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What started as a Tennessee Valley Authority recreation area back in the 1930s has grown into one of the most attractive and popular tourist destinations in Tennessee. These days, Harrison Bay State Park is a true magnet for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country, mainly due to its 1,200 acres of beautiful wooded areas and the alluring 35,000-acre Chickamauga Lake. Another reason why many campers flock to this place is because of its rich history, as it was once under the rule of Chief Joe Vann, one of the greatest Cherokee Chieftains.
Camping at Harrison Bay State Park is an exciting experience loaded with all kinds of exhilarating outdoor activities. Want to take a swim, catch a fish, or do some boating? Chickamauga Lake has got you covered. Want to explore the natural beauty and the colorful flora and fauna of the park? Hop on a bike or test your endurance by hitting one of the park's hiking trails. If you just want to relax and play a nice game of golf, well, there's a golf course, too. Simply put, when camping with an RV at Harrison Bay State Park, you'll never run out of interesting things to do.
RV camping at state parks is much more convenient when there are interesting places to explore nearby. Thankfully, the towns of Ooltewah, Soddy-Daisy, and Cleveland are all within the 20 miles of the park, so don't worry about renting an RV near Harrison Bay State Park, or finding the necessary camping supplies. For some added convenience, make sure to search for an RV in Hamilton County before you embark on your adventure.
Once you reach Harrison Bay State Park and set up camp, you'll definitely want to spend as much time as possible at Chickamauga Lake. Feel free to bring your own boat or simply rent a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or canoe at the lake's marina. You can also test your angling prowess here. The lake is usually teeming with gar, shell cracker, and bluegill, so don't forget to bring your gear.
Of course, if you visit the camp during the scorching summer days, you'll surely want to take a dip and cool off in the water. You can either swim in the lake or the park's Olympic-sized swimming pool.
To satisfy your inner explorer and see as much of the park as possible, hop on your bike and hit the Bay Point Loop Trail. If biking isn't really your thing, there are three hiking trails to choose from. This is an excellent way to fully experience the mesmerizing natural beauty of this park and even get a chance to spot some of the majestic birds that inhabit this area, such as eagles, osprey, and migratory waterfowl.
When camping at Harrison Bay State Park, you can opt for one of 128 designated RV campsites. These typically feature electrical and water hookups, and some of them can accommodate vehicles up to 92 feet long. If you're looking for a more primitive experience, there are also 27 primitive tent sites without water and electrical hookups.
The general campground area is divided into four main sections, with each one having bathhouses and a playground where your little ones can have some fun. Wi-Fi is also available here so you can stay in touch with the outside world.
When planning your adventure, keep in mind that no Harrison Bay State Park camping experience is complete without exploring the exciting attractions near the park.
Are you a fan of trains? If the answer is a resounding yes, then you should definitely visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Learn about the early days of Tennessee's railroad system and return to a more romantic period of time when trains were much more than just a simple means of transportation.
The next stop on your list should be the Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland. Here, you can delve deeper into the history of the Ocoee Region and admire a variety of artifacts, from ancient archeological discoveries to the military uniforms of distinguished local veterans.
Another place that should be on your visit list is the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. Expand your archaeological knowledge or simply learn some interesting facts about the turbulent religious history of the Middle East. Observe a variety of ancient artifacts uncovered from mysterious archaeological sites, and gain a unique insight into some of the oldest civilizations in the world.
After all that exploring and adventuring, you'll almost certainly have worked up an appetite. Luckily, there are a few restaurants located east and south of the park. These include a Mexican restaurant, a fast-food joint, and a restaurant that offers Southern specialties. You'll also come across a few gas stations south of the park, where you can quickly resupply and fill up your rental RV's gas tank.