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East Tennessee Outdoors Camping – Roan Mountain State Park

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The weather has finally warmed, Covid-19 numbers are falling, and things are getting back to normal for June in the mountains.

This is the perfect time for camping.
Our area is blessed with some of the most scenic campsites in Tennessee, and almost all of them are finally open for business. Whether you like to use an RV or go primitive camping into the backcountry, East Tennessee has the campsite for you.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will look at some of the best campgrounds in East Tennessee to help you choose which one is best for you.

So, pack your essentials, put on your boots, and let’s explore the best campgrounds in east Tennessee.

Roan Mountain State Park

Want to have the chance to see a bear? Want to see deer and turkey by the dozens? Have an urge to catch rainbow trout in almost every fishing hole?

Boy, do I have a campsite for you!

Some people consider Roan Mountain State Park the Crown Jewel of Tennessee State Parks for many good reasons.

The park is very well maintained, is very clean and offers peaceful campsites that should please everyone in your camping party.

The campground has a total of 107 family campsites and each site includes a picnic table and grill.

Of these 107 sites, 87 are RV sites and 20 are tent sites.

Each of the campsites includes a water hookup but the tent camping area does not have electric hookups. There are no sewer hookups in the campground, but it does have a dump station.

Several bathhouses with hot showers are also included in the campground.

Prices for these campsites range from $15 to $35 per night, depending on the campsite, plus taxes and fees.

The park also offers four group campsites that will accommodate up to 25 people. These have large gravel tent pads, picnic tables, fire rings, grills, and water spigots at each site.

There is no electricity and it is approximately a 1/4 mile walk to the nearest bathrooms and shower houses. Rates for these sites are $25 to $27 per night not including taxes and fees.

I recommend that you reserve your campsite through their website before you plan on coming.

During the summer months, the park can be very busy, and if you do not reserve a site in advance, you may not get a campsite.

For recreation, the park has miles and miles of hiking trails as well as bird watching and animal watching. It also contains miles of the Doe River that are stocked often through June with catchable rainbow trout.

There are also tennis courts, basketball courts, and a pool within an easy walking distance to the campsites.  Also, the park includes an interpretive program each week through its working farmstead, the Miller Farm.

Finally, the park offers weekly programs to enhance the understanding of the park’s wildlife.

These include owl walk, outdoor photography, raptor study, beginner fiddle playing, Junior Ranger Camp, butterfly walk, firefly viewing, stream ecology, the secret life of snakes, and fire-building techniques.

Overall, Roan Mountain State Park has something for everyone at very reasonable prices.

Roan Mountain State Park is truly a family-friendly camping area and this alone keeps families from across the state coming back each year. Give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Next week I will discuss Cades Cove Campground where wildlife truly meets the campers.