Viva Nashvegas – Camping around Nashville
As you may have read from our Hurricane story, we had to put our rolling roof in storage for a little while so we could help out a dear family member. As my mom slowly gets back on her own two feet, we have inched ourselves back into our nomadic life. At first, we stayed a night per week in our rig at the storage facility, and then after reading the fine print to our lease, we realized we were on track to being evicted. Finally the day came for us to hook up our home and roll to a spot close enough that we could still check in with her and help out a few times a week. Unfortunately the great Corp of Engineer campground (COE) that we love and is just a few miles away from Mom is still closed for the winter, so that sends us to one of our other favorite campgrounds right outside of Nashville called Bledsoe Creek State Park.
It feels so good to be “home” again. I love my bed. Though we felt a bit trapped living with my mother in her 800 sq ft cabin with only 1 bedroom, 1 bath and a loft where we slept, there is nothing like waking up in our own 120 sq ft 5th wheel and there is nothing better than stepping outside our door into a True Tennessee Treasure. I guess the three months we had to put our life on hold has given us an even more appreciation for our mobile lifestyle and a true confirmation that this is the road that we are meant to travel down.
Bledsoe Creek State Park sprawls across 169 acres of rolling hills including the backwaters of charming Old Hickory Lake. The 57 campsites within the park offer a variety of camping styles from primitive tent sites to paved pull thrus with 50 amps. We’ve stayed here almost a dozen times in our spring and fall migrations through Tennessee and somehow always land in site #8. We can walk out the door and within 50 steps cast a line into the cove. The hiking trails here are amazing. They meander along the shoreline and then dip into the forest. There’s almost 7 miles of path to explore. The High Ridge trail brings you up 371 feet in elevation and into the tall hardwoods where you can feel the history of the area as you hike past century old stone walls. The wildlife in the park is what first fills our goose bumps every time we pull in. There hasn’t been a day that we have not seen a herd of deer strolling through the park. They are everywhere and they aren’t shy either. The waterfowl will wake you in the morning with their songs echoing across the lake and the Barred Owls will sing you to sleep each night.
The park is perfectly located too. It is right outside the hip and historic 1815 town of Gallatin, Tennessee which is less than 30 miles away from Nashvegas. The whole area is just oozing with Tennessee history from Cragfont built by General James Winchester, one of the founders of Memphis, to Wynnewood which is likely the largest nineteenth century log structure ever built in Tennessee. It was erected in 1828 and served as a mineral springs resort. We’ve dined on fabulous Cajun cuisine at The Crescent City restaurant located among the inviting shops and cool atmosphere on the downtown square. When the weather was just too crappy to be hiking in the woods or exploring the area, we had a blast throwing gutter balls at the Holder Family Fun Center. We’re looking forward to a break in the winter weather so we can explore on our bikes along the Town Creek Greenway.
A few days ago we woke up to three inches of snow and found ourselves laying first tracks in the morning flakes. We made snow angels and left words of inspiration carved with our hiking sticks along the trail and laughed together remembering that this same time last year we were leaving messages for others to find in the sand along the beaches of Florida. The frozen lake; the utter silence that snow fall bestows upon the woods; the sounds of our boots crunching into the white covered ground; looking back to see our footprints and finding those of the deer that had awakened earlier than us, has made our visit to Bledsoe Creek magical and something we will never forget.
Nashville has become one of those “It” towns. It has a bit of everything and folks are moving here 100 per day, according to the Nashville Tennessean. We enjoy a city vibe every now and then, but for the most part prefer to hang and explore down along the back roads, but if Nashville ever finds its way to your radar, you won’t be disappointed. Bledsoe Creek State Park is close enough and convenient, but if you want to be a little closer to the action and have conveniences like shuttle services into town, there is one other park we can recommend called Two Rivers. We’ll be there again in about a week which will allow us to still be close to family, but also enjoy some night life and that great Music City sound. Perhaps I’ll pull out my guitar and be one of the guys you pass along the street with his case open and a note that says, “I play for campground fees”.
Planning a Visit To Nashville
Bledsoe Creek State Park is our first choice if being about 30 minutes away is OK. The park has four loops with the Deer Run Road loop having the most sites that is big rig friendly. It is also the only loop that stays open through the winter. The Blue Heron Drive loop also has some nice water front sites and pads large enough for bigger campers. The only thing to note about most of the sites is that the water and electric hook ups are located on the wrong side on many of them. So bring extra hose and a power cord extension and you’ll be fine. Otherwise you’ll have to park the wrong way and you’ll miss out on the beauty of facing the lake.
Seven Points COE campground is also one of our favorites and is a bit closer to downtown. Seven Points is located on the shoreline of J. Percy Priest Lake in Hermitage, Tennessee and offers 58 water and electric hook-up sites, along with a boat launching ramp, swim-beach, and playground.
Cedar Creek COE campground is another Corp of Engineer gem on the shores of Old Hickory Lake and just 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. We love the marina, restaurant and fun music venue within walking distance too.
Two Rivers Campground is right down the road from the Grand Ole Opry. The RV Park is typical with its close to neighbor layout, but the conveniences they offer far outweigh the closeness. Full hook ups, a pool, shuttle service to downtown, a store with everything you might need, discounts to local attractions and friendly staff keep us coming back. They are also located right next door to Camping World and just 3 miles from The Shelby Bottoms Trail-head that is a wonderful walk/run/bike trail that you can take all the way into Nashville if you want. The scenery is beautiful and there is also a nature center within the park.
Oh oh…. And if you need a little more online help planning, searching for events, and discovering fun things to do in Nashville, be sure to start with the Visit Music City website.
Viva Nashvegas baby!