Cove Lake State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Set in one of the most scenic environments Cove Lake State Park lies on the Cumberland Plateau and boasts being a home of adventure. Located in East Tennessee the park is nestled in the foothills of the iconic mountains on all sides giving it an awesome backdrop. From Cumberland Valley on which the 673 acres park lays you can see Cross Mountain standing tall at 3,534 feet. Devils Racetrack, a western tip of the vast Cumberland Mountain, can be sighted from multiple points within the park on a clear day. On the parks northern end, you can feast your eyes on the beauty of Fork Mountain. Conveniently located near Caryville, this park attracts RV campers from far and wide due to its magnificent scenery, birding adventures, and hiking expeditions. There is more than enough to see and enjoy in Cove Lake State Park from creeks and swimming to outdoor games in its spacious sports courts.

Cove Lake State Park even features an on-site BBQ. At Rickards Ridge BBQ you get to test your taste buds. With delicious cuisine, experienced chefs, and amazing views from the deck, this restaurant cannot be missed. Here you can enjoy yummy dishes including sweet potato fries, pulled pork, and burgers. In addition, there are a variety of kids menus, desserts and healthy options to pick from. Occasionally this BBQ holds live musical performances, concerts, and arts festivals, especially on weekends. The Louie Bluie Festivals happens here in October every year. You can visit the parks offices for more information on the events scheduled during your stay. No matter when you visit you will be blown away by the breathtaking landscape and thrilling activities that Cove Lake State Park has in store for your next RV adventure.

RV Rentals in Cove Lake State Park

Transportation in Cove Lake State Park

Driving

Cove Lake State Park lies approximately 30 minutes north of Knoxville and just a few miles off Interstate 75 on the Caryville Exit, making it easily accessible. Some walking trails within the park may be rendered impassible by rain and some are closed during winter. There are adequate parking lots including past the BBQ, one near the swimming pool, and another one next to the pavilions. For extra parking, there is more space in the playground area for picnickers. Campers can park their RV at their campsite.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Cove Lake State Park

Campsites in Cove Lake State Park

Reservations camping

RV Camping at Cove Lake State Park

On the northern section of Cove Lake State Park you will find a pet- friendly and big rig friendly campground with Jupiter trees, white pines, and oaks scattered around. The park has 106 campsites which can accommodate RV, trailers, and few tents. There are only 4 tent-specific sites, though tents can be pitched on all campsites.

This family-friendly park is more geared towards RV camping since all sites having water and 30 amp electric hookups. The larger campsites can accommodate an RVs up to 50 feet long. Pets are welcome, but dogs should always be on a leash and are restricted from accessing buildings. Cell service is available but there is no Wi-Fi. Firewood can be purchased within the park.

Cove Lake State Park is clean and well-maintained with plenty of play areas for kids. Amenities at the campground include a dump station, picnic tables, fire pits, grills, and two bathhouses with hot showers. Reservations can be made up to one year advance. The maximum camping stay is 14 days. For your shopping needs and gas, you can drive to the Appalachian Highway. The campground is open year-round, but some sites close during the winter months.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

There are no first-come, first-served options at this state park.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Cove Lake State Park

In-Season

Hiking

With trails cutting through the varied landscapes, it is easy to navigate Cove Lake State Park on foot once you park your rig. 11 miles of the lengthy and strenuous Cumberland trail originates at Bruce Gap Trailhead, passing through the park and offering a great opportunity for those craving for a challenging hike. Hikers interested in this route should carry enough drinking and wear well-fitting hiking shoes. If you are a beginner, or not a fan of long hikes, then the one-mile Beavers Workshop Trail is perfect for you. Finally, there are just over three miles of a paved multi-use trail open to cyclists, joggers, and hikers.

Fishing

Cove Lake State Park is a fishing hot spot in the county. The centrally located 210-acre Cove Lake is a habitat for bluegills, bass, and crappie. Anglers can fish from the shore or from the rental boats. A valid Tennessee fishing license is mandatory for anglers above 15 years of age.

Swimming and Boating

Cove Lake State Park features an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a kid's wading pool, which is perfect cooling those joints during the summer. To ensure the safety of swimmers the pool is always manned by lifeguards. There are discounted prices for camping guests. The park offers rental boats all year round too. RV visitors can also bring their own boats, canoes, and kayaks. It is worth noting that privately owned watercraft require a daily launch fee.

Off-Season

Birding

Whenever you take an RV trip to Cove Lake State Park you can be sure to encounter different bird species. In the winter, the lake is crowned with an increase of migratory birds including Canada geese, bald eagles, and sparrows. Other commonly spotted water birds on the lake shores include waterfowls, herons, and ducks. However, birds are not just restricted to the water. There are many more birds nesting in the park's forest such as songbirds, hawks, and pine warblers. Nocturnal birds such as owls are native to this park as well.

Picnicking

If you need to treat your loved ones to a lovely lunch this state park features a picnic area with some of most scenic trails. For larger groups, there are six covered picnic shelters which can accommodate 50 to 65 people and are open to reservations for up to one year in advance. There are many more open and nicely shaded picnic areas. Amenities within the day use area include picnic tables and grills.

Playing Outdoor Games

If you are into sports Cove Lake State Park offers multiple recreational sports. Make sure you pack your sporting gear in your camper so you can play your favorite games. Located next to the pavilions in the picnic area are different fields including tennis and volleyball courts. The park's tennis courts are one of the most popular places during the summer. Horseshoe pits and badminton fields are also available.

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