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Camping Near Nashville: 10 Best & Unique Campgrounds

Are you ready to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, for a retreat in the beauty of nature? Camping near Nashville offers the perfect opportunity to do exactly that, without needing to go too far!

That’s right — there are several awesome places to camp near Nashville.

Many people are surprised by it, but Music City is so much more than music and bright lights.

Within a short drive from downtown, you’ll find awesome hiking trails, state parks, Nashville waterfalls, and more outdoorsy pursuits.

Woman wearing boho jacket and orange hat sitting on Westaflia van camper
Camping in our VW Westy 🚐

Whether you’re a seasoned camper with all the gear or a total newbie with just a tent, there’s a campsite near Nashville perfect for you.

From lakeside retreats to little-known wooded havens and historical state parks, camping near Nashville has something for everyone.

In this guide, we’ll introduce you to 10 fantastic camping spots near Nashville. So pack up your gear and let’s go!

Best Campgrounds Near Nashville, TN

1. Long Hunter State Park

shore of the lake at long hunter state park camping spot near nashville tn
Credit: Madeleine L. via Yelp
  • Location: 20 miles east of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent sites
  • Nightly rates: $10-11
  • Reservations required? Yes

Need a quick escape? Long Hunter State Park offers camping near Nashville just 30 minutes away.

Situated along the shores of Percy Priest Lake, the park offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, boating, and fishing, in addition to camping.

Hard-core outdoor enthusiasts will love Long Hunter State Park’s campsites. The primitive campsites require hiking about six miles through the backcountry, along the Volunteer Trailhead. Better yet, though, is that they sit right on the lakeshore.

Wake up to water views right through your tent door — and yet, you’re still just 30 minutes from Nashville!

The campsites don’t have hookups, but they do each have a fire ring and lots of shade. Reservations are required and the campgrounds are open year-round.

If you’re camping with a crew, there are also three larger group sites available, also by reservation only.

Although it has little to do with camping, the Alpine Adventure Tower at Long Hunter State Park is also popular. This reservations-only, 50-foot-tall tower has a variety of rock climbing and ropes challenges.

2. Cedars of Lebanon State Park

tent camping at cedars of lebanon state park near nashville tn
Credit: Charles B. via Google Photos
  • Location: 35 miles east of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites, plus cabins
  • Nightly rates: $22-41
  • Reservations required? Yes

Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a true anomaly, home to one of the rarest ecosystems on Earth

The park gets its name from the signature cedar glades, which occur when trees grow out of limestone beds with very little soil. It creates a desert-like environment that isn’t found anywhere else in the world!

This unique geography creates caves, waterfalls, and sinkholes in the park. While these are all certainly reason enough to visit Cedars of Lebanon, you’ll also want to stay overnight and check out the camping options. 

Cedars of Lebanon has three areas with 117 campsites total. Each campground has a community bathhouse, and all sites have hookups, a grill, and a picnic table. 

There’s also one dump station, a camp store, and laundromat, all open year-round.

The campground even has Wi-Fi, although we encourage you to try to unplug as much as possible (no matter how close to the city you’re camping near Nashville!)!

3. Bledsoe Creek State Park

little camper with firepit at bledsoe creek state park campground near nashville tn
Credit: Phillip M. via Google Photos
  • Location: 37 miles northeast of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites
  • Nightly rates: $29-40
  • Reservations required? Yes

One of Tennessee’s smaller state parks, Bledsoe Creek is rich with Native American history.

The park sits on Bledsoe Creek itself, which is a tributary of Old Hickory Lake. The lake provides endless water recreation, including boating, fishing, skiing, and tubing. 

Campsites at Bledsoe Creek are very nice, because they were recently upgraded. All 57 sites are paved and have hookups, plus a grill, fire ring, and picnic table. 

No matter what type of camping you prefer, you’ll find the perfect site for camping near Nashville here. Some are designated for bigger RVs and have full 50/30/20-amp hookups, while others have 30/20-amp and are ideal for smaller rigs. Eight rustic tent-only sites sit right on the lake. 

And for something truly unique, reserve one of the hammock campsites! They’re exactly what they sound like, trees spaced ideally for hammocks!

The campground has two temperature-controlled bathhouses, a laundromat, and dump station. 

Important note: Swimming isn’t allowed at Bledsoe Creek. However, there are several places nearby to safely (and legally!) take a refreshing dip!

4. Montgomery Bell State Park

montogmery bell state park loop trail along the lake at sunset great for camping near nashville
Credit: Solamen S. via Alltrails
  • Location: 35 miles west of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites, plus cabins
  • Nightly rates: $16-40
  • Reservations required? Yes

Three sparkling lakes sit at the center of Montgomery Bell State Park, just 40 minutes from downtown Nashville. 

Of course, its accessibility and peaceful environment make it a popular destination for city dwellers to go camping near Nashville. A short drive to a quiet sandy beach is always a great idea!

The 94-site campground can accommodate a variety of campers, from tents to 60-foot big rigs. Most sites have electric hookups, about half have electricity and water, and 40 also have sewer connections. 22 campsites are specifically for tents only. 

And for those getaways when you’re feeling a bit fancier, there are also traditional lodge rooms and rental cabins. 

If you’re into hiking or golf, make some time during your trip to explore more of the park. There are about 19 miles of trails and a popular 18-hole, 72-par golf course (it’s one of six Tennessee state parks with a golf course!). 

Finally, don’t miss the park’s popular guided activities. These include full-moon lantern hikes, archery lessons, and kayaking float trips. 

5. Henry Horton State Park

rv camper at henry horton state park campground near nashville tn
Credit: Laura M. via Google Photos
  • Location: 47 miles south of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites, cabins, and lodge rooms 
  • Nightly rates: Primitive and hammock sites $13-14, tent sites $17-18, RV sites $36-40, backcountry sites $10-11
  • Reservations required? Yes

Situated along the Duck River, Henry Horton State Park is perhaps best known as a popular catfishing destination.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though — this park has a little of everything, including a restaurant, golf course, and skeet and trap shooting range!

Understandably, this is a very popular place to go camping near Nashville!

The state park has several different types of camping, including RV and tent-only sites, primitive sites with no hookups, and hike-in backcountry sites. 

Both the RV and tent-only sites have drive-up access, but the tent sites don’t have any hookups. However, tent campers that prefer electricity or water are welcome to camp in the RV site. 

Looking for more RV camping? 11 Best Nashville RV Parks for Camping

The park’s backcountry sites are a short 1.5-mile hike in, perfect for people looking to gain some beginning backpacking experience. Like Bledsoe Creek, the campground also has a few hammock sites. 

Henry Horton keeps campgrounds open year-round, and one of the two bathhouses is open in the winter. 

In addition to camping, visitors can explore hiking and biking trails, swim in an Olympic-sized pool, play disc golf, or take a guided kayak float trip. 

6. Meriweather Lewis Campground

rv camper with bicycle and firepit at meriweather lewis campground near nashville tn
Credit: Janice Y. via Google Photos
  • Location: 78 miles south of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites
  • Nightly rates: FREE
  • Reservations required? First-come, first-served only

Meriweather Lewis Campground is very much a hidden gem among all the popular state parks in this area. 

It’s situated along the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, one of only three campgrounds. Because of that, it’s ideal for history buffs and those who enjoy a good road trip!

The 32 sites here are primitive, so there’s no electricity or other services. However, they do have classic campground amenities including fire rings and picnic tables, and there are also flush toilets and potable water. 

Although there aren’t hookups, RVs up to 55 feet long are welcome.

The campground is open year-round (including the bathrooms, which is not always the case when camping near Nashville!), and there’s also a short interpretive trail onsite. 

Also Read: 17 Fun & Historic Things to Do in Franklin, Tennessee

7. Cumberland Caverns

man standing in the cumberland caverns near nashville tn
Credit: Cumberland Caverns
  • Location: 85 miles southeast of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Sleeping bags only
  • Nightly rates: $68-178
  • Reservations required? Yes

Imagine sleeping 333 feet underground, in one of the longest caves in Tennessee. Well, you can make that a reality when you book one of the overnight packages at Cumberland Caverns!

On this one-of-a-kind camping near Nashville experience, not only will you get to sleep in the cave, but you’ll also get to explore it overnight.

Depending on which tour you book, the small group tours go on a walking tour, then climb and squeeze into tight, muddy spaces throughout the cave. 

There are several options that cater to a wide range of ages and skills, starting at 6+ (Muddy Mayhem). Some tours are more challenging, which means that participants must be at least 16. 

All tours include complimentary breakfast in the morning, and some have the option of adding dinner at an additional cost.

Just bring your sleeping bag and pillow, and a change of clothes (you’ll get dirty exploring the cave)!

8. Rock Island State Park

Rock Island state park waterfalls near the campground near nashville tn
Credit: Earl C. via Google Photos
  • Location: 85 miles east of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites, plus cabins
  • Nightly rates: Tent sites $23-27, mixed-use sites $36-41
  • Reservations required? Yes

If you’re a serious water lover wanting to know where to go camping near Nashville, Rock Island State Park will be your personal paradise. 

The park sits at the head of Center Hill Lake, at the confluence of the Collins, Caney Fork, and Rocky Rivers. The Caney Fork Gorge and several waterfalls (and swimming holes!) draw people from all over to the state park, but its camping is equally worthwhile. 

The park has two campgrounds to choose from, one strictly for tents and one with sites that accommodate both tents and RVs. All sites have electric and water hookups, a picnic table, a charcoal grill, a fire ring, and a lantern hanger. 

There’s also wi-fi and a dump station at the main campground. All campers also have access to two bathhouses, a playground, and a picnic pavilion. 

While the main campground stays open all year, the tent-only campground closes every year between November and mid-March. 

9. Tims Ford State Park

aerial view of tims ford state park with lake and lush green trees near nashville tn
Credit: Tims Ford State Park via Facebook
  • Location: 88 miles south of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent and RV sites, plus cabins
  • Nightly rates: Tent campsites $29-40, backcountry sites $9-13
  • Reservations required? Yes

Situated on Tims Ford Reservoir, this state park is an underrated haven, particularly for fishing and boat enthusiasts. 

Tims Ford State Park also has hiking and biking trails, a full-service marina with a restaurant, and even a golf course. 

Even with all those amenities, though, you can truly get away from it all at Tims Ford. There are nearly 170 campsites located across three campgrounds: Main, Fairview, and Turkey Creek. 

All sites at Fairview and Main have water and electric hookups, a picnic table, grill, and fire ring. They accommodate one RV and one tent, or two tents. Turkey Creek sites are primitive, with no hookups.

Campers share two large central heated bathhouses, one camp store, and several playgrounds.

A major highlight at Tims Ford is its 14 paddle-in and hike-in campsites. There are very few places to go camping near Nashville and enjoy this unique experience! 

These campgrounds don’t have any amenities, and campers have to pack all their supplies in and out, but it’s well worth it! Note that even the backcountry campsites require reservations.

Local tip: Tims Ford has some of the best bass fishing in the Southeast, so bring your fishing pole!

10. South Cumberland State Park

south cumberland state park recreation area entrance near nashville tn
Credit: South Cumberland State Park via Facebook
  • Location: 91 miles southeast of Nashville
  • Campsite types: Tent sites (can also accommodate small trailers, like a pop-up)
  • Nightly rates: Foster Falls $19-21, backcountry sites $8-11
  • Reservations required? Yes

The second-largest state park in Tennessee, as well as one of the most popular, has some of the best camping near Nashville. Despite being so popular, it’s vast and heavily wooded, so it feels secluded. 

South Cumberland spans nearly 31,000 acres across four counties and has nine separate recreation areas. There are over 90 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls galore, a small swimming lake, and even opportunities to go rock climbing

For camping, you have two options: Foster Falls Campground or hiking to one of four backcountry campgrounds

Foster Falls is extremely popular, because it’s the only place in the entire park where you can park your vehicle right next to camp. It also has just 25 campsites, so advance reservations are required. The campground is open year-round, and you can reserve sites up to a year in advance. 

There are no hookups at Foster Falls, but there are “real” bathrooms with hot showers. 

For those who prefer backcountry camping, there are four hike-in options.

Primitive Camping Options at South Cumberland State Park

  • Father Adamz – 8 campsites, half-mile hike from the Foster Falls parking lot
  • Grundy Forest – 5 campsites, 0.6-mile hike from Grundy Forest parking lot
  • Small Wilds – 6 campsites, 2.5-mile hike from the Foster Falls parking lot
  • Little Cove – 5 campsites, 6-mile hike from the Foster Falls parking lot and 7.6-mile hike from Grundy Forest parking lot

All of the park’s backcountry campsites have a fire ring, as well as a shared pit toilet. 

Also Read:

Have you camped at any of these campgrounds near Nashville? Let us know in the comments below!


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