South Cumberland State Park is located between the cities of Chattanooga in the south and Nashville in the north, and close to the small town of Tracy City. The park is different in that it is split into nine completely separate units, spread over 100 square miles and in four different counties.
The terrain at this state park is rolling hills, but with it also being on the Cumberland Plateau at the southern end of the Appalachian mountain range, the mountains are never far away. This state park is also a heavily wooded area, with numerous national forests off to the east, including the Chattahoochee National Forest in neighboring Georgia.
This park is very popular with hikers, and you will find many excellent day hikes in the area. Rent an RV near South Cumberland State Park and set off on a fabulous outdoor adventure.
Book an RV in Grundy County, for easy access to many different activities offered in and around the park. Boating is a popular activity at Grundy Lakes. There is not a boat ramp, but smaller boats can easily be put on the water. Gasoline engines are not permitted; however, electric trolling motors are welcome.
While out on your boat, perhaps a little fishing is in order. You will need to get a Tennessee fishing license, but apart from that, you can fish in four of the lakes at Grundy Lakes and a one-acre lake near the visitor center. The lakes range from one to 16 acres in size and are stocked with trout, bass, and bream.
Swimming is also allowed at the lakes, but take note that there are no lifeguards on duty. There is also a man-made beach for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, so don't forget your swimsuit.
Within the park, you will find 90-miles of hiking trails and camping with an RV nearby gives you very easy access to them all. For an easy family walk, the Meadow Trail might be perfect, being just 1.3-miles long it’s great for all the family and meanders past wetland areas, woodland and through wildflower meadows.
Slightly longer is the Grundy Forest Day Loop, a two-mile circuit that follows a creek for most of the route, passing waterfalls and swimming holes along the way. This hike can be extended by taking the three-mile Sycamore Spur, passing even more waterfalls and interesting geological features. Don't forget your camera for some amazing shots.
Circling Grundy Lakes, the Lone Rock Trail is an easy 1.3-mile loop that takes you past the historic coke ovens. After the hike, take a refreshing dip in the lakes and then pick up a leaflet on the coke ovens from the visitor center.
Camping at South Cumberland State Park
There is a small campground at Foster Falls, but it only caters for small trailers. In addition, there are no electric or water hookups, but you’ll find toilets and hot showers in the restrooms.
Just north of Foster Falls is the Bigfoot RV Park and Campground, covering more than 500 acres. The campground has over 15 RV hookup sites, including water and electric, plus a dump station for waste and hot showers in the restrooms. On-site activities include a disc golf course, great for all the family and an adventure zipline, featuring eight ziplines, with the last one being a double line for racing each other!
Close to the town of Manchester, is where you will find Manchester KOA, a full family vacation on one campground. The park has 120 sites that will easily accept your RV rental from South Cumberland State Park. Also available are electrical hookups, WiFi and a swimming pool. Cable TV can be supplied to your site if required, and outside the park, you will find mini-golf, a hot tub and sauna, and even a pet playground. There is a fully stocked on-site store and even an outdoor movie theater. Plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Exploring the Area
There are few facilities within the state park, and the nearest town from most areas will be the small town of Tracy City. Here you’ll find a small range of shops, stores, and restaurants, plus a gas station. A few miles north is the larger town of Manchester and south is the city of Chattanooga, which should offer everything you need during your vacation.
The annual Riverbend Music Festival started in Chattanooga in 1982 and has since grown to be a four-day, four-stage event attracting hundreds of thousands of people each year. It has featured stars such as Lionel Richie and Weezer on its stages. It’s definitely something to look out for if you’re RV camping at South Cumberland State Park at the end of May.
South Cumberland State Park, TN is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in South Cumberland State Park. Outdoorsy's South Cumberland State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.