Intro: Hi, I'm Marissa! I've been camping since childhood, have my Girl Scout Gold Award, worked for Girl Scouts teaching outdoor skills, & own a women's outdoor brand. I love camping w my husband Chris & dog Tobias, & love outdoor cooking and photography!
Southport Cave was such a great place to camp and explore. The host, Buddy, knows this land like the back of his hand and has marked trails all over his property with benches and picnic tables throughout. The cave itself is about a mile long with stalactites and other rock formations to see. It is gated off for safety, but guided tours are available... a great place for school/scout/church groups to take a field trip! The campground is right by the road, but it's a quiet country road so you won't be disturbed. You'll have everything you need with a fire pit, chopped woods, charcoal grill, outhouse and porta potty. There are some primitive cabins available at no extra charge for shelter (bring your own air mattress or cot with sleeping bag or linens) but hanging out in the hammock on the side of the mountain is where it's at! The trails and cave are down inside a valley off the side of where you will camp and it's so serene and peaceful there. Make sure to bring lanterns and water as there are no outlets or pumps. I can't wait to go back with friends this summer... caves are naturally cool so it's a great way to beat the heat.
The Big East Fork Retreat is a hidden gem, tucked away in the hills of west Franklin near Leiper's Fork. There are several buildings and a farm on the retreat property with plenty of camping spots that give you the feeling of seclusion but convenience of being close to town. There's a lake for paddle boats and canoes, as well as a yoga studio and marked trails to explore. The overlook spot has both water and electricity with a fire pit, benches, chopped wood, and a trash can to use. The spot overlooks the valley and is right by, like steps away, from the Natchez Trace parkway, so bikers will love this spot. Animal lovers will enjoy this space as well; in addition to friendly farm animals we saw whooping crane, groundhog, and white tailed deer. There's plenty to see- a pond, a creek, a hill top meadow, a hippy bus, and Sunday community gatherings at the lodge. Definitely planning to go back here in the fall to see the leaves from this spot.
Gorgeous property near Leipers Fork, right by the Natchez Trace bridge and parkway (beautiful drive or bike ride) and near the Loveless Cafe. Very close to downtown Franklin as well. The barn has lights and a private room with a bucket toilet (better than nothing!) and a wash basin. You’ll find info from the host and a tent if you don’t have one I’m another room, along with wine glasses and coffee mugs. There are also recycling bins and a trash can for your convenience. The field where you’ll camp is surrounded by a fence and a tree line, where you’ll find a tire swing! Great property, friendly hosts, and the camping area is far enough back that you’ll still get a nice experience without losing the convenience of being on a main road!
This beautiful spot is just down the road from the lake and great fishing spots. It’s a perfect place to come back to at night after a day of fun on the lake. The hosts have provided firewood, solar lights, a trash can, chiminea, and a couple of fire pits. The edge of the land is being developed for a neighborhood so check with the hosts to make sure it will be nice and quiet during your stay. The hosts are super cool and friendly! You’re going to love your stay with them.
The host has an awesome collection of vans and runs a shop to prep your vehicle for travel. You’ll need 4 Wheel Drive to get to this site but once you get up to the top of the hill you’ll be able to camp in your tent or vehicle near the shop. There’s a fire pit, grill, composting outhost and rustic outdoor shower. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot you can drive up to the rustic camping area along a ridge line. The property is beautiful and provides an affordable spot to campout for the night not far from downtown Nashville, Bell’s Bend, and the Natchez Trace.
Though you'll be very close to pavilions, horse stables, and a bathhouse, tent camping sites are truly primitive: no electric hookups, no water pumps, and no fire rings. There is only one picnic table so be prepared with your own fold-out table since sites are first come, first served. Beautiful site with lots to do for horse lovers and Loretta Lynn fans. Make sure you check out the old Western town and museum!
This cozy cabin is a perfect retreat for a couple or anyone looking to get away for a while. Plumbing, wood stove, kitchen, and AC make this property a comfy stay but the TV with VCR/DVD player, pool table, and pinball game make this more of a glamping retreat. The owners, who built the cabin out of an old pole barn, are welcoming and accommodating. You'll find recommendations for local restaurants and a copy of the cabin rules on the kitchen table and fresh linens and towels in the bedroom. The dogs on the property are friendly and the grounds are beautiful. You'll definitely enjoy your stay at the Holliday Hideaway.