Top Ten Campsites near Nashville and Memphis

Frozen Head State Natural Area
To reach Frozen Head SNA, take I-40 east from Nashville to exit 347. Turn north on US 27 and follow it 22 miles to TN 62, turn right on 62 and follow for eight miles to Flat Fork Road. Turn left on Flat Fork Road and follow it four miles to the park entrance. Big Cove camping fees are $10 per night. For more information, call (423) 346-3318 or visit
This getaway, great for nature study, has a catchy name. Rising from the Cumberland Plateau, the high point of this mountainous land, at 3,324 feet, has been often shrouded in snow or ice, while the surrounding areas would be free of the white stuff. Locals dubbed this high point Frozen Head. It has since become the centerpiece of an 11,000-acre wild area, with over 50 miles of trails that lead to an observation tower atop Frozen Head, to westward looking Chimney Rock, DeBord Falls, Castle Rock, and other destinations. Wildflower displays here are second only to the Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

The Big Cove Camping Area contains 20 sites set amid big boulders fallen from Bird Mountain eons ago. The leveled sites are bordered by mountain streams and shaded by a tall forest. Hot showers are available. Backcountry campers can enjoy any of the ten sites situated in forested areas. One unusual campsite, Panther Gap, is located in a rockhouse looking out on a rich forest that shelters campers from the elements. Backcountry permits are required but free.

Spring and fall are excellent times to visit Frozen Head. Guided wildflower displays take place on weekends in April. The trilliums displays can be incredible. During fall, when other mountain destinations are crowded, Frozen Head's fall color show will leave you coming back for more.


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