Gone Outdoors

Campgrounds on South Holston Lake in Tennessee

by Kelly Gray

Named for an early settler in the Tennessee Valley, Steven Holston, South Holston Lake offers a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, swimming, boating and camping. Many campgrounds surround the lake, which is on the western side of the Appalachian Mountain range. The lake is so large that it encompasses portions of northeastern Tennessee and Virginia. The Cherokee National Forest also surrounds much of the lake. Because of the lake's size, many campground options are available to travelers who want to stay in this part of Tennessee.

Observation Knob Park

Observation Knob Park is in Sullivan County, Tennessee, and sits directly on South Holston Lake. It is a non-alcoholic campground designed for families. It includes 175 campsites, all with access to water and electrical hookups. The campground also has access to a boat ramp, fishing pier, a playground and a variety of hiking trails. Pavilions can also be rented for an additional fee. As of February 2011, the campground is only opened from late March to the end of October.

Little Oak Campground Host

As of February 2011, the Little Oak Campground Host is only opened from March to December, with potable water available between the middle of May and the end of September. A fish cleaning area is located near the boat ramp and many of the camping sites look out onto the lake itself. The campground offers 70 sites for either tent or RV camping. Tables and grills are also offered in the campgrounds, most near the camping sites themselves and the campground offers restroom and shower facilities. The Little Oak Mountain Trail and the Little Oak Trail, both suitable for hiking and biking, are just more than one mile from the camping site.

Cherokee Trails Campground

The Cherokee Trails Campground is in the heart of the Cherokee National Forest, at the base of Holston Mountain and on South Holston Lake. The campground has sites for tent camping and campers. For those who are not interested in the traditional form of camping, two cabins are available for rental. Camping sites have water, electrical and sewer hookups. Toilets and showers are located throughout the campground and a cookhouse with a kitchen is available for meals. Other amenities at the campground include a picnic shelter with barbecue and 14 covered horse stalls with access to water.

Jacob's Creek Recreation Area

Adjacent to South Holston Lake, many of the camping sites in Jacob's Creek are in a wooded area that surrounds the lake. Campgrounds are open from the middle of April to the middle of October, as of February 2011, and the sites are designed for either tents or campers. No hookups are available at Jacob's Creek, but the campground does offer restroom and shower facilities. The beach along South Holston Lake in the recreation area is large, but no boat ramp is offered in the campground.

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