Chattanooga Camping

Camping + Backpacking

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Outdoor Chattanooga – Camping

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Couples Who Camp – CityScope Magazine

Family Backpacking

Best Camping & Backpacking Spots

Sleep Under the Stars

Thanks to the greater Chattanooga area’s abundance of state parks and outdoor recreational areas, camping enthusiasts have a wealth of options to choose from when they’re in the mood for campfires and stargazing. From RV and tent campgrounds to primitive campsites, there’s something for everyone.

Area State Parks & Forests

Parks and recreation areas maintained by the state offer a wide variety of options for campers, and there are plenty of areas to explore within an hour of Chattanooga. At nearby Harrison Bay State Park there are campsites available for both RV and tent campers, and the surrounding park provides great opportunities for campers to enjoy golfing, fishing, boating, and birding as well. Also just outside of the city is Prentice Cooper State Forest which maintains two primitive campgrounds – Hunter’s Check Station and Davis Pond – on a first-come, first-served basis.

Crossing over the state line into Georgia, adventurers can make their way to Cloudland Canyon State Park. A 40-minute commute will take campers to one of the state’s largest parks where there is a wealth of campsites to choose from, including cottages and yurts, trailer and RV campsites, and tent campsites. More ambitious or experienced campers can choose to visit the backcountry or pioneer campsites, which feature fewer amenities but offer a great experience for those looking to “rough it.”

Roughly an hour northwest of Chattanooga, South Cumberland State Park features an array of more rugged options such as backcountry sites that require patrons to hike in, rustic campsites which are ideal for tents or small trailers, and primitive sites.

Fall Creek Falls State Park, also an hour away from Chattanooga, is Tennessee’s largest state park. The park features over 200 campsites spread across five different areas, and all sites have tables, grills, bathhouses, and provide access to water and electricity. However, there are also primitive and backcountry campsites for tent camping only, which do not feature site access to amenities. At the park, campers can enjoy the park’s namesake waterfall, which is the highest waterfall in Tennessee.

Georgia’s Fort Mountain State Park and Alabama’s Desoto State Park are also about an hour outside of the Scenic City and provide campers with even more options.

Other Outdoor Recreational Areas

Though state parks can be a great option for campers, they’re not the only option! Chester Frost Park, a Hamilton County park on the banks of Chickamauga Lake, offers over 200 campsites on both the waterfront and inland. There are electricity services available for RV campsites, and the park also features tent sites with utilities as well as primitive tent sites. Showers and laundry facilities are on-site, and during the day, campers can enjoy the park’s fishing piers, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a sandy beach.

Also in Chattanooga is Raccoon Mountain Caverns & Campground, one of the area’s top spots for camping of any kind. There are full-service RV sites for those camping on wheels, as well as water and electric sites for those camping in tents. Amenities include bathhouse, laundry, and fitness facilities, a bark park for dogs, trash pickup, and seasonal access to a saltwater pool. Campers can also take advantage of cavern tours, a playground, and hiking trails during the day.

For the more experienced camper Williams Island and Maclellan Island offer primitive tent sites, but explores will have to paddle in their gear.

If you are looking for more involved activities during the daytime hours, there are plenty of camping options near the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers, which offer whitewater rafting opportunities that range from beginner to very advanced. Hiwassee Outfitters has 25 individual tent campsites, with access to water and electricity included. Each site also has a picnic table and a fire ring. Adventures Unlimited’s campsite near the Ocoee River offers primitive tent sites with access to bathhouses, as well as fully equipped RV hookup sites so that you can get some rest in after a long day of rafting down whitewater rapids. The Chilhowee Recreation Area and the nearby Parksville Lake Campground also offer dozens of campsites.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic locale to park your RV or a primitive campsite to pitch your tent, Chattanooga and the surrounding area have a bounty of options waiting for you.

Sleep Under the Stars

Thanks to the greater Chattanooga area’s abundance of state parks and outdoor recreational areas, camping enthusiasts have a wealth of options to choose from when they’re in the mood for campfires and stargazing. From RV and tent campgrounds to primitive campsites, there’s something for everyone.

Area State Parks & Forests

Parks and recreation areas maintained by the state offer a wide variety of options for campers, and there are plenty of areas to explore within an hour of Chattanooga. At nearby Harrison Bay State Park there are campsites available for both RV and tent campers, and the surrounding park provides great opportunities for campers to enjoy golfing, fishing, boating, and birding as well. Also just outside of the city is Prentice Cooper State Forest which maintains two primitive campgrounds – Hunter’s Check Station and Davis Pond – on a first-come, first-served basis.

Crossing over the state line into Georgia, adventurers can make their way to Cloudland Canyon State Park. A 40-minute commute will take campers to one of the state’s largest parks where there is a wealth of campsites to choose from, including cottages and yurts, trailer and RV campsites, and tent campsites. More ambitious or experienced campers can choose to visit the backcountry or pioneer campsites, which feature fewer amenities but offer a great experience for those looking to “rough it.”

Roughly an hour northwest of Chattanooga, South Cumberland State Park features an array of more rugged options such as backcountry sites that require patrons to hike in, rustic campsites which are ideal for tents or small trailers, and primitive sites.

Fall Creek Falls State Park, also an hour away from Chattanooga, is Tennessee’s largest state park. The park features over 200 campsites spread across five different areas, and all sites have tables, grills, bathhouses, and provide access to water and electricity. However, there are also primitive and backcountry campsites for tent camping only, which do not feature site access to amenities. At the park, campers can enjoy the park’s namesake waterfall, which is the highest waterfall in Tennessee.

Georgia’s Fort Mountain State Park and Alabama’s Desoto State Park are also about an hour outside of the Scenic City and provide campers with even more options.

Other Outdoor Recreational Areas

Though state parks can be a great option for campers, they’re not the only option! Chester Frost Park, a Hamilton County park on the banks of Chickamauga Lake, offers over 200 campsites on both the waterfront and inland. There are electricity services available for RV campsites, and the park also features tent sites with utilities as well as primitive tent sites. Showers and laundry facilities are on-site, and during the day, campers can enjoy the park’s fishing piers, tennis courts, picnic areas, and a sandy beach.

Also in Chattanooga is Raccoon Mountain Caverns & Campground, one of the area’s top spots for camping of any kind. There are full-service RV sites for those camping on wheels, as well as water and electric sites for those camping in tents. Amenities include bathhouse, laundry, and fitness facilities, a bark park for dogs, trash pickup, and seasonal access to a saltwater pool. Campers can also take advantage of cavern tours, a playground, and hiking trails during the day.

For the more experienced camper, Williams Island and Maclellan Island offer primitive tent sites, but explores will have to paddle in their gear.

If you are looking for more involved activities during the daytime hours, there are plenty of camping options near the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers, which offer whitewater rafting opportunities that range from beginner to very advanced. Hiwassee Outfitters has 25 individual tent campsites, with access to water and electricity included. Each site also has a picnic table and a fire ring. Adventures Unlimited’s campsite near the Ocoee River offers primitive tent sites with access to bathhouses, as well as fully equipped RV hookup sites so that you can get some rest in after a long day of rafting down whitewater rapids. The Chilhowee Recreation Area and the nearby Parksville Lake Campground also offer dozens of campsites.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic locale to park your RV or a primitive campsite to pitch your tent, Chattanooga and the surrounding area have a bounty of options waiting for you.

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