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Camping at Parksville Lake Recreation Area

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Overview of Parksville Lake Recreation Area

Parksville Lake, also known as Ocoee Lake, is a popular destination within the Cherokee National Forest in southeast Tennessee. It's well-known for its beautiful scenery, clear waters, and a variety of recreational activities. The area was famously home to the whitewater events during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, focusing on the nearby Ocoee River which feeds into Parksville Lake.

Camping Information


  • Campgrounds: The area offers a number of campgrounds with various amenities. Some sites may offer electric hookups, while others are more primitive for those seeking a more traditional camping experience.

  • Group Camping: There may be designated areas or facilities for group camping, accommodating larger numbers of people and possibly providing additional amenities like pavilions or large meeting spaces.

Fire Safety:

Campfires are generally allowed in designated fire rings or grills, but always check for current restrictions or fire bans before starting a fire. It’s important to never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is completely extinguished before leaving the site.


  • Campers should be aware of local wildlife and take precautions to avoid attracting animals to their site, particularly bears. All food and scented items should be stored securely.


  • Campsites may require reservations, especially during peak seasons. It's advisable to book in advance to ensure availability.


  • Camping fees vary based on site amenities and season. Check the current rates when planning your trip.



  • Parksville Lake offers multiple boat ramps for those looking to fish or enjoy water sports.


  • It is a popular spot for fishing, with species such as bass and trout often caught. Ensure you have the proper fishing license and know the local regulations.


  • Many trails of varying difficulty are throughout the Cherokee National Forest, with several accessible near Parksville Lake. Always plan accordingly, carry a trail map, and have essentials like water and food.

Whitewater Rafting:

  • The Ocoee River provides exciting opportunities for whitewater rafting, with guided tours available through various outfitters.

Rules and Regulations


  • Pets may be allowed in the camping area but should be kept on a leash and under control at all times. Be sure to clean up after your pets to keep the area clean for other visitors.


  • Alcohol policies may vary, so check the regulations specific to the Parksville Lake Recreation Area.

Quiet Hours:

  • Most campgrounds enforce quiet hours typically from 10 pm to 6 am to ensure a peaceful environment for all campers.


  • Pack out what you pack in, as the area may have limited trash receptacles. Leave no trace to keep the environment pristine.

Permits and Passes:

  • Depending on your activities (like fishing or boating), you may need additional permits or passes. It's best to inquire before your visit.

Contacts and Resources

Before heading out to Parksville Lake Recreation Area, it is wise to contact the local ranger district or check the USDA Forest Service website for updated information, alerts, and area closures.

Local Ranger Station:

  • The Ocoee Ranger District office can provide up-to-date information on the status of the campsites, any alerts, or closures in effect.

Useful Websites:

  • USDA Forest Service: Official source for information about camping and recreation areas within the Cherokee National Forest.

  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency: For fishing licenses, regulations, and other wildlife-related information.

Emergency Services:

  • For emergencies, it’s important to have the local emergency contact numbers, including the nearest hospital and ranger station. Also, consider the limited cell service that may be available in the area.

By preparing and staying informed of the local guidelines and offerings, your visit to Parksville Lake Recreation Area in Cherokee National Forest can be a safe and memorable outdoor experience.

Location of Parksville Lake Recreation Area
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