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Norris Dam State Park is centrally located in the northern part of Tennessee and is a great way to see this part of the state when you book an RV in Anderson County. This state park contains more than 4,000 acres of land and water and rests on the Norris Reservoir with over 800 miles of shoreline that guests can use at their leisure. Camping with an RV is easy in the park, since there are many campgrounds, and its close proximity to nearby cities only increases the convenience factor.
When you are camping at Norris Dam State Park, you’ll be within easy driving distance of Norris and Knoxville. There are plenty of other, smaller, cities in the region that are also explorable. There are many large natural attractions in the area, and no matter where you decide to drive, you’ll probably be surrounded by rich, lush green landscapes and rolling hills. Depending on the direction you take, there are even small mountains to explore.
Norris Dam State Park camping goes hand in hand with a large selection of exciting outdoor activities. The most prevalent in the park is hiking since there are hiking trails that can lead you to nearly every edge of the park. Over 21 miles of trails are available for guests to explore, some of them explore the nearby hills and valleys, while others offer breathtaking views of Norris Lake. There are park maps available that detail all of the trails, including elevation changes, total distance, and information on what to expect when hiking.
Given the easy access, it provides to large bodies of water, one of the main reasons to arrange for a rental motorhome at Norris Dam State Park is to enjoy the swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities. The park directly connects to a large chain of lakes, creeks, and reservoirs that offer seemingly endless miles of water for guests to explore. There are many different types of fish that can be caught, but be sure to sort out your necessary licenses beforehand so that your trip runs smoothly.
Birding is another popular activity at the Norris Dam State Park. When you are exploring the park after renting an RV, you’ll be able to get up at the best times to spot specific types of birds, without having to commute in from a nearby hotel. The park keeps an extensive record of bird sighting locations, and guests have the possibility to see waterfowl, osprey, and eagles at regular intervals. Additionally, because of the large forests and extensive lake system, this park is a popular stopping point for a large number of migratory birds in both the spring and fall.
Camping at Norris Dam State Park will give you easy access to nearby cities like Knoxville and Oak Ridge and will reduce your need to be crammed into small hotel rooms during your visit. The park is home to two different campgrounds, and conveniently there is a dump station located at each campground. Every camping site has its own table, grill, and fire pit, and there is a centrally located bathhouse that all guests can use at their leisure during the in-season.
The two different campgrounds offer slightly different scenery for guests, but both of them include moderate privacy thanks to trees and spaced out campsites. RV camping at Norris Dam State Park can be reserved ahead of time, but it is up to guests if they want to do so. There are approximately 75 RV sites between the two campgrounds, all of which have water and electricity hookups. In addition, three entirely paved sites are designed to be ADA compliant and require proper identification when checking in.
There is much to see in the area surrounding the park, and depending on what your desires are, you can cater your trip to fit in what makes you happy. For those who are interested in learning about the local history of the area, there are two great options. First, The Lenoir Museum, which is home to a diverse and extensive collection of artifacts that the timeline of life in Southern Appalachia stretching as far back as 12,000 years ago. There are also exhibits that focus more on recent life, such as the Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn that is home to farm tools from the 1830s and additionally, there are plows and wagons from the same era.
Also near to the park is the Museum of Appalachia, which is an affiliate museum of the Smithsonian. The Museum of Appalachia is located in Norris, which is also a convenient town to stop in when you are looking to grab a bite to eat. Also in Norris guests will find a number of gas stations that can easily accommodate larger RVs. When exploring the Museum of Appalachia, guests can learn what it was like for the original mountain farmers and pioneer villagers in their daily life. There are also cultural and historic exhibits that guests can interact with.
No motorhome camping trip to Norris Dam State Park would be complete without a visit to the Norris Dam Visitor Center. This state park wouldn’t exist if the dam hadn’t been built, at least not in remotely the same way, and guests can learn a lot about what the area looked like before the reservoir was created. The dam museum is open during typical business hours and showcases a number of diagrams and informational placards to educate guests on this massive engineering project.