Camping Adventures in East Tennessee
Don’t let the summer slip away without exploring a camping adventure in the 9 Lakes of East Tennessee. Camping offers a wealth of outdoor activities ranging from waterfall hikes to stargazing. For families and outdoor enthusiasts, there is nothing quite like a day filled with activities followed by an evening around the campfire. As the darkening night skies light up with stars, the sounds of nature provide an audible soundtrack to your adventure. Best of all, camping is affordable, relaxing, and full of memory making moments.
Summer can be busy at the better known state parks and lakefront RV resort campgrounds. In this vacation climate of searching for less crowded places, there are gems if you know where to look. Here are two campground adventures that are gateways to National Parks and waterways. Add these to your list of places to camp while in the 9 Lakes:
Brooks Corner Campground and RV Park is a family owned campground with shaded sites and easy access to the trails of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a 125,000 acre national park, and to the Historic Town of Rugby, a museum village dating back to 1880. Guests of the campground can also choose to stay in the aptly named treehouse, “A Little Closer to Heaven.” The nearby RM Brooks Store is well stocked for adventurers and caters to bicyclists, motorcyclists, and wanderers seeking “off the beaten path” experiences. The fried pies are legendary and a closely guarded secret recipe. Spend your day hiking or swimming at Gentlemen’s Swimming Hole.
Bring a bike and ride the IMBA Epic trails at Big South Fork. Come back in the fall when the Cumberland Plateau is awash in autumn splendor. Camping fees range from $10 per night for a tent up to $30 per night for $50 amp service.
Nearby at Rock Creek Campground on the Emory River is located in the Nemo Area of Obed Wild and Scenic River. Visitors can paddle, fish, and hike trails, as well as climb the rock faces in Obed. In the summer, boulder strewn river beds in the gorge attract sunbathers for the pools of clear, cold water to cool off in. This National Park Service campground is tent only. Fees are $10 per night. Obed is one of the International Dark Sky Parks, so the night sky is a visual canopy of stars, planets, and constellations. If you come in July, take advantage of viewing the Neowise Comet through July 21 or Aquarid meteor showers through July 30.
Both campgrounds are located just 70 miles north of Knoxville, TN in the 9 Lakes of East Tennessee.