Tims Ford State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Tims Ford State Park is a desirable recreational spot for RVers. This park, located in south-central Tennessee on the Tims Ford Reservoir is regarded as one of the top recreational and bass fishing lakes in the area.

Tims Ford Park is known for its activities and its scenic-lake views. Patrons can participate in many of the organized activities or sit lakeside and enjoy the preserved-natural habitat. Because the park is one of Tennessee’s highly-recognized Go Green With Us parks, many of the facilities operate using energy and water conservation efforts, and many of the buildings use sustainable materials and other eco-friendly practices meant to enhance the park’s ecosystem. In addition to the conservation efforts, Tims Ford seeks to help eradicate invasive pests by allowing only heat-treated wood campfires inside of the park.

RV Rentals in Tims Ford State Park

Transportation in Tims Ford State Park

Driving

Tim’s Ford State Park is located approximately two hours northwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee and two hours southeast of Nashville. The park is situated along Tims Ford Reservoir and has a hilly terrain.

Campers should note the separate location of the two different campgrounds. The Fairview Campground is located approximately eight miles from the park’s main entrance. The Fairview Campground allows larger RVs, up to 65 feet, while the Main Campground inside of the park can only accommodate campers up to 40 feet. When driving, be aware of the campsite’s location as well as the size limitations within each facility.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Tims Ford State Park

Campsites in Tims Ford State Park

Reservations camping

Fairview Campground

For campers who desire a more isolated stay, camp beside the lake at the Fairview Campground. This year-round, reservable campground is located eight miles away from the main park. Campers may reserve sites 19—82, as the other sites are auctioned off for the season (April—September). The sites range in size from 35 to 65 feet. Water and 20/30/50 amp service are available at each site, and 31 sites have sewer hookups. If your site doesn’t have a sewer hookup, a convenient dump station is centrally located within the campground. All campsites have a table, grill, and fire ring, and there is Wi-Fi available. The maximum stay is 14 days in March—November. Longer stays, up to 28 days are allowed in December—February.

Main Campground

This year-round campground provides the comforts that RVers desire. Each site has water and a 30 amp electrical hookup. The sites vary in size from 20 to 40 feet. There are two ADA-compliant spots with larger spaces. The campground has a dump station, and four of the sites have sewer hookups. Each of the 52 sites has a fire ring, grill, and a picnic table. There are two heated bathhouses with showers and toilets. If you forgot something, visit the year-round camp store nearby to see if they’ve got what you need. The maximum stay is 14 days in March—November. Longer stays, up to 28 days are allowed in December—February.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Tims Ford State Park

In-Season

Water Activities

When the weather is warm, one of the best places to be is in the water. Water enthusiasts have many choices when it comes to water activities at Tims Ford. You can bring your own boats and access any of the eight public boat ramps, or you can visit one of the two leased marinas and rent paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and a variety of other boats. Both marinas offer boating amenities such as gas and boat launches, and both marinas have either a snack bar or a restaurant. Please check with the park for seasonal operational dates and times.

Birding

Bird watchers will love the area around Tims Ford State Park because different bird species that occupy many sections of the park. Just past the visitor center on either side of the road, Indigo Bunting and Song and Field Sparrows frequent the meadows. Near the Spann House trail, visitors have reported seeing and hearing Barred Owls. If you spend time near the Marble Plains overlook, you might spot a heron or a Bald Eagle!

Swimming

Visitors who love to swim but prefer pool water more than lake water will enjoy the seasonally-operated Olympic size pool. The pool, located near the cabins and the boat dock launch, is a place the whole family can enjoy. During operating hours, the pool has a Red Cross-certified lifeguard staff monitoring the activity in the water. Hours and operation are subject to change.

Off-Season

Trails

The trail system at Tims Ford is extensive and combines hiking and biking trails on both natural and paved surfaces. The trails connect to all of the major park areas and range from lakeside trails to more tree-lined and wooded trails. Bikers and hikers will find trails suitable for every skill level. Pet lovers don’t have to worry about leaving their pups at camp because leashed dogs are welcome on all of the trails. Please note that children under 16 must wear a helmet when biking. Pick up a park map to discover more trail details.

Golf

The 18-hole Jack Niklaus Signature golf course, situated atop a peninsula in the lake, is one of the many reasons people visit Tims Ford State Park. The course, the Bear Trace at Tims Ford, is a uniquely-styled course with varying landscapes and gold tees that attracts golfers year-round. The course features lakeside holes that provide a stunning background for any golfer’s game. The course has a short-order grill that operates seasonally. Interested golfers should call for tee times.

Fishing

The Lakeview Marina offers year-round fishing for anglers who fish in any weather. Even though the lake is known for its Striped Bass, anglers can anticipate catching crappie, catfish, Bluegill, and even Largemouth Bass. Once you catch your fish, head to the cleaning station at the Lakeview Marina to prepare your fish for dinner! If you prefer to fish from a boat, check with the Lakeview Marina for boat rentals at any time of the year.

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