Smithville, Tennessee Campgrounds

Smithville, Tennessee Campgrounds
Smithville is on the Highland Rim of Tennessee, which means there are thick forests and bluffs that create many waterfalls on the pure streams that flow through the area's hills. Center Hill Lake is a clear-water lake in the area near Smithville.

Center Hill Lake is a 64-mile-long reservoir that was created by damming the Caney Fork River. State parks, private campgrounds and wilderness areas are plentiful here. Smithville, a town of 4,000, attracts 80,000 at the annual Fiddlers Jamboree and Craft Festival.

Ragland Bottom Campground

Ragland Bottom Campground is 8 miles from Smithville on Center Lake. The park is part of the Ragland Bottom recreation area, which is a nature preserve on the banks of the lake. The lake offers many boating opportunities as well as boat ramps and a swimming area.

This campground has 57 sites with water and electric hookups. There is no sewer but there is a dump station. Hot showers and restrooms are available at the park and in the campgrounds.

The park is open year round and offers an interpretive trail, canoe rentals and special programs presented by park officials. Other amenities include a playground and picnic shelters.

You must make a reservation at Ragland Bottom Campground two days in advance for family sites and four days in advance for group sites. Minimum stays are sometimes required. The campground is open April through October.

Ragland Bottom Campground

1410 Ragland Bottom Road

Sparta, TN 38583


Edgar Evins State Park

Edgar Evins State Park is on the other side of Center Hill Lake from Smithville. The 6,000-acre park contains a lot of woodlands, and the hilly areas around the lake make for waterfalls and dramatic scenery.

The visitor center has an inspiring view of the lake and area hillsides. There is a restaurant and a full-service marina at the lake.

The park has six lodging complexes featuring cabins and suites. The park has 60 campsites with full hookups for RV or tent camping. Sites have a concrete platform, fire rings and picnic tables. Three bathhouses and restrooms are available. Six sites have 50-amp connections and the rest have 30-amp connections. Additionally, there are nine primitive sites and two group sites available. No reservations are taken.

Edgar Evins State Park

1630 Edgar Evins State Park Road

Silver Point, TN 38582


Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is 8 miles south of Smithville and is dominated by thick woods and the Caney Fork River. Several waterfalls are on the river and in nearby streams, and Great Falls is a popular spot.

An imposing limestone gorge is situated around the Caney Fork River, featuring scenic overlooks, rocks to climb and trails to wander. The park has a 19th-century textile mill and it was one of the state's earliest hydroelectric energy plants, which can be toured.

Rock Island has 60 campsites with electric (30-amp) and water hookups for RV or tent camping. Three bathhouses with hot showers are on site. Campsites may be reserved as much as a year in advance, and reservations are suggested in the summer. This campground is open year round.

Rock Island State Park

82 Beach Road

Rock Island, TN 38581


Article Written By James Jordan

James Jordan has been a writer and photographer since 1980. He has worked for newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, winning state press association awards for writing, photography and page design. In 1995 he received his master's in Christian education and completed two years of Ancient Greek at the graduate level. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.

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