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Camping at Blue Heron Campground

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Overview of Blue Heron Campground

Blue Heron Campground is located within the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a sprawling natural area that spans across parts of northeastern Tennessee and southeastern Kentucky. It's an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping amidst lush forests, gorges, and scenic river vistas.

Campground Features

Sites: The campground offers several campsites, including both RV and tent sites. Many of the sites are equipped with electric hookups. The tent sites typically provide a more rustic camping experience, often set in more secluded areas to offer privacy and a closer connection with nature.

Amenities: Campers at Blue Heron Campground have access to basic amenities including restrooms, potable water, picnic tables, and fire rings with grills. There are also facilities for disposing of garbage and recycling.

Accessibility: Accessibility varies by campsite, with some sites designed to be more accessible for those with disabilities. Visitors should check the specific facilities of each site when booking.

Recreational Activities

As part of the Big South Fork NRRA, the area around Blue Heron Campground offers a plethora of outdoor activities:

  • Hiking: There are numerous trails accommodating all levels of hikers, ranging from quick loops to extensive backcountry treks.
  • Water Recreation: The Big South Fork River provides opportunities for whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
  • Rock Climbing: The park's rugged cliffs offer a challenge to rock climbers and rappellers.
  • Horseback Riding: With miles of equestrian trails, horseback riding is a popular way to explore the park's backcountry.
  • Mountain Biking: Designated trails in the park cater to mountain bikers looking for adventure.


  • Pets: Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Firewood: To prevent the spread of invasive insects, the park may have restrictions on bringing in outside firewood. It’s advisable to purchase firewood locally or collect dead and down wood in the forest.
  • Quiet Hours: Respect for other campers is enforced through established quiet hours, typically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Wildlife: As with any natural area, wildlife should not be fed or approached, and all food and scented items should be stored safely.

Reservations and Fees

Booking: Reservations for campsites at Blue Heron Campground can usually be made in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service or by calling the park directly.

Fees: There is a nightly fee for camping, which varies depending on the type of site and amenities. Check the latest fees and availability when planning your trip.

Park Passes: Some visitors might require a park pass, such as the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which provides access to federal recreation areas.

Weather and Seasonal Considerations

The weather in the region can change quickly, and it is known to vary greatly between seasons.

  • Summer: Hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. Remember to stay hydrated and monitor weather updates.
  • Fall: Generally cooler with less humidity, making it an ideal time for camping. The autumn foliage is also a draw for many visitors.
  • Winter: Cold, and sometimes snowy conditions can make the campground less accessible. Always check for any seasonal closures.
  • Spring: The weather can be unpredictable, with a mix of warm days and late frosts or even snow showers.

Contact Information and Location

Before heading to Blue Heron Campground, it's best to check the latest information on the National Park Service's Big South Fork NRRA website or directly contact the park's visitor center for current conditions, updates, and any advisories that may impact your stay.

The campground is situated within the boundaries of the Big South Fork NRRA, and you can find its exact location and how to get there by looking up directions on a map or navigating software using the name "Blue Heron Campground." Always inform someone about your travel plans and estimated return time when heading into remote or wilderness areas.

Location of Blue Heron Campground
Other Campgrounds in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
National Parks Badges

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