That RV Thing

Thousand Trails Natchez Trace Campground Review

 Our Family Experience: 

In January of 2024 our family made our way from Missouri into TN to work with partners in Franklin, TN. As brand new Thousand Trails members, we had no idea what to expect from a park. Thousand Trails campgrounds tend to have 3-3.5 star reviews on Google, so we weren’t holding our breath.

That said, the membership seemed like an incredibly affordable way to have full hookups and dog parks on a fairly regular basis, so we went for it.

The Campground is located at 1363 Napier Rd, Hohenwald, TN.

We are a family of 6 with 2 dogs in a 39 foot Thor Outlaw Class A. 

Navigating To The Campground

The Thousand Trails Natchez Trace Campground is directly off the parkway – but BEWARE! If you aren’t using RV navigation, you could easily come at it from the wrong direction and end up stuck at the 11′ clearance bridge just a few hundred yards from the entrance.

We used RV Life for our GPS service, and it did take us the right way. However, it was convinced that the turn into the park was about a hundred yards and a couple of curves in the road away from the actual entrance.

That caused a panic moment, as there was a “Low Clearance” sign at the same time as the GPS was telling us to take a right turn…into a ditch in the forest. Thankfully, we were caravanning at that point and one of us took the minivan ahead to check out the situation while our 39′ Class A RV sat in the two lane highway with the hazards blinking frantically. With absolutely no Verizon service, the van had to turn around at the campground entrance and come back to the RV to signal that it was safe to proceed.

Our next door neighbor had a very similar story of stopping his travel trailer until he could get an overhead satellite image before moving forward.

That probably explains all the “Congested Area” roadsigns as you enter the campground area.

After being there for a couple of days, we discovered that you could safely avoid the low bridge by using Napier Road as a route. It is between the campground and the Parkway bridge, so even if you miss the turn into the camp, you still have a way of escape.

Peaceful and Rural – A Beautifully Wooded RV Camp

We had called ahead for late arrival arrangements when we realized we would be arriving after the management office closed, so checkin was very easy. They had left a packet with the gate code and a map of the park. True to the membership claims, we had no guest fee at all, and were put on a lake front site with only a few other full time RV families.

The campground was massive. There were entire neighborhoods of “annuals” – permanent residents who have chosen to reserve an entire year at a time and have set up decks and yard decorations. Most of the areas were heavily wooded, but near the entrance there was an open field area with lakefront sites, the mini golf course, the dog park, the Trading Post, and the management office.

Cell Service and Starlink Internet

The lakefront site was ideal for us. Running a marketing business requires a good internet connection, and we had wide open views of the skies for our Starlink.

The cell service was so poor, however, that since it was our first time setting up Starlink, we had to run into town to download the app to run it. There was some wifi at the Trading Post, but we didn’t realize that until too late.

Once we had our cell booster and Starlink set up, we were good to go. Work was pretty smooth, and we were able to communicate and navigate — as long as we loaded our destination before we left our internet bubble. Once you get on the highway, you may or may not get signal to load directions!

Clean Bathrooms and Laundry

The lakefront section where we were camped had its own dedicated bathhouse and dumpsters. The showers were squeaky clean, and the bathrooms were bright and airy. In spite of having full hookups, we made use of the shower houses for the higher water pressure and longer lasting hot water. Especially after Quinton decided to cold plunge in the lake on a 39 degree night after going for a run. Some health trends just don’t track.

The laundry was a short drive away, and was fairly affordable. 3 washers and 3 dryers in the main laundry location, with a couple of nice sized folding tables. While the building was outdated, the machines were in good working order and the space was very clean.

Campground Services

There was a steady stream of campground staff cycling through – checking on the bath houses, helping neighbors with hookup troubles, emptying dumpsters, and etc. We were there over a holiday, so a lot of the amenities were closed. It was also off season, so we don’t know if the “closed for maintenance” on some of the sports rooms are a constant, or just because it was slow season.

The RV park in general was fairly outdated – the older buildings had peeling floor tiles, flickering fluorescent lights, and smelled a little musty. The kids had no issues with this, as the ping pong table, pool table, and foosball were all in perfect working order. Priorities, ammiright?

The Dog Park At Thousand Trails Natchez Trace RV Campground

The dog park was massive. Chain link fencing made it fairly secure, with two entrances and two poop bag stations that were always full. There were two different tunnels for the dogs to play in and over, and a bench under a small shade pavilion for hot weather. There was a dog bowl in the fenced area, and a water spigot just outside.

There were a few issues while we were there – a few pipes had recently been unearthed and had deep puddles around them. We were only there three days, but didn’t really see a change around these. There were also plenty of other dogs poo piles that weren’t picked up, but this has nothing to do with the campground services – we just wish other campers were more diligent to respect the space!

Natchez Trace RV Campground Pet Policy:

Pets are welcome at the park – but not in some of the lodging options! Make sure to read carefully before booking so that you don’t end up in a sticky situation with your pets!

The dog park rules were simple, but dogs had to be kept on a leash at all times unless they were secured inside the dog park fence.

Check In and Check Out Experience

We had a super smooth experience with both checkin and check out. In spite of being an after hours arrival, we had everything we needed in our packet pickup after calling ahead, making our rental check in simple. We had our assigned site type, site number, gate code, and maps and hours all provided. Our arrival date had not changed, in spite of getting in late.

The Natchez Trace RV Campground does have a minimum check in age of 21 years old, which clearly isn’t an issue for our family. They ask that you bring a valid ID to check in.

Ranger Station Hours

The Ranger Station Hours are listed on the site as:
May-Sep: Sun-Thu 8 a.m.-6.p.m., Fri-Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m.;
Oct-Apr: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

These hours seemed to hold true for our stay, except for one afternoon when they closed up at 3pm.

Check In and Check Out Hours

Do they have an early check out? Not in particular. Check out time is 11am, which isn’t as comfortable as the noon checkouts we’ve had at state parks, but isn’t ridiculous, either.

Check In Hours:

Campsite check in 11:00 am.
Rental check in 4:00 pm.

If you want to arrive early or leave late, there are 2 hour extensions you can request for an added fee.

Country Store Hours: Unknown

We checked out the Trading Post a couple of times – it was closed for New Years Day, and the hours seemed limited the rest of the time, but the staff was kind and helpful when it was open!

Rental Accommodations If You Don’t Have An RV

The Thousand Trails Natchez Trace Campground doesn’t JUST offer RV Sites. This campground also has lodges, cabins, a tiny home neighborhood, and tent camping sites.

With 830 acres covering a significant amount of lakefront, there are endless scenic ways to stay on the Natchez Trace in rural Tennessee. With daily and weekly reservations available, you can find a lot of different ways to enjoy this massive resort styled campground.

Sites and other lodging typically accommodate four guests, with additional guest fees, so make sure to get in touch directly with the campground to ensure that your total price includes all applicable service fees and guest fees.

Options For Camping At This Natchez Trace RV Campground

Whether you are wanting seasonal or annual site option, the Thousand Trails Natchez Trace has plenty of both. If you have a Thousand Trails membership card, then your options for how many nights you can stay on your membership are based on your membership level.

Without a membership with Thousand Trails, you can surf the reservations rates and options on their page.

Paying For Our Campsite

With our Thousand Trails membership, the special pricing for this park was nothing. We paid nothing for our site, other than our current membership fees. Our itinerary total was zero dollars for the whole family – in addition to our stay being included in the membership, we were even able to extend our site for an additional night with no fees because there was no reservation waiting for us to leave.

Exploring The Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic road that runs mostly north and south, and was originally an American Indian footpath. Driving it is a beautiful experience, even in the winter, and the lack of commercial traffic makes it a unique way to spend your days.

Our favorite stop on the Natchez Trace was the Meriweather Lewis Monument. Getting to walk sections of the dirt path that was traveled by so many in the past was very special. The pioneer graveyard was sobering. The forest was ethereal.

As you drive the parkway, you will find a plethora of camera worthy lookouts and historic landmarks to keep you engaged.

Theme Parks And Local Things To Do

Hohenwald, TN is a fairly remote place to stay. If you want to explore, you need to expect to drive. Don’t expect to find theme parks or big cities anywhere near. BUT Some favorites that make an easy day trip while you’re staying here include:

Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch: 55 Miles Away in Hurricane Mills

Nashville: 80 miles – only if you’re REALLY tired of the woods.

Davey Crockett State Park: 17 miles.
(We did this one – really fun trails and a cute little museum and aviary. A great way to spend an afternoon!)

Summary – Our Rating Of Natchez Trace Thousand Trails

This being our first ever Thousand Trails experience, we don’t have a lot of context for our review, but all in all but was a memorable experience. The sites were clear and well maintained, and we had everything we need to rest and keep the kids busy, in spite of it being off season.

It was a promising start to our year as Thousand Trails Members, and we look forward to continuing to explore their campgrounds! And you can’t beat a reservation rate of $0.

Campsite 5/5

Bathhouse 4.5/5

Amenities 3/5

Cell Signal 0/5

Starlink 4/5

Dog Park 4/5

Staff 5/5

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