By Alli Hill
There’s never a bad time to go camping in Tennessee, especially since the state offers dozens of cozy cabins to chase away the winter cold. Here, camping doesn’t always mean sleeping bags and tents. You can have an epic camping experience—complete with campfire—in a modern, amenity-filled cabin that makes your stay the next best thing to being home. For the best in winter getaways, book your spot at one of these 10 best winter camping cabins in Tennessee.
There’s never a bad time to visit Rock Island State Park, but winter usually means less busy here. Though too cold to swim, you can still get a good view of the falls and other scenery the park is known for. Cabins are open year-round and offer some of the coziest accommodations you’ll find.
Gatlinburg is undoubtedly the place to be during a Tennessee winter, mainly because of the sheer volume of activities you can enjoy. Camping in a cabin at Imagination Mountain is often much more cost effective than a hotel on the Parkway, plus you get the added bonus of fun games, mini golf, heated salt water pool, movie theater, and a playground—all included in your stay.
Everyone’s favorite forest fire-denouncing bear has its own campground in the Smoky Mountains (how fitting). Each cabin is heated to keep you warm on those cold mountain nights, in addition to fire rings and grills to create the authentic camping experience. Expect a chilly trip in the winter, and possibly some snow.
This cold weather camping experience is sure to keep you warm. The campground features an indoor hot tub and heated cabins to help you defrost from your day’s hike or other outdoor adventure. Situated atop Cumberland Plateau, you can expect some of the best views in the state.
Open all year, the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg KOA is nestled into the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The large deluxe cabin is beautiful and overlooks Patriot Park. You’ll find two bunk bed sets, one full sleeper sofa, one queen bed, one full bath and half bath, and a full kitchen to sleep eight people at this spot.
Located near Jamestown, Tennessee, this state park was the first to become a designated Dark Sky Viewing destination. The views of the sky alone make this a worthy winter camping destination, especially since it gets dark early to extend your viewing pleasure. Hiking and fishing abound at this park, so come prepared to take advantage. Perhaps the best part is that their winter cabin rentals also include a fireplace to keep you toasty all night long.
This area sees its fair share of snow each winter, so make sure you pack warmly. After all, it just isn’t the same winter camping experience without a blanket of snow surrounding your cabin, right? Each cabin comes complete with full bathroom, kitchen, wood burning stove, and heat. The park has recently had some flood damage, but you can still enjoy most of the trails and the never-ending supply of gorgeous scenery.
Peaceful, calm, and beautiful, Natchez Trace State Park is a nature-lover’s paradise. Surrounded by gorgeous lake views, every cabin comes completely outfitted to ease your stay. While you’re there, you can enjoy a relaxing bike ride, hike, or horse trails, or enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
The Gatlinburg KOA is a 16-acre park not far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy hiking trails and beautiful scenery at this campsite. For comfortable sleeping, snuggle up in their deluxe cabin. The cabin has two beds, a full bathroom and partial kitchen, and an expanded patio.