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Reelfoot Lake State Park in Tiptonville is the perfect destination for boating enthusiasts. The lake is about 15,000 acres and was created in the early 19th century when a series of earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to flow backward. Eventually, nature corrected itself and the river began flowing normally, but the lake was already created. The lake is unique in that it is essentially a flooded forest where cypress trees rise out of the water and stumps are fully submerged.
Camping at Reelfoot Lake State Park is a great way to enjoy a weekend in the Tennessee backcountry. Bring your own RV or book an RV in Lake County. Memphis is only about two hours from the park and has some fantastic historic places you may want to see while in Tennessee. Drive about 40 minutes south to Dyersburg to purchase any necessary supplies for your rental RV.
Reelfoot Lake State Park is an excellent place to visit and camp with an RV. The park offers guided tours of Reelfoot Lake, also known as the Earthquake Lake. Visitors can reserve a spot on one of the park's tours and enjoy a slow-moving cruise through the lake that showcases aquatic plants, flowers, cypress trees, and even bald eagles and blue herons. Guests will glide by magnificent cypress trees as they rise out of the waters of the lake.
Visitors to the park can bring along their kayak, canoe, or even pontoon boat to enjoy the crisp and serene lake. Since the lake is a flooded forest, it's shallow in many parts, so be cautious and go slowly. There are five public boat launching ramps around the lake. Spend the weekend camping in an RV near Reelfoot Lake State Park to get the most time on the lake as possible.
Fishing is a favorite activity at Reelfoot Lake State Park, and since this is a natural lake, it has become nationally known for bluegill and crappie fishing through April and May. Anglers of all skill levels can cast their lines and possibly reel in catfish or bass all year round. A fishing license is required to fish from Reelfoot Lake. Fishing is allowed from the banks of the lake as well as on the pier and boardwalk. Visitors can also enjoy fishing from their boat. The park offers several fish cleaning stations.
Spend time camping at Reelfoot Lake State Park and reserve your spot at the South Campground, located on the south end of the lake. All 86 campsites at this campground are paved and have 20, 30, and 50-amp electric and water hookups. The campground boasts three bathhouses with hot showers and modern restrooms. A washer, dryer, and dishwashing area are also available for campers.
If the South Campground at Reelfoot Lake State Park is full (which is a common occurrence during April and May), check out the Airpark North Campground near the northern end of the lake. This campground has 14 sites with 30-amp electric and water hookups. A bathhouse with hot showers is available for campers. A dump station is also located on the grounds.
If you're not keen on the idea of state park RV camping, don’t rule out the Union City RV Park in Union City, only about a 30-minute drive from Reelfoot Lake State Park. This RV park offers 30 or 50-amp electric to all campsites, along with water and sewer. A dump station is also available.
While visiting Reelfoot Lake State Park, take some time and visit Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge in Tiptonville. Visitors can expect to see a variety of waterfowl, including ducks and blue herons. Deer and wild turkey are also abundant in the refuge. Bald eagles may even be seen soaring in the distance. The refuge has several observation decks for visitors to snap some mind-blowing photos of the wildlife in their natural habitats.
When visiting Tennessee, you'll want to make the drive to Memphis and see Graceland, especially if you're a fan of all things Elvis Presley. This 13-acre estate is open to the public, and visitors can walk the halls of Graceland Mansion and explore the life and music of Elvis. Thousands of people flock to Graceland every year to honor Elvis and his influence on music and movies. Tourists can bring home a small piece of Graceland with a memento from the gift shop.
While you're in Memphis, take time to tour the National Civil Rights Museum. This isn't your typical museum, but rather a group of historic buildings with exhibits that trace the full history, beginning in the 17th century, of the Civil Rights Movement. There are over 250 artifacts, including films, oral histories, and external listening posts for visitors to fully comprehend the scope of the movement from slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow laws to present day.