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If you can’t decide whether to stay in Knoxville or Nashville, you can always find an RV campsite at Belle Ridge Campground before drawing up a plan on which places to see. Camping with an RV is made more convenient as most campsites are designed to accommodate big rigs. Some large open sites measure 25' x 50’. Full hookup services, a bathhouse with showers, and a full-service 24-hour laundromat are all on offer. A wireless internet connection is available throughout the RV park.
With firewood, beverages, and food for sale at the campground convenience store, you can gather ‘round the fire ring or picnic table and share camping stories while enjoying a cold drink and a treat. RV supplies and propane are also available at the store, so check if you need anything before leaving for the open road.
There’s a playground for children, and hayrides every Saturday in October. Pets are welcome. Active campers will be delighted to discover miles of hiking trails that lead to ponds and a 100-foot waterfall. There’s also a trail leading to the Vanishing Falls and Family Cave, and trails for ATV riding. If you want to take a swim, set your sights on Rock Pond Beach. With more than 700 acres of the Cumberland Plateau to cover, you can rent a golf cart to explore the campground and enjoy the scenic views without too much effort.
If you're looking for a quick hike or a rocky place to test your climbing skills, you only have to drive your Monterey rental RV to nearby Cookeville to get to the Bee Rock Overlook. A vertical cliff face bordered with colorful foliage come fall, the Bee Rock is reachable after hiking the 0.7-mile trail from the parking lot. The verdant mountain vista of the Upper Cumberland is well worth the detour off of I-40.
Half an hour's drive from your campsite at Belle Ridge Campground, Burgess Falls State Park beckons nature lovers with steep bluffs, narrow ridges, and rolling water surrounded by abundant mixed forest. Plants, trees, and animal life teem in the park, with over 300 species identified. Four waterfalls can be viewed on the 1.5-mile round-trip loop.
Less than ten miles from the entrance to the park is the entrance to the Window Cliffs managed by the Burgess Falls State Park. A fragile geological clifftop, Window Cliffs is only a few feet wide at the top towering above Caney Creek.
For a grander time outdoors, take your campervan rental from Monterey and head to the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Protected as a national park and spanning about 120,000 acres, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers a veritable playground for a variety of outdoor recreation. Whitewater seekers should test their mettle at the "big three:" "The Washing Machine," the "Double Falls Rapids," and "The Ell." Hikers and mountain bikers share the Grand Gap Loop Trail while intrepid rock climbers face a steep challenge at the 200-foot vertical wall just above the O&W Bridge. It's thought to be one of the tallest in the state and ideal for multi-pitch routes.
See "Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky" as you pedal on the Tennessee Central Heritage Rail Trail linking Monterey to Cookeville across the high plains of central Tennessee. Running alongside a refurbished railroad track that used to carry coal, the trail was owned by the Tennessee Central Railroad and decommissioned in the late 1960s. In honor of its past, the trail is bookended by the terminus towns' historical depots.
Strolling around Monterey, you're not likely to miss the "Standing Stone" built in the late 18th century. This monument in Whitaker Park is believed to be made by the Cherokee and contributed to the growth of a settlement that now grew around this landmark. Mark your calendar in October and find an RV rental near Belle Ridge Campground to join the locals in honoring the Native Americans during the Standing Stone Day. Festival events include the laying of the wreath and tomahawk, arts and crafts, and the arrival of an excursion train from Nashville. You may even get a chance to shop fresh produce at the farmers' market around this time.
The county seat, Cookeville, may look like a small, laidback southern town, but you'll be surprised at the numerous galleries and venues in town that celebrate visual and performing arts. The dining scene is also something to carefully plan for, as there are over 100 restaurants and mom n' pop diners to explore.
If you love wine, assign someone in your group to drive your Monterey camper rental as you hop from one winery to another along the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail. The trail threads a handful of vineyards and wineries in Baxter, Jamestown, and Lafayette, including Cookeville. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Riesling are some of the wines you'll have the pleasure to sample along the way.
With a family-friendly campground in the Cumberland Plateau, you’ll be close to nature, history, and a bubbly wining and dining scene. There’s no reason not book an RV rental in Monterey, TN, right now and bring everyone in the family to indulge in the delights the area has to offer. There’s always time to plan while on the road, so find a motorhome rental now and go!