Here are some great tent camping destinations
in the Eastern United States
Peninsula SP in Door County (471 sites). Five campgrounds; I prefer S Nicolet Bay CG but many tenters prefer Welcker's Point CG. Campsites have dirt/ grass surface with gravel parking area and tent pad.
Devils' Lake SP north of Madison (423 sites). Three campgrounds; Tent sites in all three but Ice Age CG seems to be the best.
Kettle Moraine SF-Southern Unit near Milwaukee (265 sites). Four campgrounds; I prefer Ottawa Lake CG. Campsites have dirt/ grass surface with gravel parking area and tent pad.
Northern Highland-American Legion SF near the Michigan UP border (871 sites). Four developed campgrounds and dozens of primitive camping areas.
Governor Dodge SP in southwestern un-glaciated corner (270 sites). Two campgrounds; I prefer sites 1 - 44 in Cox Hollow CG. some campsites have dirt/ grass surface and others have gravel surface.
Ludington SP on Lake Michigan (373 sites). Three CGs; very popular camping destination; beach & many programs.
Platte River NPS CG in the Sleeping Bear Dunes NLS (179 sites). Great walk-in sites with tent pads but many tenters prefer DH Day rustic CG (87 sites).
South Higgins Lake SP in the north central part of the state (400 sites). Very popular CG with beach and water activities.
Holland SP on Lake Michigan (309 sites). Tenters should avoid the Beach CG because is a RV park. Lake Macatawa CG has the best tent sites.
Charles Mears SP on Lake Michigan (175 sites). Beautiful beach and quaint beach town. CG is a RV park with a few tent sites.
Waterloo SRA in the south central part go the state (350 sites). Both Portage Lake CG and Sugarloaf Lake CG are good for tents.
Straits SP on the Straits of Mackinaw (270 sites). Great CG in UP near ferries to Mackinaw Island.
Tahquamenon Falls SP on the eastern side (296 sites). Best in the UP; 3 CGs; child and family friendly atmosphere; near Lake Superior & Hemmingway sites.
Lake Gogebic SP on the western side (127 sites). Beautiful lake side sites in the western north woods but mosquitoes & flies; Great fishing!
Illinois Beach SP on Lake Michigan (241 sites). Very popular, reservations highly recommended.
Rock Cut SP near Rockford and the Wisconsin border (269 sites). Reservations are required. Rustic lakeside sites at the back of the campground have nice views.
Mississippi Palisades SP on North Mississippi River (241 sites). Beautiful views of the Mississippi River.
Shabbona Lake SP (150 sites). Most sites shady; Canvasback Cove loop is close to lakeshore.
Sangchris Lake SP near Springfield and many Lincoln sites (185 sites). Large grassy sites.
Coles Creek COE CG on Carlyle Lake (148 sites).
South Marcum COE CG on Rend Lake (160 sites). One of four great tent friendly COE campgrounds in southern part of the state.
Fort Massac SP on Ohio River (50 vehicular sites plus nice tent camping area). Historic exhibits and fort.
Lincoln State Park (237 sites). Family centered campground, small lake, historic sites, live theatre.
O'Bannon Woods State Park (263 sites). Pool, bridle trails, canoeing, caves.
Brown County State Park (404 sites). Near Nashville Indiana and Indiana University.
Prophetstown State Park (55 sites). Aquatic center, family activities, historic sites, Purdue University.
Turkey Run State Park (209 sites). Scenic hiking trails and river.
Tippecanoe River State Park (112 sites). Very large, shady, grassy sites.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (79 sites). Large, private, rustic sites.
Indiana Dunes State Park (140 sites). Sand dunes, Lake Michigan.
Headquarters CG (105 sites, best tent sites are in the back loop). In the Mammoth Cave NP W of I-65 between Louisville and Bolling Green; Cave tours, ranger-led programs.
Hillman Ferry CG in the Land Between the Lakes NRA (380 sites).
Green River Lake SP (157 sites).
Lake Cumberland SP (129 sites).
Twin Knobs CG in the Daniel Boone NF (216 sites).
Zilpo CG in the Daniel Boone NF (172 sites).
Baileys Point COE CG on Barren River Lake (215 sites).
Fort Boonesborough SP (197 sites).
Levi Jackson SP (146 sites).
Carter Caves SP (119 sites).
Big Meadows CG in the Shenandoah NP (217 sites). 53 walk-in tent sites; most reservable; few walk-ups.
Loft Mountain CG in the Shenandoah NP (219 sites). 50 walk-in tent sites; most walk-ups.
Mathews Arm CG in the Shenandoah NP (179 sites). Generator free area.
Oak Ridge CG in Prince William Forest Park (100 sites). 20 m S of DC
Sherando Lake RA in the George Washington NF (63 sites).
Westmorland SP (138 sites).
North Bend COE CG on John H Kerr Lake (150 sites).
First Landing SP (222 sites).
Kiptopeke SP (133 sites).
Pocahontas SP (111 sites).
Wilderness Road CG in the Cumberland Gap NHP (160 sites).
Peaks of Otter CG on the Blue Ridge Parkway (141 sites).
Grindstone CG in the Jefferson NF (87 sites).
Beartree CG in the Jefferson NF (73 sites).
Douthat SP (87 sites).
Clator Lake SP (105 sites)
Elkmont CG in the Great Smoky Mountains NP (220 sites). Near Gatlinburg; some drive-in and some walk-in sites; all have elevated tent pads; no showers.
Cades Cove CG in the Great Smoky Mountains NP (159 sites). Near Townsend; all sites have tent pads; C section prohibits generators and attracts more tenters; no showers; bike rental and trail, historic buildings, family activities, store, tubing.
Fall Creek Falls SP (16 primitive tent sites plus 222 developed sites). In E Central part of state; pool, Canopy Challenge Course, golf course, bike rental, CCC projects.
Tims Ford SP (52 large tent/ RV sites with tent pads in Main CG & 63 grass RV/ tent sites in Fairview CG). W of I-24 between Nashville and Chattanooga; pool, large lake, pontoon boat rental, 3-mile paved bike trail, golf course, snack bar.
Cedars of Lebanon SP (117 sites organized into 3 areas; areas 2 & 3 have nice crushed stone tent/ RV sites; area 1 is reserved for RVs). S of I-40 E of Nashville; pool, disc golf, CCC projects.
Indian Boundary USFS CG (92 large crushed stone tent/ small RV sites). In the Cherokee NF on far SE side of the state; remote location and narrow mountain roads attract few RVs; small lake, waterfalls, Cherohala Skyway.
Chilhowee USFS CG (35 tent only sites plus 47 large developed crushed stone tent/ RV sites). In the Cherokee NF just N of Chattanooga; remote mountaintop location attracts few RVs; small lake with beach, waterfalls.
Reelfoot Lake SP (118 sites). In far NW corner of the state; tent only sites; wildlife refuge.
Defeated Creek COE CG (155 crushed stone sites). On Cordell Hull Lake N of I-40 between Nashville and Knoxville.
Piney USFS CG (383 crushed stone tent/ RV sites). In the Land-Between-the Lakes NRA just W of I-24 between Nashville and Paducah, KY; large lake, pioneer village, large nature center, planetarium, ATV area, historic sites, bison range.
Harrison Bay SP (28 extra nice tent sites in CG D; 87 tent/ RV sites in CGs B & C; 47 RV sites in CG A). N of Chattanooga; large lake, pool, golf course, bike rental, restaurant.
Bandy Creek NPS CG (150 large, well-spaced crushed stone tent/ RV sites). in the Big South Fork NRA W of I-75 between Knoxville and London, KY; pool, extra nice bathrooms, concrete tables, horse trails & rentals.
Deep Creek CG in the Great Smoky Mountains NP (45 tent only sites plus 47 crushed stone tent/RV sites).
Smokemont CG in the Great Smoky Mountains NP (142 tent/RV sites).
Standing Indian CG in the Nantahala NF (81 crushed stone tent/RV sites).
Jackrabbit Mountain CG in the Nantahala NF (92 crushed stone tent/RV sites).
Lake Powhatan CG in the Pisgah NF near Asheville (98 crushed stone tent/RV sites).
Davidson River CG in the Pisgah NF (132 crushed stone tent/RV sites).
Doughton Park CG on the Blue Ridge Parkway (125 sites).
Mount Pisgah CG on the Blue Ridge Parkway (65 tent only sites plus 61 RV sites).
Stone Mountain SP (96 sites).
Falls Lake SRA (300 sites).
Jordan Lake SRA (1,000 sites).
Morrow Mountain SP (106 sites).
Frisco CG in the Cape Hatteras NSS (127 sites).
Ocracoke CG in the Cape Hatteras NSS (136 sites).
Cape Point CG in the Cape Hatteras NSS (202 sites).
Gulf SP (496 sites). On the Gulf of Mexico; Large crowded sunny RV park but a few campsites (especially along Possum Road) are suited for tents; beautiful sandy beaches, great restaurants, summer festivals.
Oak Mountain SP (145 sites including 70 walk-in tent sites, a few with electricity & water). S of Birmingham just off I-65. Small lakes (2), beach, horse rental, raptor rehabilitation center, petting zoo.
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park (300 sites). S of I-20 between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa; nice primitive sites with water & electricity but no bathrooms nearby; historic buildings, paved and crushed stone bike trails, Trade Days, Iron & Steel Museum, Halloween festival.
White Oak Creek COE RA (130 sites). On Walter F. George Lake near Eufaula and Georgia state line; popular and friendly campground; paved driveway with crushed stone auxiliary area, large lake, beach.
Deerlick Creek COE CG (46 sites). On Holt Lake near Tuscaloosa; very nice tent sites.
Pickensville COE CG (176 sites). On Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway west of Tuscaloosa; large well-spaced sites, a few waterfront sites.
Gunter Hill COE CG (146 sites). On R.E. Bob Woodruff Lake W of Montgomery and I-65; large lake.
Wind Creek SP (586 sites). On Lake Martin W of Alexander City and US 280 between Birmingham and Auburn; small crowded RV sites but a few good tent sites, large lake, beach, boat rental.
Amity COE RA (93 sites). On West Point Lake near Georgia state line N of I-85 between Montgomery and Atlanta, GA.
Monte Sano SP (77 sites). In Huntsville, large level, shady crushed stone sites with water & electricity plus 18 large level shady sites in primitive area; planetarium, mountain bike trails.
Cheaha SP (25 extra nice dispersed sites in semi-primitive area plus 43 tent/ RV sites in CG #1, 30 tent/ RV sites in CG #2, and a few more sites in the primitive CG). S of I-20 between Birmingham and Atlanta, Ga; remote mountaintop location, pool, small lake, beach, restaurant, CCC structures.
Unicoi SP (105 sites). In NE corner of state near Helen; small crushed stone sites plus 31 walk-in sites with a nice bathroom; small lake, beach, waterfalls, popular tourist area.
Vogel SP (103 crushed stone sites). In NE corner of state near Helen; large sites plus 18 walk-in tent sites; small lake.
Cloudland Canyon SP (72 gravel sites plus 30 walk-in tent sites). S of Chattanooga, TN and E of I-59 between Chattanooga and Birmingham, AL; Civil War sites; hang gliding; popular tourist attractions.
Red Top Mountain SP (45 tent/ small RV sites with electricity plus 24 extra nice tent only sites). On Allatoona Lake E of I-75 between Atlanta and Chattanooga, TN; large lake, boat rental, beach.
Sweetwater COE CG (118 sites). On Allatoona Lake E of I-75 between Atlanta and Chattanooga, TN; large asphalt & river gravel sites. Best tent sites are in back loop.
Stone Mountain Park (431 sites). E of Atlanta; large shady grass/dirt sites; popular tourist area, restaurant.
F.D. Roosevelt SP (109 sites). E of I-185 between Atlanta and Columbus; large level grass/dirt sites.
R. Shaefer Heard COE CG (117 sites). On West Point Lake near Alabama state line N of I-85 between Atlanta and Montgomery, AL; large lake, marinas.
Elijah Clark SP (165 crushed stone sites). On Clarks Hill Lake N of I-20 between Atlanta and Augusta.
Seminole SP (50 sites, Best tent sites in the back loop). On the Chattahoochee River in extreme SW corner of state near Alabama and Florida state lines N of I-10; large lake, guided boat tours.
Cotton Hill COE CG (94 sites). On Walter F. George Lake
Skidaway Island SP (87 crushed stone sites). Near savannah and Atlantic Ocean E I-95, ocean beaches
Fort McAlister SP (66 crushed stone sites). Near Savannah and Atlantic Ocean E of I-95, historic sites.
Stephen C Foster SP (66 tent/ RV sites ). In Okefenokee Swamp in SE corner; remote location.
St Andrews SP (176 sites).
St Joseph Peninsula SP (119 sites).
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park (156 RV sites, 32 cabins & 22 exceptionally nice walk-in tent sites with water & electricity).
Fort Pickens CG in the Gulf Islands National Seashore (200 campsites). Sections B & D have nice tent sites but no electricity and poor bathrooms. A few good tent sites in other sections.
Hillsborough River SP (112 sites). All sites have sand surface, most have shade.
Anastasia SP (139 sites).
Manatee Springs SP (106 sites). 20 tent only sites.
Salt Springs RA in the Ocala NF (160 sites). 54 tent only sites.
Juniper Springs RA in the Ocala NF (79 sites).
Highlands Hammock SP (140 sites). 20 tent only sites.
Myakka River SP (90 sites).
Flamingo CG in the Everglades NP (250 sites). 40 tent only sites.
Jonathan Dickinson SP (135 sites).