Can I Stay Overnight at Tennessee State Parks?
May 26, 2020 | Permalink
From closures to record visitiation, there’s been a lot of change in our public lands across the United States. We want our visitors to know that Tennessee State Parks are open, and you can reserve a campsite, cabin, or lodge room online. As you look for safe and affordable options for vacationing, Tennessee State Parks is ready to help you find a getaway that fits your needs. Whether you’re ready to experience camping for the first time or you’re a full-time RVer looking for a safe retreat, we’re here to help you navigate your options so you can visit the outdoors with confidence.
We want to provide our visitors with the information needed to plan a safe and enjoyable trip. You can find information on what Tennessee State Parks is doing to keep visitors safe and find answers to common questions here.
Finding a Reservation That’s Right For You
We offer three types of overnight accommodations:
Deciding which type is right for you will depend on the level of amenities you’re looking for and how comfortable you are with the outdoors. Each style of overnight accommodation can provide a unique experience, but all three offer a natural retreat with easy access to park activities.
Authentic and rewarding outdoor experience, open spaces to social distance, need for gear.
Our campgrounds are open and provide a safe, accessible, and affordable way to return to the outdoors while maintaining acceptable social distancing standards. Our parks offer a variety of camping options. While most offer RV and tent/car camping sites, some of our parks also offer hammock, backcountry, and primitive.
For visitors staying in RVs, over a dozen parks offer campsites with full hookups. You can search for campsites with sewer or electricity by using the filters on https://reserve.tnstateparks.com/.
Tent campers will have different experiences depending on the type of campsite chosen:
Tent camping: some parks will have tent-only campsites. Primitive sites featured below, are examples of tent-only campsites. However, tents are allowed on most RV sites as well.
- Most campgrounds will have a central bathhouse that is open. If you have a question about a particular park’s bathhouse, please call the park directly.
- Many of these sites will have electricity available, a fire ring of some sort, maybe a picnic table, and water available nearby.
Primitive sites: Labeled “primitive” because they lack water and electricity. These are tent-only campsites. There is usually a bathhouse somewhere nearby. Please call the park directly for questions regarding bathhouse availability.
Backcountry campsites: Either set back pretty far into the woods or located several miles into a trail. That means you must carry your gear and equipment to and from the sites. You cannot pull a vehicle up near these sites. Backcountry campsites are best used by people who want a rustic camping experience and who have the skills and gear necessary to enjoy an evening in the woods without access to running water, electricity, or bathroom facilities.
Visit our camping page and look under "Backcountry Campsites" for a full list of parks offering backcountry camping.
With the right gear and weather, hammock camping can provide an amazing quick camping retreat under the stars. Henry Horton State Park, right off the Duck River and under an hour from Nashville, has six hammock campsites. Reserve a campsite here.
Access to electricity, private bathrooms, A/C, great for families.
We offer rustic, standard, deluxe, premium, and economy suite cabins. You can read the details about the amenities of each type of cabin we offer here.
Cabins are a great option for individuals and small groups looking to enjoy an indoor vacation at a park. Cabins usually require a two or three-night stay depending on the time of year. Most of our cabins have air-conditioning, kitchens, and other amenities you would anticipate from a vacation rental.
We also offer camping cabins at Paris Landing and Natchez Trace State Park that provide a hybrid experience between a cabin and camping. They are a little cheaper and offer limited amenities in a weatherproof and air-conditioned space.
Access to electricity, private bathrooms, A/C, restaurants on site.
The Lodges at Tennessee State Parks offer a hotel-style place to retreat and disconnect. Equipped with restaurants, private rooms, and hotel amenities, you can enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of life.
The location of our Lodges makes them ideal retreat destinations in the time of COVID-19. Our Lodges are not located directly off interstates. They see fewer visitors than many of the chain hotels located right on the exits. That being said, the Lodges at Montgomery Bell, Henry Horton, and Natchez Trace are close enough to interstates that they are easy weekend getaways. Tennessee State Parks staff are working to ensure overnight Lodge guests have a safe and pleasant experience. Plus, the hundreds of acres of surrounding woods provide an immersive, and naturally distant, vacation.
Learn more about the safety measures that are being taken on our Keeping Visitors Healthy page under Lodges.