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Camping at Cordell Hull Lake State Park

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Basic Overview

Cordell Hull Lake is a reservoir in the Cumberland River Basin in the state of Tennessee. Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is located mainly in Smith County and partly in Dekalb and Jackson Counties. The area surrounding Cordell Hull Lake offers more than just water-based recreation; it also has land for camping, hiking, and picnicking.

Camping Facilities and Reservations

The campgrounds around Cordell Hull Lake often provide a range of amenities, from primitive sites with no water or electricity to full hookup sites for RVs. To secure a camping spot, particularly during peak seasons, it's recommended to make reservations ahead of time through the appropriate campground management websites or contact points.

Here are some of the camping areas available:

  • Defeated Creek Park Campground: Features 155 sites with utilities, a dump station, a boat ramp, and a beach.
  • Salt Lick Creek Campground: Offers 36 campsites with electric and water hookups, along with access to a boat launch and a swimming area.
  • Tailwater Campground: Provides a more primitive camping experience near the dam with basic facilities.

The amenities at these campgrounds can include restrooms, showers, playgrounds, picnic areas, and even swimming beaches.

Activities and Recreation

Cordell Hull Lake and its surroundings are great for a variety of activities:

  • Boating: The lake is popular for boating activities, with several boat ramps available for public use.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing for species such as bass, crappie, catfish, and trout.
  • Hiking: Several trails can be found around the lake, offering scenic vistas and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Wildlife Watching: Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy the diverse bird species and wildlife in the area.

Camping Rules and Regulations

When camping at Cordell Hull Lake, it's crucial to adhere to certain rules and guidelines to ensure safety and preservation of the natural environment:

  • Fire Safety: Campfires are generally allowed, but make sure they're contained in designated areas and fully extinguished before leaving. Check for any current fire bans.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash and keeping the campsites clean.
  • Quiet Hours: Respect other campers by observing quiet hours typically set by the campgrounds.
  • Pet Policy: If pets are allowed, they should be kept on a leash and under control at all times.

Weather Considerations

Before heading out to camp, always check the weather forecast for Cordell Hull Lake. Weather conditions can change rapidly, and being prepared can make a significant difference in your camping experience. Consider the season you plan to camp in, as some facilities may be seasonal and close during winter months.

Access and Contact Information

Getting to Cordell Hull Lake is feasible by car, and the area is well-signposted. For the most up-to-date information on camping, activities, and regulations, it's best to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Cordell Hull Lake office directly or visit their official website.

Given the variability in operations and conditions, always confirm the current status of campgrounds and facilities before planning your trip.

Map of Campgrounds in Cordell Hull Lake State Park
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