Natchez Trace State Park
Guide

Introduction

Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Tennessee River, Natchez Trace State Park is a nature lover's paradise, featuring 48,000 acres of forest, fields, beautiful lakeshore, and pristine streams. Located just outside of Wildersville, Tennessee, this vast state park is a must for your next RV vacation. You will have endless opportunities for outdoor fun in a magnificent lake landscape. From hiking and fishing to biking and horseback riding, Natchez Trace State Park offers a variety of outdoor adventures.

The lake views of Natchez Trace State Park are amazing, stretching over 58 acres. You will love soaking in the lake air while being surrounded by unique plant and wildlife, including pine trees, ducks, and blue herons. There are several species of birds in the park and lots of wildlife, from sheep to black bears. History buffs will jump at the chance to learn how the woodland area was utilized by American frontiersmen in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Once you park your rig at Natchez Trace State Park you can wander out onto one of the numerous hiking trails throughout the park. For birdwatchers, there is a 14-mile overnight trail that is great for woodland birding. The Red Leaves Trail is a 40-mile loop that takes you deep into the park and offers great views of the valleys, canyons, and tall trees. Natchez Trace State Park is a great RV destination no matter when you visit. Hundreds of sites await RVers, some with full hookups, and others offering primitive style camping.

RV Rentals in Natchez Trace State Park

Transportation

Driving

Located halfway between Memphis and Nashville, Natchez Trace State Park is easy to access by car or camper, with its location near Wildersville, TN, off of Interstate 40. Local roads will take you anywhere you wish to go within the park from the Lodge and Visitor Center to the campgrounds and trails. There are no driving restrictions in the park, so you will be able to get around easily, whether you are in your rig or another vehicle. Keep in mind that this park is vast and some areas are spread out rather far from each other. Should you want to stretch your legs, the roads are paved and going to the lodge or beach area is within a short distance. If you want to visit some other state parks in the area Mousetail Landing State Park is just 25 miles away while Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park is 35 miles away.

Parking

There are lots of options for parking trailers and RVs, with three parking areas throughout the park. You'll be able to find locations at the Lake Lodge, Beach Area, and near the trails. If you are staying overnight, you can park at the campground.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Natchez Trace State Park

Campsites in Natchez Trace State Park

Reservations camping

Natchez Trace Wrangler Camp

The Wrangler Camp is the place for you if you're an equestrian, offering 62 pet-friendly sites with water and electrical hookups. You can camp with your horse year-round since each campsite has a post to picket horses. You will be just a stone's throw from the equestrian center. You'll also find a gravel pad, grill, lantern holder, and picnic table at your site. You'll enjoy close amenities such as two bathhouses and a dump station. While camping with your horse make sure to follow all park rules, including cleaning up after your animal and adhering to quiet hours. While the park is open all year long, some sites will close in the winter, starting in December. The Wrangler Camp is the ideal place to camp with your horse and enjoy the over 250 miles of trails available for horseback riding.

Cub Lake Campgrounds

Cub Lake is divided into two pet-friendly campground sections: Campground 1 and Campground 2. These campgrounds are ideal for those with smaller rigs and tents, as the maximum RV length for these campsites is only 20 to 25 feet. Each campsite offers a picnic table, fire ring, and grill. Pads are either gravel or grass. You will also enjoy all the wonderful aquatic activities from the nearby Cub Lake from these sites. You can book your stay up to one year in advance.

Cub Lake Campground 1 is open seasonally, featuring 23 sites with water and electric hookups. While there are no sewer hookups, a dump station is located nearby. RVs up to 25 feet long are permitted.

Cub Lake Campground 2 offers 46 campsites and is also open seasonally. This campground is best suited for those looking for a more primitive camping experience. RVs are permitted here, but only if they are under 20 feet long. So this campground is well-suited for tent campers. There are no hookups in this area, but water and a dump station are accessible within the campground.

Pin Oak Campground

The Pin Oak Campground features 77 pet-friendly campsites available for tents and RVs year-round. RVers will love camping in this part of the park since Pin Oak offers full hookups. This campground is perfect for large rigs since lengths of up to 80 feet are permitted. Pin Oak is also ideal for those looking to spend some time out of the water since you will be staying right on the shore of Pin Oak Lake. You'll have endless opportunities for swimming, boating, and sunbathing.

Each site offers a gravel pad, picnic table, grill, and fire ring, so you can cook up your own delicious meals. Amenities include showers and restrooms. This is a family-friendly campground since a playground and picnic shelter are located nearby. While the campground is open all year, some sites close for the winter starting in December. You can book your stay up to one year in advance.

Alternate camping

Backcountry Camping

For those with adventurous spirits, backcountry camping is for you. This state park features four backcountry campsites where you can camp in the solitude and serenity of the great outdoors. You can enjoy camp with a large group since up to 35 people are allowed at each site. You can also bring your furry friend as pets are permitted as long as they stay on a leash. You do need a permit before you set out on the trail to the backcountry campsites. You'll also need to be ready to hike since each site requires over two miles of hiking to get there. The backcountry campsites are located in various places throughout the park, but several feature gorgeous lakefront views.

Off-Site Campgrounds

If you couldn't find a spot to park the RV at Natchez Trace State Park for the night, you won't have to go far to find an alternative place to rest your head. Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park is located about 40 minutes to the northeast and offers 37 RV-friendly sites with electric hookups. Mousetail Landing State Park is just 25 miles to the southeast and offers both primitive style sites and sites with electrical hookups. Chickasaw State Park can be found around 45 minutes to the southwest and offers water and electric hookups to its guests.

Camping Cabins

Those looking to stay in comfort while still being immersed in nature should consider renting one of the parks camping cabins. Situated on the shores of the scenic Pin Oak Lake, the cabins offer scenic views and modern conveniences like air conditioning and potable water. The cabins are each outfitted with two bunk beds able to sleep up to four, and outside guests will find lantern hooks, picnic tables, and barbeque grills. Pets are welcome so long as you clean up after them. The cabins are available for rent year-round.

Pin Oak Lodge

If you enjoy the ritz over the rugged, then book a room at the Pin Oak Lodge. As you may have guessed, the lodge is located on the beautiful Pin Oak Lake, and half of the rooms offer scenic views. The lodge is equipped with 47 guest rooms varying in size and price. ADA-accessible rooms are also available. Throughout the lodge, guests will find Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a conference center. Not too shabby for a camping trip!

Group Lodge

If you are looking for accommodations for a large group, Natchez Trace State Park offers a group lodge able to accommodate up to 72 people. Originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930s, these lodges offer up some great history along with a place to rest your head. Five cottages, a bunkhouse, and an administrative building are all part of what makes up the group lodging, making it the perfect place to enjoy a large gathering, retreat, or family reunion.

Each of the five cottages is equipped with a full kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and two full bathrooms. Guests will also find a porch with a picnic table at each cabin. Sleeping arrangements consist of all bunk beds, and four of the cabins can accommodate ten people, while the last can sleep up to eight. Guests will need to bring their own bedding and linens.

The bunkhouse is also equipped with a series of bunk beds and can sleep up to 24. Guests will also find two full bathrooms in the bunkhouse.

The administrative building is perfect for large group gatherings and is equipped with a commercial kitchen, a dining room, and four smaller rooms. A firepit and volleyball court can also be found outside. There is ample parking throughout the group lodging area, and you should have no trouble parking two vehicles at each cottage and the bunkhouse.

Group lodging is available from March through November, and reservations can be made up to five years in advance.

Seasonal activities in Natchez Trace State Park

Off-Season

Touring the Visitor Center

If you wish to learn more about the park's history, park your motorhome at the Visitor Center and look at the exhibits inside. There are displays you can look at in the Visitor Center that will help you understand the abundant bird species located in the park, as well as the cultural history. Plus, when the Rangers visit, you can ask them questions about the park and the flora and fauna that call the area home.

Visiting the Park's Museum

Natchez Trace State Park features a renovated museum located in the headquarters of the park that showcases the park's rich history. A nature center is also located in the museum that offers a wildlife viewing area and an aquarium. Other exhibits are located throughout so that you can walk about and learn more about the area's natural history and geology. The whole family will enjoy learning something new, and it's a great place to spend a cold, rainy day should you be visiting during the off-season.

Birding

Natchez Trace State Park is home to over 135 bird species, so you will definitely want to make sure you pack your binoculars in your campervan. Some of the birds you can view include ducks, vireos, flycatchers, and yellow-billed cuckoo. Make sure you take a trek over to one of the lakes to explore pied-billed grebes and great blue herons. If you consider yourself both and an avid birder and an adventurer, consider heading out on the 14-mile overnight trail for an extra special birding experience.

Boating

An RV vacation to Natchez Trace State Park wouldn't be complete without a day spent on the water. There are many lakes located in the park, meaning you'll have your choice of water to boat, waterski, swim, or just soak up some rays from the pontoon. Two public boat launches with courtesy docks are located on Pin Oak Lake, and if you're hoping to waterski, this is the only lake that allows it. If you fancy a leisurely paddle, canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the inn. Cub Creek Lake offers 52 acres for boating, and also offers rentals of jon boats and peddle boats.

In-Season

Horseback Riding

Should you be an equestrian, you will love the opportunity to hit the trail at Natchez Trace State Park. This state park has an equestrian area that will complete all your needs, should you be bringing your horses. There are over 250 miles of public-use trails and over 60 campsites that offer water hookups, electric hookups, and a horse rail at each site. Horses are welcome to be boarded at the Equestrian Center on-site.

Biking

Natchez Trail State Park is an excellent place to bring your bike and go out onto the forest trails. Once you park your pop-up you can cycle down one of the five trails that are multi-use. The trails are mostly intermediate in difficulty and extend over 50 miles, offering excellent views of meadows, canyons, and the lake. Biking is also a great way to see some of the main attractions around the park like the museum, Visitor Center, and the beach if you don't want to deconstruct camp to drive around.

Hiking

You will want to make sure you have a great pair of hiking boots in your rig since there are six hiking trails to pick from at Natchez Trace State Park that vary in difficulty. If you are seeking an easy stroll or hike, consider the Fern Trail. This is a half-mile loop that takes you around Cub Lake and offers excellent views. For a more difficult hike, trek over to the Red Leaves Trail, which will take you past wildflowers, canyons, and meadows.

Fishing

Anglers visiting Natchez Trace State Park can take advantage of the many pristine lakes located in the park. Pin Oak Lake is one of the largest at 690 acres and is located in the south of the park. Fishing in the early evening has proved productive here, with common catches including bass, bluegill, and catfish. Brown's Creek Lake is perhaps the most popular fishing spot due to its extensive population of massive largemouth bass. For a good chance of reeling in redear sunfish, bluegill, and catfish, head to Maple's Creek Lake. If you didn't tow your own boat behind the Sprinter, jon boat rentals are available.

Find the perfect campsite.