Five Fall Camping Destinations

October 17, 2019  |  Permalink

The introduction of cooler temperatures and crisper air sets the stage for vibrant changing leaves, campfires with friends, and cozy nights camping under the stars. Each Tennessee State Park adopts a new personality with the changing season. Summer crowds begin to thin and life inside the park gains a unique vibrancy. Fall in love with your favorite park all over again or plan your next camping adventure somewhere new. To inspire you, we’ve put together a list of 5 stunning parks across the state perfect for fall camping:

South Cumberland in the Fall

South Cumberland State Park

Area: Cumberland Plateau

Best For: Serine campsites and hiking with breathtaking views

Dogs: All campgrounds are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Access: Drive-up

About the Park: Imagine hiking to the top of a rock cliff and looking out at over 55 miles of beautiful forest as the breathtaking autumn colors take over the once lush, green gulf. These amazing scenes exist at South Cumberland State Park. South Cumberland State Park is located within four different Tennessee counties and is composed of approximately 30,845 acres in nine separate areas. See spectacular rock formations, cascading streams, waterfalls, rocky gorges, panoramic overlooks, and lush woodlands. 

Camping: South Cumberland offers two camping options: campground and backcountry. Drive up to the Foster Falls campground and enjoy fire-cooked meals around the picnic table, heated showers, restrooms, and easy access to the falls. The campground does not offer water or electrical hookups and reservations are required. If you’re up for a little more adventure, embark on a rewarding backpacking trip with over 90 miles of backpacking trails and 93 primitive campsites to choose from. South Cumberland encourages visitors to reserve your campsite early to secure your site. 

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Chickasaw State Park in the Fall

Chickasaw State Park

Area: West Tennessee

Best For: Horseback riding and family-friendly car camping

Dogs: All campgrounds are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Access: Drive-up and horseback

About the Park: Spanning 14,384 acres of timberland, Chickasaw State Park is situated on scenic Lake Placid. With over 4 miles of hiking trails, bike-friendly roads, and plenty of opportunity for horseback riding, you can be as active or relaxed as you’d like. Horseback riding is popular at the park, with horses available for rent at the park stables. Take a horseback ride down a guided path or ride your horse right up to your campsite at the rustic wrangler campground.

Camping: Visitors have their pick from three campgrounds- the RV campground, tent campground, and wrangler campground. Both the RV and tent camping sites are accessible by car and feature water and electrical hookups. If you’re feeling up for some rustic adventure, the wrangler campground is designed for visitors traveling with horses. Each campground has picnic tables and grills, modern bathhouses with hot showers and restroom facilities and a playground for children to enjoy. Reservations are required.

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Norris Dam State Park

Area: East Tennessee

Best For: Relaxing getaway in the mountains

Dogs: All campgrounds are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Access: Drive-up 

About the Park: Known for its hiking trails, Norris Dam State Park offers a unique camping experience for campers. Immerse yourself in the park’s fall beauty with over 21 miles of hiking trails. Hiking at Norris Dam is nothing but diverse, winding you through ridge tops, valleys, hollows, and lakeshores. Pack your binoculars and head out on a Norris Dam Fall Color Cruise to take in the changing leaves from a new perspective. Lead by Park Rangers, this tour will introduce you to the wildlife and history of the park. These tours run through the end of October and registration is required. After a long day of adventuring, step inside to warm up and learn about life in Southern Appalachia at the park’s Lenoir Museum. 

 Camping: Norris Dam offers two campgrounds on the East side and West side that show off all angles of the park. Each campground offers easy access to trailheads and has picnic tables, grills, fire pits, and centrally located bathhouses. Each campsite has water and electrical hookups. 

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Paris Landing State Park in the Fall

Paris Landing State Park

Area: West Tennessee

Best For: Wildlife viewing 

Dogs: All campgrounds are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Access: Drive-up 

About the Park: Paris Landing State Park sits on the western shore of 160,000-acre Kentucky Lake. Wildlife like deer, turkey, and foxes roam the park. In late fall, Paris Landing becomes a bird watchers paradise. Pack your binoculars and a warm drink and head out to view abundant waterfowl and even bald eagles nesting along the edge of the lake. The park is also a great place for a round of golf or a visit to Land Between the Lakes

Camping: Paris Landing offers a campground with 45 sites equipped with water and electric, and 18 primitive sites. RV’s up to 38 feet are welcome. The main campground offers two bathhouses, picnic tables, grills, and fire pits. For large groups, Big Eagle Base Group Campsite offers 2.5-acre tent camping along almost 700 feet of Kentucky Lake shoreline. A bathhouse, picnic shelter, fire pits, grill, and kayak launch is available on site. The site accommodates up to 40 tents. 

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Warriors' Path State Park in the Fall

Warriors' Path State Park

Area: East Tennessee

Best For: Action-packed family weekend 

Dogs: All campgrounds are dog-friendly. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Access: Drive-up

About the Park: Warrior’s Path State Park serves as a playground for all ages. Visitors can mountain bike on internationally renowned trails, hit the greens on the golf course, explore the whimsical Andersen Treehouse, challenge a friend to a game of disc golf, or simply relax by the edge of the water. The park also features the only Boundless Playground in Tennessee- where children of all physical and mental abilities can play together. 

Camping: The campground is located near Fort Patrick Henry Lake and has easy access to lakeside trails. All 134 campsites offer tables, grills, and 94 have water and electric hookups. Centrally located bathhouses offer hot showers and restrooms. Take a short walk from the campground and you’ll be at the playground and camp store. 

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Tennessee State Parks