Primitive Camping

Primitive CampingDale Hollow Lake Primitive Camping is a unique series of 31 locations with a total of over 70 individually designated family campsites dispersed over 620 miles of shoreline.  Campsites are located in both the states of Tennessee and Kentucky.  Primitive camping offers a unique lake front camping experience.  Remote locations along the shoreline offer campers a peaceful nature experience.  Most designated tent sites are accessible only by boat; while a few can be reached by country road.  Each location is designated and marked and has a vault or pit type toilet and a ground grill or fire circle.  All areas are considered “pack it in-pack it out” locations with minimal services. Campers are expected to bring plenty of water and garbage bags.  These sites must be reserved before use. 

Reservations for primitive camping sites on Dale Hollow Lake are taken by the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) via their toll free number at 1-877-444-6777 or online at

In order to compensate the reservation contractor for this service, a minimal fee of $5 per night will be assessed to cover the costs associated with participation in the on line reservation service. 

When making your reservation through, all primitive sites are included under the main title of "Dale Hollow Lake - Primitive Camping".  Then the individual sites are listed under the main title.  As an example,  to reserve a site at Cove Creek, look online or call and choose Dale Hollow Lake Primitive Camping in Tennessee.  Then ask for the specific site location of Cove Creek.

For information or assistance, contact the Resource Manager's Office at 931-243-3136

To view the campsite inventory or to make a reservation click HERE.  To make a reservation by phone call 1-877-444-6777.

Firewood Alert: Dale Hollow Lake is included as a firewood quarantine area. When camping or picnicking at this recreation area, purchase your firewood from a vendor who sells certified heat-treated firewood. Don't bring firewood from home. To help prevent the spread of the Emerald ash borer and other forest pests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prohibiting firewood that is non certified heat-treated firewood. The policy can be viewed from our main website or at under the listings for the state of Tennessee.