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Maclellan Island

91%
·
· Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee
19 acres hosted by Chattanooga Audubon Society .
1 tent site
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Boat-in
This Hipcamp is accessible by boat.
YOU MUST PROVIDE WATERCRAFT OF SOME KIND TO GET TO MACLELLAN ISLAND! Maclellan Island’s earliest inhabitants were Native Americans whose island community was likely an extension or suburb of Citico, a nearby village. Farmed in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, the island was plowed for many years and largely free of the trees which shade it today. Floods have covered the island from time to time and drove away numerous early settlers including one early farmer, Abel Kesterson, who survived rising waters in 1867 only by holding onto the horns of his cow as they swam to safety. The island eventually passed through the hands of several prominent companies as well as a number of more rambunctious inhabitants. Finally in 1954 Maclellan Island was donated to the Chattanooga Audubon Society by Robert J. Maclellan for preservation as a wildlife refuge. Learn more about this land: Camp on your own private island! We only allow one group at a time, so once you book, the island is all yours. Maclellan Island is a unique 18.8-acre wildlife sanctuary situated in the middle of the Tennessee River, in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. It is accessible by water only. The island is home to a great diversity of plants, animals, and birds. Campers can enjoy easy wildlife viewing in a true urban wilderness setting. Muskrats, geese, and kingfishers can be seen feeding at the water’s edge, while the forest is home to songbirds, turkeys, raccoons, owls, possums, foxes, and woodpeckers. It's a great place to quietly watch nesting osprey and great-blue heron as well as an important feeding area for migrating warblers. IMPORTANT: Maclellan Island is accessible by boat ONLY. You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the island, either using your own boat or by renting a kayak/SUP from a local outfitter. ----- CAS MEMBERS: If you're a Chattanooga Audubon Society member, you camp for free! Please use the code you received when joining or contact us for assistance.Camp on your own private island! We only allow one group at a time, so once you book, the island is all yours. Maclellan Island is a unique 18.8-acre wildlife sanctuary situated in the middle of the Tennessee River, in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. It is accessible by water only. The island is home to a great diversity of plants, animals, and birds. Campers can enjoy easy wildlife viewing in a true urban wilderness setting. Muskrats, geese, and kingfishers can be seen feeding at the water’s edge, while the forest is home to songbirds, turkeys, raccoons, owls, possums, foxes, and woodpeckers. It's a great place to quietly watch nesting osprey and great-blue heron as well as an important feeding area for migrating warblers. IMPORTANT: Maclellan Island is accessible by boat ONLY. You will need to provide your own transportation to and from the island, either using your own boat or by renting a kayak/SUP from a local outfitter. ----- CAS MEMBERS: If you're a Chattanooga Audubon Society member, please call our office at 423   892    1499
Activities
Boating
Hiking
Paddling
Swimming
Natural features
Forest
River, stream, or creek
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Location
Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), and Miccosukee First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
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Hosted by Chattanooga Audubon Society .Joined in May 2019
91%
50 ratings · 25 reviews
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Derek S.recommends
September 9, 2023
Private Island on the TN River
I enjoyed tent camping on the island. It was a novel experience and the signs and clear trails on the island made it easy to navigate once I landed on the shore with my kayak. Surprisingly quiet of urban noise inspite of being in the middle of a city.
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Teal T.
July 31, 2023
Private Island on the TN River
River bank is flanked with poison ivy as is the entire island. It’s a lovely island but the poison ivy coverage kept us from camping.
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Taylor L.recommends
June 24, 2023
Private Island on the TN River
Loved the island. The campsites are pretty well maintained and secluded. It’s pretty awesome that you get the whole island with the reservation too. Will definitely be going back
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Thomas S.recommends
September 30, 2022
Private Island on the TN River
What a great experience kayaking to an island and camping overnight!
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Jeffrey G.recommends
August 9, 2022
Private Island on the TN River
The site worked well for my son and I who came in kayaks. There was a picnic table and fire pit and nearby privy which were all in good order. There was room for about 5 tents
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Stephen U.recommends
August 7, 2022
Private Island on the TN River
Pull in on the South side!
We stayed at the "Paddle Camp" on the east end of the island and liked it. There was not very much noise from the road compared to other areas of the island, and the campsite felt a bit more undisturbed. It was our first time and we arrived at the island late at night so we were not exactly sure where to enter. Comments had said not to use the boat ramp, but it would have been fine to go there. The Desert campsite under the Veteran Memorial bridge seems to be the most established area, protected from the rain and with a large cleared out area. Next time, I will probably paddle up to where the Bridge support beam meets the island on the south side. There was a little area to pull in and the campsite would only be 50 yards away. There are currently a few trees blocking the walking paths between the Paddle Camp and Desert Camp. Nothing impassible, but we had to climb over a few logs.
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