When times are tough, there’s nothing like getting out of town and going camping for the week. You can get out of the city and gain a healthy and fresh perspective after surrounding yourself in nature’s beauty. Tennessee is one of the best states to go camping due to its remarkable land and abundance of campgrounds. In our camping guide, you will find camping in caves, waterfalls, history and much more! We wanted to give you a list with all of the different ways you can camp in or around Nashville, depending on what camping style you have. Whether it’s primitive styles or top notch glamp, we’ve got the goods for you and your crew!

OLD STONE FORT STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

★ 4.7
One of our favorite spots to visit and go camping is Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park. This park is famous for its stone “fort” which dates back 1500 to 2000 years. This prehistoric Native American structure is surrounded by graceful waterfalls and full of history. If you enjoy hiking, their main trail traces the stone building where it is thought to be a place for ceremonial gathering for ancient tribes. There are 57 campsites, for RV and/or popup tents, with electrical/water hookups and each site has a grill and picnic tables. Each site is also heavily wooded for privacy. On top of hiking, you can also go fishing and birding. This campground is only 10 minutes form restaurants and grocery stores.

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EDGAR EVINS STATE PARK

★ 4.7
Our next spot has got it all at Edgar Evins State Park. Surrounded by tall bluffs and cliffs, this 6000-acre park sits along the shores of Center Hill Lake. You can expect abundant wildlife including 3 different owl species, as well as hawk and bald eagles as well as a large on-site marina. Take a hike over to the observation tower at the visitor’s center for a spectacular view of Center Hill Lake and the surrounding hillsides. Edgar Evins has 60 tent/trailer sites equipped with electrical and water access. Eah spot is built on a wooden platform, which is built on the slopes. It’s like having your own private porch! They even offer primitive and wrangler sites for those who like to bring their horses along. If camping isn’t your preference but you don’t want to miss out on this park, check out their cabins, which overlooks the lake and includes access to a boat dock.

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NASHVILLE KOA RESORT

★ 4.2
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, you have to check out Nashville KOA Resort. It has all the things you love about camping, with the convenience of downtown Nashville just 15 minutes away. Boasting the “finest in Southern Outdoor Hospitality”, you can expect many amenities including a resort pool, hot tub and sauna, group hammocks, outdoor yard games, an Ampitheater and much more. They have variations of camping depending on your style. They have sites for big rigs, smaller trailers, 3 styles of cabins from deluxe to rustic cabins, and tent sites for individuals and group camping. Many of the sites come with patio furniture, fire pits and a grill to enjoy while hanging out in the sun. During the summer, stop by their onsite restaurant for breakfast and lunch from 8am – 1pm.

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MONTGOMERY BELL STATE PARK

★ 4.6
If you like having your cake and eating it too, plan a trip to Montgomery Bell State Park. There’s so much to see and plenty of history to go with it. Montgomery Bell once was the center of the iron industry in middle Tennessee. On site, you will also find a replica of the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which dates back to 1810! If hiking is at the top of your list, adventure through their 19 miles of hiking trails. Along with hiking, you can go biking, fishing at 3 nearby lakes, swimming at their outdoor pool and beach. They also have paddleboats and kayaking available to rent. They offer many ways to stay from camping all the way to their own onsite lodge and premium cabins. This state park has it all in one place so you don’t have to venture out for the things you need. They also have conference rooms and pavilions large enough for work events, family reunions, and weddings.

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CEDARS OF LEBANON STATE PARK

★ 4.6
Located just 40 minutes from downtown Nashville, Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a simple, yet extremely beautiful place to go camping. Explore your inner botanist and discover up to 19 rare and endangered plant species that only can be found in this state park and nowhere else in the world. Along with 8 miles of hiking, you will find a disc golf course and horseback riding trails. Also located in the cedars is Sadie Ford Hermitage Farm and Cultural Arts Center, where you will find a 20th century style farm with a milking and livestock barn that has an educational experience like no other. There are 117 campsites with picnic tables and grills as well as electric and water hookups. You will also have access to Wi-Fi, firewood and ice on site. Visit the Camp Store for any gear, snacks, accessories you may need. There’s also a laundromat for your convenience.

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HENRY HORTON STATE PARK

★ 4.5
Camp like a Governor at Henry Horton State Park. Constructed in the 1960’s, this park is located on the Duck River which is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Be sure to check out their guided river floats to get up close and personal with everything this river has to offer. You will also find biking, disc golf swimming and fishing among some of the other activities at Henry Horton. Check out the Trap and Skeet Range too! In the park are 8 cabins, 56 RV sites, 10 camping areas, 9 primitive camping as well as hammock and backcountry camping as well. If you’d like to turn this trip into a destination, stay at the inn on the grounds which has various rooms and lodging for you comfort. Be sure to dine at the Governor’s Table restaurant, open 7 days a week.

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CUMBERLAND CAVERNS

★ 4.7
Take your camping experience to a whole other level with the guides at Cumberland Caverns. Camp like never before in this underground cave experience that is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever done. This national natural landmark is one of the longest caves in United States and the world. Hike through “wild” portions of the cave, climb ladders and rocks, and squeeze to your overnight hangout. After sleeping inside the cave, wake up to a phenomenal breakfast in the Volcano Room. Depending on age, there are a few overnight camping experiences starting at age 6, so be sure to book the right spot for you and your crew. The overnight camping requires a minimum of 10 people to operate, however you can call ahead and possibly be grouped with other groups. Be sure to ask about their Glamping Campsite!

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SOUTH CUMBERLAND STATE PARK

★ 4.7
If you enjoy the more primitive camping, you can’t miss everything that South Cumberland State Park offers. With over 30,000 acres of land and stretching across 4 counties in Tennessee, there are so many things to see and do. Campsites do not include access to water or electrical hook ups so this venture isn’t for the faint hearted. Each campsite does include a fire ring and picnic table. There are different sites depending on location including backcountry camping. One trail you MUST do is the Fiery Gizzard Trail. This 12.5-mile loop will expose you to spectacular rock formations, waterfalls, swimming in the Fiery Gizzard Creek, and cascading streams. This particular trail has been voted one of the top 25 trails in the US! Other parts of the park include Grundy Lakes, which is known for swimming hiking, fishing and picnicking. Stop by the visitor’s center before you venture out to get all the info you need as well as check out their recreational fields. They even have equipment for these fields that you can rent…for free!

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BLEDSOE CREEK STATE PARK

★ 4.7
Home to and abundance of Native American history, Bledsoe Creek State Park is a great camping spot for those who enjoy the simple beauty of nature. This area was known to be prime hunting grounds for the Cherokee, Creek, Shawnee, and Chickamauga Native American Tribes. This park has more than 6 miles of hiking around Old Hickory Lake. There are 57 campsites as well as 19 tent-only primitive campsites. All sites are paved and include fire rings, grills, and picnic tables. You will find access to 2 bathhouse that have heating and air conditioning for year-round comfortability. Some of the activities include paddling/kayaking which you can rent for $18 and hour along with fishing, skiing, and boating. No swimming is permitted within the campground, however along Old Hickory lake, outside of the park, you can find a swimming area with a beach, picnic tables, and boat ramps.

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