Camping in the Great Outdoors in Middle Tennessee

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Recent research into camping by both the National Park Service and Kampgrounds of America shows that both tent and recreational vehicle (RV) camping is on the rise. The summer of 2020 saw a record number of campers, many of them new to camping, hitting the state parks as well as privately owned campsites. That number is expected to continue to grow in 2021.

Tents and RVs provide personal space and cleanliness that can be controlled by the traveler, unlike a hotel room. Also, spending time outdoors is a healthier way to use leisure time, and a nice break from all the time spent inside during the pandemic. Leisure time is also on the rise with more people working from home.

Related: Lazydays RV Dealership Opens as RV Camping Takes Off

Many public parks and private campgrounds are expanding spaces for both RVs and tent camping, with each offering different types of experiences. Of all campground offerings, 53% are provided by the private sector. While the National Park Service’s recently completed Campground Industry Analysis shows a need for more campsite on public land, the private sector has been able to meet the demand faster.

Not that many years ago, campsite offerings in Middle Tennessee were few, and often poorly maintained. But even before the pandemic, interest in camping was growing. Now there are more than 50 state parks, and more than 30 private campgrounds.

State Parks that Offer Tent Camping

There are several types of tent camp sites permitted in state parks, including tent, primitive, wrangler, and scout camp sites. Here are ten well-loved Middle Tennessee State Parks that allow tent camping.

Bledsoe Creek State Park
Gallatin, Tennessee

Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Lebanon, Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls State Park
Spencer, Tennessee

Henry Horton State Park
Chapel Hill, Tennessee

Long Hunter State Park
Hermitage, Tennessee

Montgomery Bell State Park
Burns, Tennessee

Mousetail Landing State Park
Linen, Tennessee

Paris Landing State Park
Buchanan, Tennessee

Rock Island State Park
Rock Island, Tennessee

Tims Ford State Park
Winchester, Tennessee

While this list is for state parks that offer camping, many also offer RV sites. Just click on the park name for more information. To learn more about all types of camping available in state parks, click here.

Private Campgrounds for RVs

Among RV enthusiasts, finding a location on a body of water with a good fire pit and an excellent view of the sunset is a dream. Here are five private RV parks located on lakes or rivers.

Cedar Creek Camp Grounds
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

Deer Run RV Park
Crossville, Tennessee

Piney River RV Resort 
Bon Aqua, Tennessee

Safe Harbor RV Resort
Nashville, Tennessee

Seven Points Campground
Hermitage, Tennessee

More private campgrounds can be found through allstays.com, Tennessee Campground Association, or 50campfires.com.