On the hunt for the best campground near Johnson City to enjoy with friends and family? We got you covered! Keep reading for stellar campsites with million-star ratings. 🌌
With Johnson City’s prime location in the scenic Appalachian Highlands of Northeast Tennessee, there is ample opportunity to go hiking, biking, and yes — even camping!
While you may think of JC, you may first think of Downtown Johnson City with all its breweries, parks, coffee shops, and nightlife.
But if you venture out just 15–25 minutes outside of town, you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous hardwood forests, crisp rivers tumbling over gorgeous waterfalls, fields of rhododendron blooms, and mountain peaks with panoramic viewpoints.
In other words, there are loads of incredible campsites around Johnson City where you can enjoy all the above plus myriad outdoor adventures and activities like tubing on the Nolichucky River.
Whether you’re pulling a trailer, driving in your cute RV campervan, or are wanting to pitch a tent and camp under the stars, here are the top campgrounds to stay at near Johnson City, Tennessee!
9 Best Campgrounds Near Johnson City
Below is our roundup of the best campgrounds and RV parks to go camping around Johnson City!
Note: The nightly rates for each campground serve as estimates only; final prices will depend on dates and availability. Most campgrounds listed below reopen for the season in early–mid April.
1. Roan Mountain State Park Campground
- Location: 26 miles southeast of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, Trailer, RV, Cabins, Group Camping
- Nightly Rates: Varies, $16 to $42+
Roan Mountain is one of Tennessee’s 56 state parks and is arguably one of the best locations to go camping near Johnson City.
The Roan Mountain Campground has all you and your family could need to feel refreshed and rejuvenated while sleeping under the stars. 🏕
With 106+ campsites sprinkled over a 2,000-acre wilderness of hardwood forests and blooming rhododendrons, the Roan Mountain State Park Campground makes for the perfect destination for outdoor recreation and camping near Johnson City.
Amenities include showers, drinking water, flush toilets, wifi, hookups, laundromats, bbq grills, and plenty more. Plus, there is a diverse range of activities such as birding, nature trails, hiking, tennis courts, play areas, picnic tables, fishing, etc, that will keep you and the kids well entertained!
P.S. Roan Mountain also makes for a fun day trip from Johnson City even without the camping!
2. Boots Off Hostel & Campground
- Location: 16 miles east of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tiny Cabins (Glamping), Bunkhouses, Tent Camping
- Nightly Rates: $60, $25, $12
Boots Off is an eco-friendly campground near Johnson City you cannot miss! What started as a passion project started by owner Jim Gregory—who himself is an avid hiker and outdoor lover—is now a popular local camping destination.
Here, travelers from all walks of life can take refuge in the consciously-constructed campground while being in a prime location; 5 minutes from Watauga Lake and numerous hiking trails (including the famous Appalachian Trail).
There are three types of campsites at Boots Off: tiny cabins for $60/person, Bunkhouses (train sleeper cars), and walk-in tent camping ($12/person).
With the lake and trails nearby, you can easily escape to the woods or paddle out on the water. The campground also offers kayak/SUP rentals, plus a shuttle service to get to/from popular sections of the AT.
3. Jonesborough / Cherokee NF KOA Journey
- Location: 13 miles southwest of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, RV Sites, Deluxe Cabins, Caboose Suite
- Nightly Rates: Varies, $35 to $92+
Arguably one of the cutest campgrounds around the Johnson City area is the Jonesborough / Cherokee NF KOA. Its location is perched right on the banks of the Nolichucky (make sure to bring your inner tubes for floating the river!), and is family-run and owned.
With dozens of amenities and activities, you won’t be longing for much during your stay. Fish, splash, grill, hike, or take a drive to nearby Jonesborough to discover Tennessee’s oldest established town. When lounging around the campsite, free wifi, an on-site restaurant, BBQ grills, cable TV, a dog park, and fire pits for making s’mores! 🪵 🔥
If you have a few days to spare, the Cherokee National Forest, Millstone Creek Falls, and a handful of outdoor recreation lie just steps away.
4. Dennis Cove Recreation Area
- Location: 21 miles east of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, RV
- Nightly Rates: $10–$20
For a bit of solitude, head to the secluded Dennis Cove Recreation Area & Campground set inside the beautiful Cherokee National Forest. Here, you’ll be in a prime location for hiking to Laurel Falls (one of Johnson City’s best waterfalls) and accessing sections of the famous Appalachian Trail.
The rustic campground has 15 single campsites (and two double), each with a picnic table, lantern holder, and fire ring for cozy campfires!
While you can pitch a tent and go primitive camping in the Dennis Cove Rec Area with campsites, just down the road are two more established campgrounds and lodging options: Black Bear Resort and the Laurel Falls Lodge & Campground.
Whichever style of adventure you choose—tent camping or glamping—Dennis Cove, with its scenic hikes, waterfalls, and rivers stocked with rainbow trout, is an idyllic place to go camping and makes for the perfect outdoorsy thing to do in Johnson City.
5. Little Oak Campground
- Location: 35 miles northeast of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, RV
- Nightly Rates: $10–$12
For lake lovers, head to the Little Oak Campground, an hour’s drive outside of Johnson City. This campground is perched on the shores of Holston Lake, a hydroelectric reservoir in Sullivan County and is surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest.
There are over 72 campsites for tent camping and RVs, with four loopy, paved roads (Lone Pine, Poplar, Hemlock, and Big Oak). As far as facilities go, Little Oak pretty much has everything covered: flush toilets, parking, coverage, dump stations, grills, drinking water, showers, interpretive trails, and much more.
Campers at Little Oak can enjoy the area’s scenic nature trails like the Little Oak Trail skirting the lake and the Little Oak Mountain Trail. Wildlife is abundant on Iron Mountain and Holston Mountain Ridge (just be careful of Black bears 🐻). Other outdoor activities such as fishing, horseback riding, hiking, picnicking, swimming, etc, are all a breeze here!
And of course, don’t forget to hitch up your boat because Little Oak has a convenient boat launch at the campground.
6. Lazy Llama Campground
- Location: 23 miles west of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: RV sites only
- Nightly Rates: $45–$49
For a unique campground stay near Johnson City, look no further than the Lazy Llama Campground set on a family-owned 22-acre llama farm. 🦙
In between the 31 campsites (which offer full hook-ups) are llamas that roam the green pasture fields (and yes—you can pet them!). In addition to the llama cuddles, the campground offers free art classes with a local artist every Saturday from 10am to 12pm.
Hiking trails, scenic drives, and wagon tours of the farm are also activities campers can enjoy. Just a ten-minute drive away is the up-and-coming town of Greeneville, TN.
Big rigs with all the necessary hook-ups are welcome, as are friendly doggie companions (on leash). You can see the full list of amenities and rates here.
7. Blackberry Blossom Farm
- Location: 18 miles south of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent only
- Nightly Rates: $24/night for up to 2 adults, 2 children
Blackberry Blossom Farm triples as a family-owned inn, farm, and campground over in Unicoi, TN.
The campground is tent-only, and one of the best-rated in the Johnson City area thanks to its friendly service, quaint atmosphere, and well-kept amenities.
Each campsite includes a fire ring, a cooking plate for grilling, and a picnic table. Your spot must be reserved in advance either online or by phone (423-735-0696).
If you forgot any of your DIY camping gear, you can rent or purchase it at their on-site camp store. Likewise, if you’d prefer to show up and have everything set up for you, you can ask for this service in advance for a rate of $56/night.
8. Cardens Bluff Campground
- Location: 17 miles east of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, Trailer
- Nightly Rates: $12
Set on a “bluff” overlooking Watauga Lake lies the Cardens Bluff Campground, which has 43 campsites primarily for tent camping (no electrical hook-ups). Every section has flush toilets and a communal bathhouse with eight showers.
Campers at Cardens Bluff can enjoy the lake via boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Obviously, fishing and swimming are popular outdoor activities for the entire family to enjoy! 🎣
As you can see on the facility map, this campground features the Cardens Bluff Trail which skirts around the entire campground by the shoreline. The closest towns are Elizabethton and Hampton, both offering all your creature comfort’s necessities.
9. Camp Stonefly
- Location: 5.5 miles east of Johnson City (directions)
- Campsite Types: Tent, RV
- Nightly Rates: $25–$35
Finally, for something a little closer to home, check out Camp Stonefly located right on the Watauga River in Johnson City and five minutes from the Sycamore Shoals State Park. This small yet sweet little campground has 8 tent campsites, 2 RV sites, and 2 Campers for rent.
The main attraction of this campground is its location on the Watauga River, ideal for floating, fishing, and swimming. Each campsite features a fire ring, picnic bench, and a view of the river. Just steps away is the 24-hour bathhouse which guests rave about for its hot water.
So, are you ready to fall asleep to the sound of a bubbling creek?
Camp Stonefly is Johnson City’s best-kept
secret campground being only a ten-minute drive away.
Grab a beer at one of JC’s breweries and some comfort food to go before heading back to your campsite to enjoy the evening ’round the fire. If you’re lucky, you might catch a live music event!
More Campgrounds Near Johnson City, TN
We are continually adding to this list of the best campsites and campgrounds around the Johnson City area! That said, here are a few more places to add to your outdoorsy bucket list:
- Old Forge Recreation Area (Cherokee National Forest)
- Nolichucky Gorge Campground & Cabins (Erwin)
- Woodsmoke Campground (Buffalo Mountain)
- The Hamptons RV Park (Hampton)
- Bristol / Kingsport KOA Holiday
- Riverview Campground (Jonesborough)
If you know of any more amazing campgrounds in the vicinity worth adding to this list, let us know in the comments below!
Happy camping! 🏕
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