Renowned for its unique cedar glades ecosystem, Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a great getaway destination for any RV lovers. Located in Wilson County, Tennessee, the park consists of 900 acres inside the 9,420-acres of the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest. The area has a unique type of ecosystem that has adapted to the thin soil layers in the area. Glades are flanked by thick stands of red cedar, a type of tree that can survive in soil layers too thin to support most large wooded plants. This has resulted in the park being home to 350 different plant species, with 29 being unique to areas that have cedar glades. Botanists began noting the importance of the cedar glades as early as 1901 and research done on the area led to it being designated as a national natural landmark in 1973.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park has some great camping and recreational facilities. There are 87 campsites with electric and water hookups, a swimming pool, eight miles of hiking trails, disc golf course, a group lodge and 11 picnic shelters. The Merritt Nature Center also serves as a small museum that displays some of the forest's amazing natural features. The park and its camping facilities are open year round.
RV Rentals in Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Transportation in Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is an easy park to find that is accessible all year round. The only access road to the park is Cedar Forest Road which runs through most of the park and the forest. You can access Cedar Forest Road from the US-231 or Norene Road if you are coming from the south. The park is located around the middle of Cedar Forest Road and there will be numerous signs that will direct you to the park entrance.
Nashville is the closest major city to the park and it is around 30 miles away. The towns of Lebanon, Gladeville, Watertown and Norene are also within 30 miles. There is also a handy gas station right near the Cedar Forest Road exit from the US-231.
Getting into a park with a larger vehicle will be totally fine up until you get to the campgrounds. If the trees haven't been trimmed around the campground loop it can be a little challenging to navigate around the branches. If you have trouble, you can ask the park rangers for some assistance.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a very popular location due to its proximity to Nashville. Because of this, if you come during the summertime the park will be extremely busy. Make sure you reserve a campsite as parking can be difficult if you don't have a spot waiting for you.
Campgrounds and parking in Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Campsites in Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park Campgrounds
The campground at Lebanon State Park is very well equipped for you to enjoy your RV stay. There are 87 campsites with electric and water hookups that vary between 20,30 and 50 amp connections. There is no primitive camping at the park, so electric camping for your RV is on the menu. There are three loops with paved roads that vary in size . Loop one is for the bigger rigs, loop two fits mostly back-ins and loop three are for the smaller RVs.
Other amenities in the park include three bathhouses that have hot showers and toilets, a laundromat, dump station, souvenir shop, and a campstore that is open seasonally. There are also some pet friendly camp sites and you should be able to get phone reception within the grounds. The campground is open year-round for camping which is a bonus if you are an RV snowbird. Maximum stay is two weeks and reservations are a must if you are coming in the summer due to the business nature of the camp grounds.
Seasonal activities in Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Although there are no lakes or rivers to swim in, Cedars of Lebanon State Park does have a pool which is an extremely popular activity during the summer. It is an Olympic-sized pool that is 12 feet deep, with a diving board and a smaller two foot wading pool for children. The pool is open to both camping residents and other park visitors. If you are staying in the park you will get a discount on the entry fee to the pool.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park has some great picnicking facilities available for RV lovers. The park has picnic tables with grills throughout and there are also eleven picnic shelters located in the park. Three of these eleven picnic shelters can be reserved if you want to guarantee a spot in the shade. Reservations for these shelters can be made up to one year in advance. There are also drinking fountains, restrooms, playground equipment and soft drink machines available.
Merritt Nature Center
The Merritt Nature Center at Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the area. Some of the highlights in the center include exhibits on geology and the natural features of the park. There are also public programs that run throughout the year that include tours of the nature exhibits, wildlife video programs, fossil hunts and nature hikes. Merritt Nature Center is open from 9AM to 5PM during the peak season of the park.
Due to the unique ecosystem of the park, birding is a very popular activity. Over 120 different species of birds have been recorded within the park and its surrounding areas. Some of the birds that are known to be seen or heard include the prairie warbler, yellow-breasted chat, and chuck-will’s-widow. The park does not allow the use of electronic sound devices to attract birds during the nesting season. Remember to take extra care if you are in a nesting area.
There are eight miles of hiking trails that take you on lovely walks through the forests and glades in Cedars of Lebanon State Park. There are four hiking trails that are open year-round that vary in difficulty. If you want to spot some animals there are frequent deer, fox, rabbit and turkey sightings on the trails. You can find out more information about the trails and pick up a trail map from the park office.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park has one of the first ever disc golf courses in the state of Tennessee. The course was designed by one of the originators of disc golf, Ed Headrick, way back in 1977. The course is an 18-hole short course that is landscaped through cedar woods with limestone karst topography. The throws on this court are short but technical, and it's a lot of fun. The course is busy year-round by visitors and local disc golfers. If you want to have a game, make sure you bring your own discs.