Tucked away on the outskirts of Nashville, off quiet suburban roads, and in an unassuming campground is one of the most epic established campsites you’ll ever find. Cedar Creek Army Corps of Engineers Campground in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., offers only about five dozen total sites, but features a few with prime frontage along Old Hickory Lake. For less than $30 a night, you can claim your little piece of camping heaven. You’ll just have one problem to overcome: You might never want to leave…
We got a LOT of questions from our followers on social media about our visit to Cedar Creek Army Corps of Engineers campground. Every time we posted a picture, people wanted to know where we were. Just check out these pictures to see why:
We had front-row seats to beautiful sunsets each night, and since there were no other campsites directly next to us, it was kind of like having the spot to ourselves. While Site 50 was THE nicest spot we’ve ever camped in (it even topped Disney!), the campground as a whole was pretty nondescript and typical of other Army Corp of Engineer campgrounds we have visited. The huge draw to this place are those six waterfront sites, of which Site 50 is definitely the best.
The majority of the rest of the sites in the campground are arranged in circular mini-loops. If you are camping with other family or friends, some of the sites in these loops back-up to each other, creating “buddy”-like sites. Those include: 5 and 29; 21 and 37; 22 and 36. Some sites had concrete pads. They included 16, 17, 42 (this site had a lot of standing water though), and 43.
It’s also worth noting that there are a few spots in the campground where trees are close to the road, so larger rigs must navigate carefully. And a few of the sites (including 57, 58, and 59) had culverts/ditches located near the entrances to the campsites. Since some of the campsite pads are narrow, the culverts/ditches could make it challenging to back into the sites. There is another culvert located at the corner where you turn from the main campground road to go to the dump-station: Make sure to take this tight turn slow so as not to hit the culvert barriers.
The city roads leading to the campground have virtually NO BERM and the shoulder in places dropped off several feet, so take it slow and watch for oncoming traffic. The road eventually dead ends into the park entrance, but turning into the campground is a bit tight because there’s not much of an entrance area and there’s no room to park the rig without blocking the entire entrance. So after making the hard left turn in, you may have to pull past the booth to park your rig and then walk back over to register.
Here’s a video Jarrett did of the campground:
Cedar Creek offers two shower houses. The smaller of the two is a bit rough (see pictures below). It has an outside laundry area on the back of the building (although the washer was out of order at the time). The other shower house features eight individual bathroom stalls, each with a shower, toilet, and sink. The staff cleaned daily and kept things tidy. However, all of the single-use bathroom stalls lack adequate ventilation, so during the heat of the summer, the stalls were like saunas. On the bright side, it was an effective way of teaching our children how to take short, efficient showers! 😉
Cedar Creek is light on amenities but offers proximity to the lake, a boat launch (in the day-use area), playground (also in the day-use area), and horseshoe pits.
When we tried to buy firewood from the campground host, we learned they hadn’t received firewood deliveries in weeks, but the local Publix (about 5 miles away) sold nice sized bundles of hard wood for $5. That’s also how we found the local Mt. Juliet-Wilson County Library, which was handy for free wi-fi. Plus, I had to do some printing (NPS Eclipse Jr. Ranger Books 🙂 ) and with a valid ID, I was able to use the library computers and print materials for a nominal fee.
Since the main reason for our visit was to see the solar eclipse, we did not do a lot of touring. Although Nashville is known for its music scene, it’s also rich in history, culture, and food–so we do plan to return and explore some more! (And we know where we’ll be camping! 🙂 )
We began our first full day in Nashville by heading over to the Anderson Design Group, where artist Joel Anderson and his team create amazing retro-inspired prints, including the widely-recognized national park series. We’ll be featuring more about this stop in our upcoming Nashville round-up.
After touring the Anderson studios and doing a bit of shopping in the design store, we buzzed over to Antique Archaeology, which is located in a cool old Marathon Automobile car factory. The place was PACKED so we didn’t stay long, but it was fun to see some of the items Mike has picked on the show.
The next day we paid a visit to Andrew Jackson’s The Hermitage, home of our country’s seventh president. I’ll be honest that I didn’t really know a lot about Jackson, so I learned quite a bit from our visit to the museum, house, and grounds. General admission includes a self-guided audio tour, and the kids were delighted to discover there is a special children’s version too. This kept them entertained the entire time, and they were excited to share funny little bits of trivia with us throughout the day. More on this visit coming in our Nashville round-up. 🙂
Dates of Stay: 8/17-22/17
Cost: $29 per night