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Harrison Bay State Park, Chattanooga, TN

September 26, 2012

Catching up again…

After Burkesville, Ky, our next stop was Nashville, TN, where we spent a couple of days visiting with Nell’s sister-in-law and nieces.  We stayed at Nashville Country RV Park.  As with many RV park websites, the photos of the rv sites are a little misleading.  It’s an okay park, but some of the RV sites are back–to-back/front-to-front, which we had not experienced before.  Our picnic table and that of our neighbor was not more than 10 feet apart.  That would be fine if two families were travelling or camping together, but for total strangers, it was a bit too intimate for me.  If you’re seeing the sights in Nashville, or visiting relatives for a couple of days  like we were, this park is fine.

Our site at Harrison Bay

From Nashville, we travelled to Chattanooga to visiit another of Nell’s nieces.  We stayed at Harrison Bay State Park, which is a really nice park and campground built around one side of a large lake.  In spite of picking up a couple of ticks and a whole bunch of red insect bites that still itch a week later, we really did like Harrison Bay State Park.

My outdoor work room

At Harrison Bay, there was a lot of space between campsites, which allowed me the quiet and privacy to get started on the preliminary sketches for a commission painting.

Dinner at the Dockside Cafe

On Friday nights, there’s all-you-can-eat catfish at the Dockside Cafe.  It was pleasant enough to sit outside on the deck.  The food was very good and the service was friendly.  I think I got my money’s worth.

A campsite visitor

The wildlife here is friendly.  We watched this deer feeding down by the edge of the lake our first evening here.  After a while, we wandered on back to our campsite.  A few minutes later, the deer strolled cautiously through the  almost empty campground, circled around behind us, walked up and stood watching us for several minutes before wandering off into the woods.

Our first campfire!

The temperature in the evenings finally got cool enough to almost justify a campfire.  We bought a small stack of wood and built a little fire that was mostly atmosphere, but it was fun to pretend to actually be campers for a little while.

Did we mention the friendly wildlife?

Our niece and her family had been out of town when we arrived.  When they returned, they came out to the park on Sunday afternoon.  We had hamburgers and potato salad, and Conner got to feed the ducks.

This park is far enough outside of town to feel really remote, but close enough to run into the city to see the sights.  There’s also a large, permanent fresh  vegetable stand just up the highway.

We discovered a phenomenon at this park that was new to us.  Being a nice state park with a boat ramp on a large lake near a major city, it’s a pretty popular place.  And they don’t take reservations at all.  Folks come out from town mid-week, pick out a spot, pay the campsite fee for several days, pitch a tent or park a trailer, then leave it sitting unoccupied until the weekend.  We had no trouble getting a nice spot when we arrived mid-week, but we did see some people do that.  Some locals told us that, on a holiday weekend, if you don’t get a spot staked out by the Tuesday or Wednesday before, you’re out of luck.

It’s a nice park, with asphalt roads and hard gravel parking spots.  We actually had a pull-through.  As with most state parks, there was water and electric at the site, and a dump station on the way out.

It rained all day on Monday and stormed most of  Monday night, along with a little thunder and lightning.  Even with the amount of water dumped on the park, we were able to drive out easily when it cleared on Tuesday morning.

We would definitely stay at this park again.  We didn’t have any trouble with mosquitos, but we will be sure to have plenty of bug repellant to fight off ticks and chiggers next time.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2012 11:35 pm

    Hi – i think we are following you!!! We are scheduled to stay at Nashville Country RV Park when we leave Dale Hollow on Wed. After Nashville we go to Memphis and stay at the Agricenter.

    • October 3, 2012 2:17 pm

      Hi Richard! I’ve been wondering where you were. We’ve settled into a place in Houston for awhile. I’m guessing you’ll probably winter in Arizona? How are you taking to the RV life?

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