Boondocking in Tennessee

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 08:17 am. Originally published on May 21st, 2021

There are many beautiful places to go boondocking in Tennessee. You can choose to head to Knoxville and Chattanooga on the east side of the state to experience the grandeur of the Cumberland Mountains. Alternatively, consider camping for free in Tennessee near Nashville. After you cross the Cumberland Plateau, there is plenty of country music to be enjoyed. You may also want to consider planning a Western Tennessee adventure to explore the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers and get the chance to hear Memphis’ soul music. From Graceland to the Great Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of places to explore in Tennessee. 

Orange azalea blooms line the grassy edge of a mountain, looking out over a forested valley of mountains under a cloudy sky.

Boondocking Sites in Texas

Paint Creek Corridor

The Paint Creek Corridor in the Cherokee National Forest is a great place to go for a scenic drive. There are areas where you can go for a bike ride. Enjoy a picnic while watching Kelly and Dudley Falls. The creek is a great place to go trout fishing. This area near Greeneville offers several opportunities for free camping in Tennessee. Vault toilets are available. 

Jackson’s Island

Jackson’s Island is a peninsula where you can go dispersal camping in Tennessee. This area near Spring City is surrounded on three sides by water, so bring your fishing pole and your water toys. Tall shade trees help keep this campground cool in the summer. Porta potties are available. 

Rhea Springs

Rhea Springs offers free camping sites right on the water near Spring City. These free sites are within walking distance of a swimming hole. The sites are unmarked, but there is a picnic table and fire ring at each site. The sites are not level, so bring your leveling blocks. You can go fishing and kayaking on the lake at this campground that even has a bathhouse. The campground can get busy during the summer, and all sites are first-come-first-serve. 

Hunter’s Check Station Camping 

The Hunter’s Check Station Camping Area is in a beautifully wooded area at Prentice Cooper State Forest’s entrance. There are lots of hiking trails nearby. During the warmer months, campers can use a hand pump to get water. There is a pit toilet at this campground near Hixon. It is also only about 20 minutes from Chattanooga, and you can reach it via a paved road. 

Davis Pond Camping Area

If you love seclusion, then visit Davis Pond Camping Area. This flat, grassy campground is within Prentice Cooper State Forest. The gate will be locked at sunset and will not open until the following day, except in an emergency. There is a primitive lavatory. Hike along miles of paths or bring your off-roading vehicles to enjoy the extensive trail system. This campground is about 20 minutes from the forest’s entrance down a maintained dirt road. 

Meriweather Lewis Campground

The Meriweather Lewis Campground is at milepost 385.9 on the Natchez Trace Parkway. This campground offers flush toilets and drinkable water, but there are no hookups. There are many hiking trails nearby, and some have interpretative signage along them. This campground is only about 77 miles south of Nashville. 

Jeff Busby Campground

There are pull-through and back-in sites available at Jeff Busby Campground. This campground near the midway point on the Natchez Trace Parkway offers stunning views. Its location on top of Lookout Mountain is a fantastic place to start a hiking adventure. Potable water is available. 

Rocky Springs Campground

Rocky Springs Campground is near the southern end of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Old Town is within walking distance, so this is an excellent place for boondocking in Tennessee for history lovers. Some sites at this campground are wheelchair accessible. The area easily accommodates units up to 55 feet long if they are no wider than 14 feet. 

Where to Boondock in Tennessee

Many Tennessee Valley Authority sites have scenic campsites for tent campers. There are also beautiful RV sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway and in Prentice Cooper State Forest. Some county parks also offer opportunities for boondocking in Tennessee. 

Free Camping in Tennessee

When preparing for your boondocking trip to Tennessee, consider the weather. Higher elevations in the state can get a lot of snow during the winter. This can make some campgrounds hard to access in the winter, and some are only open seasonally. Furthermore, the hilly areas of Tennessee may experience flash flooding even if no water fell in the immediate area. Therefore, you should always listen to the local forecast. A weather app or a weather radio is a great idea so that you can stay abreast of the latest developments. 

Many boondocking areas have no trash service. Therefore, you should think about how you are going to remove your trash from the area. If you find a place that needs cleaning, then take time to do it. This encourages these areas to continue to offer boondocking options.

There are many fabulous places to explore in Tennessee. The state has an excellent road system that makes most areas easily accessible, and you will love the terrific scenery. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about boondocking. It is filled with helpful tips to make free camping in Tennessee even more enjoyable. 

There are many great reasons to go boondocking in Tennessee. You will find thrilling attractions to see, exciting events to attend, and quiet spots to explore. Boondocking in your RV is a great way to see and do more. If you do not have an RV, you can rent one on RVshare.

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