20 Best Places to Camp Within Two Hours of Nashville, Tennessee

If you live in Music City, you’ve already got plenty to do in and around the city, but if you broaden your search just a touch, you’ll find some of the best camping spots in Tennessee

Come on a trip with us, and we’ll show you just a small collection of the best campgrounds near Nashville!

 

A forest near Nashville.

Enjoy the wooded majesty of the area surrounding Nashville.

 

1. Henry Horton State Park

If you like to camp and you like to golf, you can marry those two passions effortlessly at Henry Horton State Park. The 18-hole golf course is located in the park, right next to the cabins and hammock camping, making for an easy stroll to some of the best golfing in the state.

 

Pros:

  • If disc golf is more your speed, that’s available adjacent to the golf course
  • Access to skeet shooting on site

 

Cons:

  • The golf course is closed on winter holidays
  • The only tent camping is the backcountry camping 

 

2. Lebanon State Park

Lebanon State Park is great for stretching some legs, be they your own or your horses. 

This state park has more than twelve miles of riding trails if you’re up for a long luxurious ride. The on-site stables are leased out to a private vendor the offers trail rides for anyone not bringing their own horse and boarding for anyone else that does.

If horseback riding isn’t your thing, then there’s also a lot of non-horse related programming to enjoy such as owl prowls and wagon rides. 

Pros:

  • Great for hiking and horseback riding
  • Lots of space for campers, full hookups, and bathhouses

 

Cons:

 

3. Boxwell Reservation

Right next to Old Hickory Lake, the Boxwell Reservation has been host to thousands of Boy Scouts since its inception.

This robust park has all manner of summer and winter camping. This park is great for kids, because of the wide offering of activities. 

Adults have the opportunities to meet and greet each other thanks to Venturing Rendezvous offing an overnight campout, a sort of group camping trip meets potluck event with curated activities to take part in. 

 

Pros:

  • Great for kids and adults
  • Plenty of activities all year long

 

Cons:

  • May be too lively for the camper looking for a quiet weekend getaway

 

4. Percy Priest Lake Camping

The camping at Percy Priest Lake is serviceable. There are over standard primitive campsites, and there are camping sites with full water and electrical hookups. It works just fine for everyone, tent campers, and RV guests alike. 

The real appeal though is the marinas. The marinas here have everything you could need for a great day on a beautiful lake. There are fuel docks, boat ramps, storage, and tackle shops. You can rent anything from a jet ski to a fishing boat. 

 

You come for the marinas, and the camping allows you to stay for even more time with the marinas.

 

Pros:

  • The marinas are excellent
  • An amazing spot if you’re looking to get out on the lake

 

Cons:

  • Camping is plain

 

5. South Cumberland State Park

If you’ve been looking for a state park with backcountry campsites, then South Cumberland State Park has them in spades.

The nearly 100 miles of backpacking trails lead to over 90 campsites, 8 sites perfect for groups, and a rustic lodge. If you enjoy the logistical challenge that backpacking presents to the savvy hiker, you’ll be flush with opportunities to really dig deep and explore a wide breadth of trail here in South Cumberland.

If that all sounds a little intense, and you just want some regular ol’ camping, there are primitive campsites as well as rustic campsites that are great for car side or tent camping. 

Bring some water for drinking, but know that there are restrooms and heated showers on-site.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent spot for backpackers
  • Heated showers

 

Cons:

  • No water spigots or hookups

 

6. Bledsoe Creek

Bledsoe Creek fed water to the fort that the Bledsoe Brothers built-in 1779. The creek also provided water to Buffalo which fed the native population for centuries, even dating back to prehistoric times.

This park gives you the opportunity to take a weekend away from the modern world and experience nature as the ancient Americans and, much later, the settlers did.

Once you’ve had your fill of creekside camping, a short jaunt will take you to the very fort that acted as a base of operations in the project of expanding American influence over the countryside. 

 

Pros:

  • Near the eponymous Bledsoe Fort, the Cragfont Historic Mansion, and Wynnewood Historic Area
  • Year-round fishing available on-site

 

Cons:

  • Fishing is popular here, so you may want to find a more secluded spot

 

7. Paris Landing/Kentucky Lake KOA

The Paris Landing KOA campground is one of those rare places that can truly claim to be genuine fun for the whole family.

There are so many activities on-site, that anybody that comes along for the trip will find something to enjoy without having to stray too far away or put a damper on anybody else’s idea of a good time.

Kids can enjoy barrel kart rides or a romp in the foam machine. Adults can go antique shopping or take a dip in the pool, and everyone can relax by the fire pit at the end of the day.

 

Pros:

  • Three minutes away fro the Kentucky Lake
  • Plenty of unique recreation for everyone

 

Cons:

  • The campground may not give you the deep connection with nature some campers seek out

 

8. Center Hill Campground

Center hill campground is a pure unadulterated camper’s delight. This modest campground welcomes campers with open arms. This campground has ample opportunity for fishing, hunting, and boating by virtue of its proximity to the Caney Fork River and Center Hill Lake. 

If you’re a huge fishing aficionado, the Stow and Stay club will allow you to haul your camper up to the campground, and stow it there for as long as you like, freeing up your hands to focus on fishing. Don’t worry about having to bring your camper back and forth from your daily life and Center Hill, they’ll keep an eye on your camper with 24/7 camera security cameras.

 

Pros:

  • A campground run by people that simply love camping
  • No limit to your stays
  • Easy to return to for multiple camping trips

 

Cons:

  • Occasional burn bans may affect your ability to have a campfire

 

A forest with fog rolling in.

If you’ve got a drone, try to catch the fog rolling in through these beautiful Tennessee forests.

 

9. Fall Creek Falls State Park

The falls here are so nice, they had to say it twice.

If you were wondering why you’d come to Fall Creek Falls State Park, it’s the waterfalls. The campgrounds here are near a plethora of waterfalls. The Fall Creek Falls is one of the tallest in the Eastern United States, and it’s sister falls are sprinkled throughout the park, giving you several options for exploration and adoration.

 

Pros:

  • Lives up to its name
  • Lots of hiking trails, fishing, and exploration on-site

 

Cons:

  • No gasoline motors allowed on the lake

 

10. Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

Take a historical hike around the Old Stone Fort, and make sure to visit the museum on-site. This campground is full of preserved artifacts of America’s past. If you want to see a glimpse into the prehistoric past of this nation, then the Old Stone Fort will scratch that itch. 

The Old Stone Fort was excavated in 1966, but its interior was mostly barren. Whoever built it between 0 and about 500 AD kept it clean, so there’s almost no indication of what they really used it for, or who even built it. The only thing that’s clear about its construction is that it was methodical, and happened over the course of decades, if not centuries.  

 

Pros:

  • An archaeological wonderland
  • Near Bonnaroo 

 

Cons:

  • If you’re not interested in Bonnaroo, there’s a week when it’s near Bonnaroo that you may be boxed out of it by visitors

 

11. Edgar Evins State Park

This lakeside state park is home to some excellent bird watching from the treetop-level observation tower. That view alone should be reason enough to head this way, but if you need a little more from your camping experience then rest easy.

There are 60 campsites with water and electricity. The RV sites are all platform-type sites, built around the slopes of the topologically diverse campsite. Each of them comes equipped with the outdoor cooking accommodations experienced campers will have come to expect by now.

If hillside trailer platforms aren’t for you, there are also nine primitive walk-in campsites for you to enjoy with the equipment you brought on your back and a simple fire ring.

 

Pros:

  • The birdwatching observation tower offers a unique view of the campground
  • Great for boating and fishing

 

Cons:

  • A small percentage of these campsites are actually open year-round. 

 

12.Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is split into two different campsites. 

The smaller of the two is open for tent-only camping, but be wary, as those sites close between November and March. The tent-only campsite is near a hot water bathhouse, and the sites are partially shaded with grassy areas. When they’re open, they’re very comfortable. 

The main campground with the bulk of the sites is open all year. These sites accommodate tent camping as well as RVs and trailers. All of the sites have 20, 30, and 50 amp hookups, as well as hookups for water, grills, and fire rings. 

They’re well-stocked and easy to camp in, which frees up time for you to go hiking, kayaking, or enjoy the picnic tables under their spacious pavilions. 

 

Pros:

  • Their pet policy allows for dogs in the 2 premium cabins. Dogs are also welcome on the campsite as long as they’re leashed

 

Cons:

  • The tent only campsites close during the winter

 

A creek with water running through it.

Get down close and appreciate the brooks in Rock Island State Park.

 

13. Pickett CCC Memorial State Park

Pickett CCC Memorial State Park was built with Spartan accommodations in mind. 

This park is on the smaller side with 27 campsites, most of which have electric hookups, but if you’re looking to keep it simple during your stay, then there are a handful of sites that allow you to eschew this modern creature comfort. 

The campground is also home to a modern bathhouse so you can wash the grime from yourself during a longer stay. 

 

Pros:

  • Open all year

 

Cons:

  • Keep an eye out for bears
  • A little small
  • No trashcans beyond the entrance to the campsite

 

14. Poole Knobs

The Poole Knobs campgrounds are host to millions of campers each year, so they know how to show you a good time.

The campgrounds have just enough to get you up and running, without detracting from the pure camping experience. You can choose a site with or without electrical hookups depending on how rough you’re trying to ride. There are water hookups, for you RV groups, and it’s not a bad site for anyone needing any ADA accessibility. 

The park has a plethora of activities ranging from archery to hiking and horseback riding, so there’s never a dull moment.

 

Pros:

  • ADA accessibility
  • Perfect for any kind of camper
  • Boat ramp on-site for access to the pristine lake

 

Cons:

  • Relatively simplistic

 

15. Cumberland Mountain State Park

Cumberland Mountain State Park’s camping ground has ample room for small groups to set out, even though there are 145 combined tent and RV campsites. Each of the sites is large enough for seven adults to spread out and enjoy themselves, so if you’ve got a party smaller than that, you’ll have a lot of room to yourself.

Take yourself backpacking on the eight-mile trail, in fact, there’s an overnight backpacking trail in the park if that’s more your speed. 

 

Pros:

  • 30 and 50 amp hookups in all of the campsites

 

Cons:

  • The area 4 campsites are not ADA accessible
  • Some campsites aren’t allowed on the grass

 

16. Harrison Bay State Park

Harrison Bay State Park’s campground is incredibly RV-friendly. You can roll into one of their over 100 RV campsites with full hookups. You’re not confined to the camper, however, if you’ve brought a tent along, there’s room in the RV sites to set up a tent. 

If you’ve left anything behind, the Camp Store is great for topping off your supplies, or if you’re just stopping through on a longer trip, this is an excellent overnight pit stop. 

 

If you’re looking to recharge your body, as well as your camp supplies, each of the camping areas, has access to a bathhouse for maximum relaxation.

 

Pros:

  • WiFi provided on the campsite
  • Bathhouses in each of the four camping areas

 

Cons:

  • Primarily an RV site, if you’re looking to tent camp, your options are limited here
  • No electrical hookups at the tent sites

 

17. Harpeth River Bridge

Camping at Harpeth Rive Bridge is situated at an advantageous latitude for the weather most of the year. If you make your way out to this campsite, you’ll find an electrical hookup at all of the sites regardless of if you’re in a tent of an RV.

Take advantage of the playgrounds to wear down the kids before using the boat ramp and floating down the river. After a long day, you can treat yourself to an on-site hot shower, and tuck yourself into your campsite to charge up for the next day of doing it all again.

 

Pros:

  • Huge pavilion for primo picnicking
  • Harpeth River encircles the campground, so you’re never far from the water, no matter which site you choose

 

Cons:

  • Not near much other than Nashville

 

18. Sunrise Campground

The Sunrise Campground is a comfortable tent and RV campground located in the Cumberland Mountains. Come bask in the silent beauty of the mountains, and reset your mind.

This is a campground with no-frills, but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of amenities. You can choose between a primitive campsite or one of their 47 sites with electrical hook-ups. After spending a few days up in the mountains with yourself and whoever you brought with you to this idyllic campground, you can grab a hot shower without leaving the campground.

 

Pros:

  • Cozy and quiet
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Refundable cancellations 

 

Cons:

  • No alcohol allowed on site

 

19. Colson Hollow Group Camping Area

If you’d like to hold a large group event out in the great outdoors, then the Colson Hollow Group Camping Area in the Land between two lakes will provide for you. 

The camping area is 25 acres, and well maintained. You and 199 other guests can enjoy what feels like your own little secret slice of the world. They’ll set you with waste containers and vault toilet building 

 

Pros

  • Ten minutes from the Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory
  • Great for hunting

 

Cons:

  • The creek crossing may become flooded during heavy rains, either trapping you if you don’t leave in time or barring you from entering the camping area.

 

20. Two Rivers Campground

You don’t have to go far to find Two Rivers Campground. Once you and your RV make it just north of downtown Nashville, you’ll cross the river and find this fully loaded RV park. 

Kids and adults on a long drive will find this little park to be an oasis on the road. Everything you could possibly need is here in the park, from free coffee to free WiFi. Its proximity to the heart of the city means you can leave the RV behind, and hop on the shuttle and head straight downtown.

 

Pros:

  • Shuttle to Nashville
  • Swimming pool among other amenities

 

Cons:

  • Not much wilderness to be found in this urban RV park.

 

Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Take in the beautiful views at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

 

Final Verdict:

The Sunrise Campground is a perfect introduction to camping, and a great way to continue camping if it’s become your passion. The campsite is welcoming, and you don’t have to fuss with different sites or juggling amenities. You’re able to just drive on up and camp to your heart’s content.

If you end up investing in a camper, or you already have, and you grow sick of having to haul it back and forth on your excursions, their Stow and Stay program is the perfect way to set yourself up for repeat trips on the weekend. It’s an excellent place to just camp. Of course, you can also bring along an instant tent and be just as content.

 

Bonus tip: Get a firsthand look at Fall Creek Falls before you head that way yourself! 

 

 

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Riley Draper

Riley Draper

Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.