features a modern group lodge that can sleep up to 80 people.
Located in the Eastern Highland Rim of Tennesse, Edgar Evins State Park is located on one of the most picturesque reservoirs in the state. Ideal activities at the park include kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Economy suites are available, as well as 60 tent and trailer sites. Wildlife is abundant in the park and includes three different owl species, numerous hawks, and wintering bald eagles.
Edgar Evins State Park
1630 Edgar Edgar Evins State Park Rd, Silver Point, TN 38582
As one of Tennesee’s largest and most popular state parks, Fall Creek Falls State Park welcomes many visitors each year on their that spans for 26,000 acres. At 256 feet, Fall Creek Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern region of the United States. Over 56 hiking trails accommodate hikers of all skill levels. For those young campers looking to learn about the great outdoors, the Nature Center at Fall Creek Falls offers a variety of educational programs. This family-friendly state park offers 222 camping sites, 30 cabins, and plenty of room for everyone to happily and safely roam in the wild.
Named after the former governor of Tennessee, Henry Horton, this Tennessee state park features one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Remnants of a mill and bridge operated and used by the family of Horton’s spouse for over a century may be seen today on the Wilhoite Mill Trail. From backcountry camping sites to RV hookup sites, as well as a cabin and inn, there are many options for campers from all walks of life. Fishing is a popular activity in the Duck River, with largemouth and smallmouth bass being a common catch in the river. The Henry Horton Trap and Skeet Range feature five skeet fields, two trap fields, and a lodge building. Gun rental and ammo are available. A picnic shelter is available for large groups.
Pickett CCC Memorial State Park’s name pays tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps, who managed and turned the forest area into a conserved piece of land through the 1930s and 40s for visitors to enjoy for generations to come. Visitors may enjoy the museum on premises which memorializes the efforts the organization, as well as over 58 miles of trails. Hikers may enjoy views of sandstone bluffs, natural bridges, waterfalls and diverse plant life along the many pathways. Thirty-one campsites are available at the park, and 20 cabins are also on site for rental. Close by is the Charit Creek Lodge, which offers visitors unique views of wildlife slightly off the beaten path.
Rock Island State Park’s magnificent views along the Caney Fork Gorge below Great Falls Dam are some of the most majestic scenery in the region. Located below the cotton textile mill that it powered over 100 years ago, Great Falls issues forth a 30-foot cascade of flowing water in the shape of a horseshoe. Though guests are cautioned to use good judgment when navigating the falls, there is much to explore and learn from the area. Twenty campsites are available throughout the year for RVs and tents, and additional sites for tents only opens up annually from the late spring to the early fall.
With names like the Fiery Gizzard and a rating from Backpacker Magazine as one of the top hiking destinations in the country, it’s no wonder that visitors flock annually to the trails of South Cumberland State Park. Along the 30,000-plus acreage of the park, visitors may find spots to swim, picnic, and even spot some rare wildflowers. The visitor’s center is open regularly to guide guests with maps, interactive exhibits, and friendly advice. This Tennessee state park is a must-visit for those ready to relax and enjoy some of the best views in Central Tennessee. It’s one of our favorite campgrounds near Nashville.
Located in the sprawling, rolling hills of Middle Tennessee, Poole Knobs Campground sits comfortably on J. Percy Priest Dam and Lake, which was one of the first Corps of Engineers lakes to have recreation as part of its mission. The campground is open annually from May to September, making it a prime summer vacation spot. A single group campsite can host up to 40 campers, making this an ideal spot for family reunions, work retreats, or just plain fun with all of your friends. There are numerous activities to choose from on and around the campground, including swimming, fishing, hiking, hunting, and canoeing. Located just 10 miles east of downtown Nashville, Poole Knobs Campground is the perfect getaway that’s not too far from any modern conveniences.
Located on the shores of Old Hickory Lake, a 22,500-acre reservoir northeast of the Nashville metropolitan area, Cages Bend Campground offers campers the opportunity to retreat in peace with a scenic view. Popular activities include boating, swimming, and bird watching. A pier is available for an easy and convenient boat launch. Two piers are available exclusively for fishing. Electric and water hookups are included for each campsite, making this a friendly spot for tents and RVs alike.
A Tennessee state park full of recreation for the outdoor enthusiast and golfer is Tims Ford State Park. The Bear Trace at Tims Ford gives those on the course the combination of playability and challenge on its 18 holes. Considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the state, Tims Ford Lake offers a combination of fishing and recreational opportunities. The park offers two campgrounds for both RVs and tents, as well as 20 cabins. Hiking trails also dot the park for a versatile and relaxing stay at the park.
Rumor has it that Mousetail Landing got its name during the Civil War period when a tanning company nearby was burned to the ground. Mice fleed the burning factory in such numerous droves that the area close by the park became known as Mousetail Landing. Today, the area serves as a fantastic spot to catch some fish, camp, and hike along two trails available to guests. Campsites are available with hookups, as well as primitive spots for those interested. The pavilions are available for use with a fee.
While this might be one of the goofiest names for a campground on the list, the birdwatching opportunities at Bumpus Mills Campground do not play. Grab your binoculars and get ready to see some prime wildlife, including golden and bald eagles. In addition, hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating are popular activities for campers. The beach access, hot showers, grills, and picnic tables make this a great destination for some serious rest and relaxation time. It’s ok, you can still giggle at the name.
Cumberland State Park is situated on what is said to be the largest timbered plateau in the country. The park was established in 1938 as part of the New Deal era, which helped relocate poverty-stricken citizens into small farms to help make ends meet. Centered around Byrd Lake, a man-made lake created in the 1930s, the park provides much entertainment in the way of activities. Visitors can swim in the lake, picnic. and participate in various interpretive programs. The park also features a popular area restaurant and separate recreation hall that can accommodate up to 250 people. There are more than 140 spots throughout the park to camp, including sites for tents and RVs. In addition, spots are reserved on the overnight trail for backpackers.
For the rugged and experienced camper, a visit to Frozen Creek State Park is a perfect retreat to 24,000 acres of unspoiled forest, and you’re still among the best campgrounds within two hours of Nashville! There are plenty of opportunities to view native wildlife on the 50 miles of backpacking and day-hiking trails. Twenty primitive camping spots are located throughout the park. In 2006, the park placed an observation deck at the summit of Frozen Head to replace an old fire tower. Hikers may traverse a gorgeous, seven-mile trail leading to the observation deck for lovely views. The observation deck allows for a 360-degree view of the surrounding terrain while towering just over the tree line.
Oringally ruled by one of the last great Cherokee Chieftains, Harrison Bay State Park became one of the first Tennessee state parks in 1937. Today, the 1,200-acre park sees a myriad of guests looking to fish, hike, golf, camp, and picnic throughout the year. Its marina facility is one of the most comprehensive around and allows all sorts of recreational water vehicles on the premises. The golf course was designed by famed pro-golfer Jack Nicklaus, and is often noted as “the best natural piece of land for a golf course”. In addition, it has the distinction of being noted as one of the most environmentally-friendly golf courses in the nation. Both primitive and RV camping are available on the grounds of Harrison State Park, with plenty of opportunities and ways to relax in the outdoors.
Tiny is the name of the game at this quirky campground in McDonald, TN, just 25 minutes from the sites of Chattanooga, TN. RVs, campers, and tents are welcome, but it’s tiny houses that get the most excitement around here. Any house on wheels is welcome to come chill at this fun and offbeat campground. Come for the experience, stay for the fire pits and great photo opportunities. Water, power, sewage, and electric hookups are available. Enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own (tiny) home.
The 1,400 acres of land at Chickasaw State Park was named for the Chickasaw Native Americans who once inhabited Western Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. The state park is situated on some of the highest terrains in west Tennessee and was officially made a state park in 1955. Horseback riding is a popular activity for visitors to the park. The park has horses available for rent, and guided trail rides are available. There are classic cabins available with fireplaces to enjoy the coziness of a weekend away, as well as hook up sites and tent camping. It can be noted that Chickasaw State Park is very horse-friendly, and is one of the few wrangler campgrounds designed for those traveling with horses.
Purchased under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal at the height of the Great Depression, today this campground hosts visitors from all over the state and country looking to participate in a myriad of outdoor activities. As the name implies, it is named after the Natchez Trace, which was a series of paths connected with Native American trade and travel routes. Today, visitors enjoy swimming and fishing in the various lakes and streams located throughout the park, hiking, visiting the historical museum on the premises, and of course, camping in the 65 sites throughout the park.
Named for a Confederate cavalry leader, this Tennessee state park is home to the Tennessee River Folklife Interpretive Center and Museum, which is positioned on one of the highest points in Western Tennessee. The cultural museum features the history of folks on the Tennessee River. Such skills as craft work and fishing are put on display for the public to learn more about the rich culture from the area. Several videos on park history, Civil War history, and river life can also be viewed. Cabins and 37 campsites with electrical hookups are available for guests.
Paris Landing State Park is situated at the western shore of the Tennessee River and is an ideal spot for watersports and fishing. An Olympic-size swimming pool is also available to guests. In addition, the 841-acre state park features a challenging and exciting 18-hole golf course. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to view gorgeous wildlife on multiple trails to hike. Cabins, the main campground with electric hookups, and primitive camping available throughout the campground. Guests may reserve their spots by phone or online.
Located just south of the Pickwick Dam, Pickwick Landing State Park offers swimming, boating, and fishing for many guests every year. In addition, visitors may enjoy a disc golf course, traditional golf course, hiking, and multiple cabins and campsites. Pickwick Landing has been a popular stop for steamboats since 1840. There are many events throughout the year in the park, including the Catfish World Championship Fishing Tournament and excellent fireworks every 4th of July. An inn, cabins, full campsites with hookups, and primitive camping are available for guests of all levels of outdoor enthusiasm.
Conveniently located between Memphis and Nashville, this KOA campground is perfect for a family or friends-packed, relaxing weekend. It’s close to the natural wonders of Kentucky Lake. Offering sites for campers interested in a tent, RV, and cabin camping, there is something for everyone. Guests enjoy mini golf and disc golf on premises, as well as taking a swim in the pool. Up for a challenge? Try your hand at panning for treasure in the gem mine. Feel like taking in a bit of history at Fort Donelson National Battlefield? Maybe you just want a day trip for some big-city living in Memphis or Nashville? There are plenty of entertainment options close to this relaxing oasis of a campground.
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