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Old 01-21-2011, 09:23 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,777,789 times
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so im planning on heading towards knoxville in may and trying to figure out the logistics...

ive got 3 options...
fly down, book a car and stay in a hotel/motel for the week, this option seems to be running $650+ for a 5 day visit including hotel, car and flights to knoxville, but doesnt include gas to do the running around
drive down and stay in a hotel/motels along the way, this method looks like im spending about $400 on gas and then cheapest ive been able to find online is $40 a night for a motel 6
drive down and camp along the way. same $400 for gas (there and back) but camping rates hopefully lower than a motel room...

id be comming down I 81 through virginia, ive found a probably good candidate to camp on the first stretch of the virginia run...

now im looking to make a stop neer the va/tn line (kingsport area)
and again in the knoxville area.

im looking for basic tent camping...clean bathrooms (im not new to camping so were talking camping clean not ocd clean lol) and hot shower facilities woudl be GREAT.
beyond that it would be nice to have a little fire ring at the campsite but i plan on using the site to pitch and sleep.
i will do porta potties if nessicary, but id prefer real bathroom/shower facility.

i will be camping alone, i dont know the areas and if theres any additional saftey precautions ill need to take so having a check in or rangers station neerby just for checkins/just in case would be great.

the biggest concern if im camping is cost...ive seen a few places that want $40 a night for a BASIC tent spot per night...

the place ive found in VA for my first/last nights is $10 a night and thats perfect...
easy acess would be great.

i plan on spending 1 night in virginia on the way down, 1 night neer kingsport, a few days camping in knoxville (ill be making a day trip to chattanooga while on that leg) then back up the way i came towards home (so would be using the same campgrounds.

planning for the trip to take about a week and a half/2 weeks during mid may...i figure thigns should be starting to warm up at that point and ive cold weather camped before.

i will NOT have any pets with me this time around (as i realy want to explore the area and see some sights like the knoxville zoo) so pet friendly isnt a problem...

any ideas for good basic camping, safe, quiet, simple and shower facilities a bonus in both the kingsport and knowville areas.

im HORRIBLE at planning trips hence trying to figure this out NOW, ive got a few months to pull everything together, get my tent re-weatherproofed, ect.

thoughts and input would be great, im trying to do this trip for as cheap as possible to see if eastern tn might be the place i want to spend the rest of my life...
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:12 AM
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I have this book Amazon.com: The Best in Tent Camping: Tennessee: A Guide for Car Campers Who Hate RVs, Concrete Slabs, and Loud Portable Stereos (Best in Tent Camping - Menasha Ridge) (9780897326087): Johnny Molloy: Books
I've never been camping in the eastern part of the state yet (I'm hoping to this spring). However, so far the reviews of the camp sites we've tried have been spot on.

TN State Parks are beautiful (at least the ones I've visted so far). Tent camping is relatively inexpensive (maybe $20/night) with showers, etc.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:53 AM
Location: Sullivan County, Tennessee
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Two facilities here in Kingsport come to mind (both close to I-81).

Warriors Path State Park is about two miles off Exit 59 in the Colonial Heights community and it is a popular camping location (reservations recommended in season). I am not sure that the portion of their camping facilities that are open prior to Memorial Day will allow tent camping (the overflow area open after MD serves mostly tent camping). This is their website:
TN State Parks: Warriors' Path State Park

Also in Kingsport and about one half mile off I-81 at Exit 63 is Rocky Top Campground which has tent platform sites available for $24 according to their website:
Rocky Top Campground Facilities Available

I live near both of these and I would not expect site security to be a worry at either.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:21 AM
Location: North Western NJ
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thanks jim ill look into both
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Camping in Knoxville?

Are you wanting to camp in Knoxville itself?

There are lots of great places to camp nearby but Knoxville itself is a pretty big town - I can't think of any good camping there off the top of my head. Further out, you can find places to camp along almost any of the TVA lakes. TVA manages some of these sites directly. Other sites are leased out by TVA to private groups.

Fairly close to Knoxville there are campgrounds on Douglas Lake, Norris Lake, and Tellico Lake.

The National Park has some great camping but none of it has showers.

There is also a state park at Norris Dam just north of Knoxville.

Further out there is some great camping up at Big South Fork National Recreation Area.

If you are taking a day trip to Chattanooga, I'd suggest stooping to camp on the way there or back as a detour. One of my absolute favorite campgrounds anywhere is Indian Boundary Campground near Tellico Plains, TN. Full facilities, and a beautiful little lake with gorgeous mountains as a backdrop. The road up to the campground is a national scenic byway. On the way back down the mountain, take a short 10 mile detour up the Tellico River to Bald River Falls, which is a stunning waterfall right along the road. You can extend the scenic drive by taking TN 68 south out of Tellico Plains over to Ducktown, TN. The take US 64 west through the Ocoee River gorge, down to Cleveland to I75 and then down to Chattanooga.

Really pretty country through there not as known as the national park.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:41 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,075,513 times
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I've stayed at the KOA in Sweetwater and the KOA in Cleveland. Both are nice.

I stayed for about a week at a campground on Buttermilk Road in Lenoir City called the Soaring Eagle. That was decent, too.

I use to live near two campgrounds in Heiskell, Volunteer and Escapees. Believe it of not, despite the name I think Escapees is a little nicer but I've never stayed at either.

Your cheapest will probably be the state parks and I believe the closest one to Knoxville will be the Norris Dam park. I haven't stayed there but have visited a few times. It's nice.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:46 PM
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
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State Parks in Tennessee have cabins & lodges depending on size of group..with some great rates. Check them out..they will gladly answer your questions by e-mail. By clicking on "Find your Park" you will have a interactive map..click on a pine tree to explore that park and what it has to offer.

Tennessee State Parks
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:49 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,777,789 times
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thanks for all the great suggestions.
id definatly like to see the falls, and no dont need to camp in knoxville, just close enough that im not driving 3 hours to get to the city form the camp ground lol

i dont think its worth paying for a cabin since itll just be me and im trying to keep this trip as cheap as possible as im trying to save for a downpayment for a house lol
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