East Tennessee Outdoors… News for the week of July 22, 2020

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, July 21, 2020



The dog days of summer are upon us. Expect temperatures in the high 80’s to the mid 90’s (F) and daily thundershowers. This may not be perfect weather for outdoor activities, such as fishing, but in my opinion, it is still good camping weather.

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It may be a good time to look at some of the better camping spots in East Tennessee and help you find one that is suitable for your needs. Let’s start at Watauga Lake.

Carden’s Bluff Campground

There are a couple of places that will allow you to camp on Watauga Lake. One of the most popular is Carden’s Bluff Campground. This campground is located next to Watauga Lake and a few of the campsites are right on the lake itself.

The campground can be reserved and has more than 40 sites. Most of the campground is for tent camping only, but there are a few of the sites that will accommodate a small RV or camper.

Bayview Campground

Another good campground is Bayview Campground and Marina.

This one is located in Butler and will accommodate larger RVs or medium-large campers. This campground also has camping areas on the lake itself or campsites that are a short walk to the lake.

This campground usually has several sites that are rented out to people who keep an RV on the lake year-round. Overall, this is a nice campground.

Dennis Cove Campground

If you are wanting a campsite that is a little more primitive and secluded, try the Dennis Cove Campground.

The campground is located in the Dennis Cove community, high above Hampton Tennessee. This campground is almost entirely tent camping or small RV camping, so remember that when you go.

There is no electricity for a camper, but there are water and a bathroom. These campsites are inexpensive, and a one night stay on one site will only cost $10.00.

Give it a try.

Wilbur Dam Campground

One of the more popular and nicer campgrounds in East Tennessee is the Wilbur Dam Campground. This campground has just about everything that you would want or expect in a campground.

It has a bathhouse with a shower. It has a camp store that stays open until 6 p.m. and they even rent small boats that can be used on Wilbur Lake.

Most campsites are next to the water and will allow you to fish from your campsite.

The cool lake water makes a perfect habitat for trout, and the TWRA keeps the lake regularly stocked with catchable trout.

Finally, it is a family-friendly campground. There is no open drinking or partying, and the camp hosts make sure all is quiet by 10 p.m.

Overall, this is an excellent place to camp and stay cool on those summer days.

Roan Mountain State Park

The final campground I want to mention is Roan Mountain State Park. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about this campground and park, and to me, it is still one of the crown jewels in the Northeast Tennessee park system.

One thing I love about this place is the hiking trails. There are trails for any ability, and it seems the higher you hike into the mountains, the cooler a hot summer day becomes.

Be sure to reserve your camping spot on their website to make sure you get a campsite because people come from all over the world to use this park.

It is well maintained and very kid-friendly with swings, tennis courts, basketball courts, and an assortment of other activities.

Whether the kids want to search for tadpoles or ride their bikes in the safe area of the park, this offers something for everyone.

Get out this week and cool off by a creek or river and do a little camping.

The weather may be hot, but the breeze off the water is guaranteed to keep you cool.