The Best Campgrounds in Tennessee for Tent Camping

The Best Campgrounds in Tennessee for Tent Camping
Tennessee is known for its state parks, natural beauty and humid climate that encourages a wealth of vegetation to grow. It is an excellent state for tent camping, and if you are ready to find that great campground for yourself, your family, and also the family pet, you have many choices. There are some parks that are specifically designed to accommodate both RVers and tent campers, and they offer a number of exciting ancillary camping activities. Other campgrounds are aimed at tent campers and present primitive camping at its best.

Big Hill Pond State Park Campground for Primitive Camping refers to Big Hill Pond State Park campground as a well-kept secret in the state of Tennessee. This quaint campground features 30 campsites that are excellent for tent camping. Each site is equipped with a table and grill. Since there are no RV hookups and also no dump station, RVers usually do not like to stay there, making this virtually a tents-only camp. What makes this one of the best campgrounds in Tennessee for tent camping is the presence of actual shelters, to which you may hike and where you may stay overnight. This makes your tent at Big Hill Pond State Park campground your base camp as you explore the 5,000 acres of parkland.
The area surrounding the campground features trails totaling 30 hiking miles and 14 mountain biking miles. Travis McNatt Lake measures 165 acres and holds catfish and bass. You may bring a boat, as long as it uses an electric trolling motor. If you are brave, climb the 70-foot-tall observation tower, which offers a spectacular view of the landscape.

Big Hill Pond State Park
984 John Howell Road
Pocahontas, TN 38061
(731) 645-7967


Bandy Creek Campground for Extended Stay Tent Camping

Bandy Creek campground is part of the Big South Fork's National River and Recreation Area. It is listed in's guidebook dedicated to the top tent campgrounds in Tennessee. Of the 180 available campsites, you will find 49 set apart for tent campers only. Each site features a picnic bench and table combo, as well as a fire pit. On-site showers and restrooms make this a great choice for an extended stay.
Although the campground is open year round, the on-site swimming pool only operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Children can enjoy playgrounds and volleyball courts. Virtually next door is a stable for equestrians who would like to include some horseback riding in their stay. Other activities include hiking, fishing and whitewater rafting.

Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
Highway 154 & Highway 297
Oneida, TN 37841
(423) 286-8368

Pet Friendly Cardens Bluff Campground for Water Sports Aficionados

The big draw of Cardens Bluff is Watauga Lake, measuring 6,430 acres. Campers enjoy ample fishing, swimming, boating, and other water sports. The campground features about 40 sites, which appeal mostly to tent campers since there are no hookups for RVs. You may use restroom and shower facilities, and each campsite comes equipped with picnic tables, grills, and also a post from which to hang your camping lantern.
This campground is only open from April until the middle of October. Dogs are welcome to join you at the campground, but you must keep them off the beach and on a leash.

Cardens Bluff Campground
2800 North Ocoee Street
Cleveland, TN 37312
(423) 476-9700


Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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