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Camping at Spence Cabin Campground

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Overview of Spence Cabin Campground

Spence Cabin is not actually a campground but rather a historic cabin available for day-use rental in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is important not to confuse it with a traditional campground as it does not offer overnight accommodation or camping facilities. Spence Cabin is primarily used for events such as family reunions, weddings, and educational gatherings.


Spence Cabin is located in Elkmont, an area within the Tennessee portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that was once a pioneer and logging community. Much of Elkmont has been restored and is managed by the National Park Service.

Facilities and Uses

Day-use Rental: Spence Cabin can be rented for day-use activities between the hours of 10 AM and 8 PM. It provides an indoor space with a limited kitchen, restrooms, a fireplace, and a porch overlooking the river.

Events and Gatherings: The cabin is often used for meetings, retreats, small weddings, and family events, providing a picturesque setting within the park.

Reservations and Cost

Making Reservations: To use Spence Cabin, you must make a reservation through the National Park Service. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.

Rental Fees: The cost of renting Spence Cabin may vary, so it's best to check the official National Park Service website or contact the park directly for the most current pricing and reservation information.

Rules and Regulations

  • Day-Use Only: Overnight stays are not permitted at Spence Cabin.
  • No Pets Allowed: Pets are generally not allowed in the cabin with the exception of service animals.
  • Capacity Limits: The cabin can accommodate a certain number of people, so be sure to check the capacity limits when planning your event.
  • Parking: Parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended. All vehicles must fit in the designated parking area.
  • Trash Disposal: All trash and decorations must be packed out at the end of the event.
  • Alcohol Policy: Alcohol is typically not permitted within the park, but exceptions can be made for events at Spence Cabin with a permit.

Nearby Attractions and Amenities

While Spence Cabin does not provide traditional camping amenities, the Elkmont area does have a nearby campground — Elkmont Campground — which offers an array of camping options.

Elkmont Campground:

  • Tent and RV camping with a range of facilities
  • Access to trails and the Little River
  • Proximity to historical buildings and remnants of the Elkmont pioneer and logging community

Hiking Trails:

  • The Little River Trail
  • The Jakes Creek Trail
  • The Elkmont Nature Trail

Access and Contact Information

Spence Cabin can be accessed by road, and detailed directions can be found by contacting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or checking their website. For more information and to make reservations:

National Park Service – Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

  • Website: nps.gov/grsm
  • Phone: Typically available on the park's official website.

Keep in mind that this information is subject to change, so it's wise to verify details before planning your visit.

Location of Spence Cabin Campground
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