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

Read more...

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.

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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.

Campsite area
Bring your own tents
1 site
Up to 30 guests per site
Boat
No ADA access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
No toilet
No pets
Amenities
Picnic table available
No potable water
No kitchen
No showers
No wifi
Pack it out
  • Check in: After 12PM
  • Check out: Before 11AM
  • Cancellation policy: Moderate
  • On arrival: Go straight to camp
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out

Activities

Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

Hiking

Maclellan Island features a 1.5 mile loop trail around the island.

Paddling

Maclellan Island is located in the heart of the Tennessee River. Whether you prefer to kayak or paddle board, there are ample p...Read more

Wildlife watching

Muskrats, Geese, and Kingfishers can be seen feeding at the water’s edge, while the forest is home to Songbirds, Turkeys, Racco...Read more

Boating
Swimming

Terrain

Natural features you'll find at Private Island on the TN River in Tennessee.

Forest
River, stream, or...

The vibe at Private Island on the TN River

Places to see near Maclellan Island

6 Written reviews
This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Andrea
Andrea C.
recommends this listing.
May 28th, 2019

Good camping spot at the back of the island (north east side) There were hikers walking around, and could not find the “facilities” because of the growth. Current was also stronger than expected

Hipcamper Andrea

Private island w/ 3 kids!

Andrea H.
recommends this listing.
October 14th, 2019

We enjoyed ourselves. Since there is a healthy racoon population, we canoed to the island, set up camp, then canoed to the mainland to eat. We tied up our snacks in the middle of two ropes so the racoons could not reach them. We hiked the next morning all around the island. We brought 3 children and had a great time. We did not see any excessive trash anywhere. The bathroom spot near the campsite we never found so bring a shovel. We rented canoes from such a helpful company. Shawn at 423-653-4845 helped us with those and gave us many tips. His rates were very reasonable.

Hipcamper Chattanooga Audubon Society
Response from Chattanooga Audubon Society, the Host, on October 15th, 2019

So glad you had a good time. The toilets are currently closed for repair, but we're hoping to have them in good condition ASAP!

Helpful
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Hipcamper Abigail

Very cool but not so private island

Abigail S.
recommends this listing.
September 16th, 2019

We had a good time, and it was definitely a unique experience. The campsites were pretty cool, but unfortunately people do not treat the island well. Lots of people come hang out on and around it during the weekend. There was a very loud group of men who anchored at the inlet near our campsite and kept us up. We did have a nice camp set up including both tents and hammocks, as well as an already established fire pit. However, neither the pit toilet or the shelter feel safe. Overall a cool spot but needs better maintenance/enforcement.

Hipcamper Sydney
Sydney L.
recommends this listing.
May 26th, 2020

This was an amazing experience! Highly recommend!

Hipcamper Lisa

Do not stay!! be warned!

Lisa W.
doesn't recommend this listing.
June 8th, 2020

The island has not been kept up. There is poison ivy everywhere. There is no sign to point to where you stay. There was no beach area as described. The banks were either very high or washed out. One end of the island was completely inhabited by birds which was beautiful - but it smelled horrible. There were many makeshift fire pits directly under the bridge and trash everywhere, giving the appearance of a party site. Many many boats were docked at the island. Not to mention you have to travel upstream with your gear in very turbulent water. We were not able to find the camp spot and ended up going back to the dock and never stayed on the island for more than 20 minutes. Very disappointed and traveled a ways to get there.

Hipcamper Michael

Maclellan island camp on the tn riv

Michael B.
recommends this listing.
September 22nd, 2020

We enjoyed the camp at Maclellan Island. We explored along the trail. It still does need some upkeep. The Camp area was not marked. I knew where to paddle to from info I received from the Chatt Audubon Society. But there needs to be a marker posted there. Pretty quiet camp being close to downtown. We had to paddle upriver a mile to get there. The closer you get to island...the stronger the current is for sure.

Hipcamper Paul D.
recommends this listing.
September 6th, 2020
Hipcamper H H.
recommends this listing.
June 3rd, 2020
Hipcamper Mallory H.
recommends this listing.
June 1st, 2020
Hipcamper David L.
recommends this listing.
November 18th, 2019
Hipcamper Lucas H.
doesn't recommend this listing.
September 2nd, 2019
Hipcamper Ray P.
recommends this listing.
August 15th, 2019
Hipcamper Benjamin G.
recommends this listing.
August 14th, 2019
Hipcamper Rustin  M.
recommends this listing.
July 8th, 2019
Property
Maclellan Island
State
Tennessee
Country
United States
$25/night
1 Site

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