Backcountry camping is an excellent means of getting away from the hassles of daily life while surrounded by beautiful natural vistas. There are numerous locations throughout the state of Tennessee that welcome rustic campers. Choose a location and be prepared to relax and unwind.
Long Hunter State Park
The park is a convenient 20 minute trip from Nashville. Long Hunter remains open year-round and has two rustic campsites that each accommodate up to 10 people. Permits must be obtained in advance. But, campers must hike into the sites via the Day Loop/Volunteer Trailhead, which is approximately six miles. The sites are so rural that campers must carry-in water or use filtration devices to drink water from available locations. The sites do have fire rings and picnic tables.
Natchez Trace State Park
The park is equidistant between Memphis and Nashville, as the journey takes approximately 90 minutes from either city. Permits are required to camp. Hiking trails vary in length from one-half mile to 40 miles. The location has four backcountry sites, and each accommodates up to 35 people. Leashed pets are welcome. The paths venture through 48,000 acres of scenic forest, open fields, lakes, and streams. The park also has a restaurant and museum containing exhibits that explain the park’s history.
South Cumberland State Park
The park is located between Chattanooga and Nashville. Rustic campers have access to more than 90 miles of trails, having 12 campgrounds in different areas. The 12.5-mile Fiery Gizzard path is one of the most popular. Permits and reservations are required. Each site is equipped with a fire ring; some are close to potable water, but most destinations require campers to filter water from natural sources. Hiking is required to reach the campsites.
Frozen Head State Park
There are more than two dozen rustic or backcountry sites scattered throughout the park. The park has ten specified campsites along a 50-mile trail. However, the sites along the Chimney Top Trail remain some of the most popular. A seven-mile challenging hike takes campers to the hilltop Mart Fields Campsite. The spectacular views over the valleys are one of the main attractions of the location. Water may be obtained from the Spicewood Branch Trail. Permits and reservations are required.
Article originally published on Patch.