Tennessee has breathtaking landscapes and a moderate climate perfect for camping with an RV. Big Ridge State Park in Maynardville is a heavily forested park situated in the Appalachian Ridge and the Valley Range. No need to worry if you don't own a motorhome; you can book an RV in Union County and spend some time enjoying the natural beauty of Tennessee.
Knoxville is only about a 35-minute drive to the south and offers many different restaurants and shopping. You can spend a day exploring the city after camping at Big Ridge State Park. Head over the Music City and tour some fantastic sites. Nashville is about three and a half hours from Big Ridge State Park.
There's so much to do at Big Ridge State Park when camping with an RV. You can wake up early and enjoy breathtaking sunrises, then head out for a day of hiking through more than 15 miles of trails. Trails range from easy to strenuous and wind through lush hollows, along dry ridges, and beside remnants of early settlements and cemeteries. The hiking trails in Big Ridge State Park are open year-round, and trail maps are available at the park office.
The 49-acre Big Ridge Lake is located in the state park and is excellent for kayaking and canoeing. A boat dock is accessible in the park and is only open seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A boat ramp is available on Norris Lake, located just outside the Big Ridge State Park entrance where ski boats, wave runners, and fishing boats can enter the water. Visitors can bring their own watercraft, and the park also has canoes, stand-up paddleboards, single-person kayaks, and tandem kayaks available to rent.
Pack your bathing suit in your rental RV and spend the weekend swimming in Big Ridge Lake. The lake has a sandy beach along its shores and is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day for swimming. An enclosed, concrete-bottomed area is the perfect place for children to swim without fear of them getting too far out in the lake. Big Ridge State Park doesn't have lifeguards on duty at the lake; all swimming is at your own risk.
Camping at Big Ridge State Park
State park RV campgrounds are great places to relax and enjoy nature. Big Ridge State Park offers 50 RV campsites with water and 50-amp electrical hookups. Each campsite has a grill and a picnic table. Three bathhouses offer clean restroom and shower facilities. The maximum length for RV rentals is 35 feet, and some sites are situated on the shores of Norris Lake.
RV camping at state parks is cost-effective, but sites fill up quickly during the peak season. If you'd rather camp near Big Ridge State Park, Hickory Star Resort and Marina in Maynardville offers full hookups, a modern bathhouse with hot showers and a laundry room.
You can also plan on camping with an RV at the Sunset Cove Adventure Park and Campground in Maynardville. This campground is only minutes from Big Ridge State Park. Campers can enjoy swimming or fishing at the campground, and there's a country store on-site for guests to pick up necessities and souvenirs. Campsites are equipped with full hookups, including electric, water, and sewer.
Exploring the Area
While visiting Big Ridge State Park, take the time to learn more about American history by visiting the Tennessee Civil War Trail. There are several trails throughout the state that allow visitors to walk where soldiers, generals, and slaves fought bitter battles during the Civil War. These trails follow some of the lesser-known battlefields and connect the battle of Petersburg and Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse.
Spend the day wandering through Chuck Swan State Forest in Sharps Chapel. This forest consists of over 25,000 acres that include the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area. Visitors can go hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. There are picnic areas located in specific areas near Norris Lake where visitors can enjoy a meal while watching the calming waters of the lake.
Many people rent a camper near Big Ridge State Park on the third weekend of August to enjoy the annual Bluegrass at Big Ridge Festival. The festival has been a draw for locals and tourists for over 30 years and has grown to include not just great bluegrass music, but also several vendors that provide food, drink, and souvenirs for guests. Reserve your campsite early, because the RV campgrounds near Maynardville fill up quickly during the weekend of the Bluegrass at Big Ridge Festival.