Our Camping Story
It was a rainy beginning to September and my birthday was coming up. We were planning a camping trip at Piney Campground at Land Between The Lakes over Labor Day weekend to celebrate. I remember praying that the rain would clear up so we didn’t have to miss out on our trip. Prayers were answered! The forecast said the weekend was cleared and so we loaded up Saturday morning and went on our trip.
We arrived and set up camp. My mom immediately made some amazing sandwiches that we all devoured as we sat by the lake. We were lucky enough to have been able to get a lakeside campsite. The view was beautiful and so peaceful.
Shortly after lunch we decided to take a walk to the swimming area. My husband had bought me a new camera for my birthday so my dad gave me a few photography tips. We were able to capture a few nice shots of the lake. My daughter played around at the park. We then went to the swings before we headed back to camp.
As soon as we arrived to camp my mom started to get dinner ready. She made her delicious taco soup with a salad on the side. The best taco soup in the world I must say. Then again, anything my mom cooks is absolutely amazing. We ate up, started a fire, and then I wen to wonder around the campground a little.
I stopped at the bathroom as my husband headed back to the campsite. I then started heading back and found the cutest little skunk at the distance scavenging through my mom’s campsite and I just sat there for a minute watching it roam around. He didn’t even notice I was there sitting quietly starring at him (or her). My husband saw me and came to get me. We arrived to the campsite to only be surprised that my parents, grandma, and my husband had put together a little birthday surprise for me with candles, balloons, and some very delicious cupcakes.
We talked, told stories, and shortly sent our little girls to bed after their shower. My husband and I had some alone time by the lake before going to bed ourselves. Had to really enjoy the moonlight, the stars reflecting off the water, and the peace and quiet we were having.
We woke up to my dad and stepmom making a delicious breakfast. We had some pancakes, scrambled eggs, and a delicious bowl of fruit to start the day off right. Also had some nice warm coffee to then head off for a kayak trip around the lake.
First trip was my husband, dad, stepmom, my daughters, and I. We headed out of the bay to the open part of Kentucky Lake. On our way back we stopped at a little inlet. We picked a few pretty stones and shells while my husband skipped rocks with the girls. My daughter also gathered a few shells for themselves. Typical mermaids at heart.
We then headed back to camp and got ready for lunch. Then we said bye to my dad and stepmom as they headed out to their anniversary vacation before heading back out to the lake with my mom and grandma. Round two of paddling around the lake. We did a full circle around the inlet where our campsite is at. This time I took my paddle board and enjoyed it so much. There’s just something about your board touching the water while you maneuver it that brings peace to the soul.
When we arrived we ate dinner to then make s’mores by the fire. We told stories, talked, laughed, made family memories once more. Day 2 was a beautiful and memorable day.
Our last and final day of the camping trip. I wasn’t really looking forward to heading back to reality but sadly we had to go. I made breakfast with my mom and grandma this morning. We had some delicious egg burritos with sauteed onions and peppers with a tall warm cup of coffee. After our long breakfast we started to breakdown our campsite and load the cars. Did a final sweep of the campground to pick up any trash that we may have missed the first time. Leave No Trace is something we strictly abide by.
One thing that I learned during this trip is that there’s nothing like being outdoors with family. I didn’t care about going to a luxurious hotel or going to a nice dinner at Olive Garden. All I wanted was a weekend away from home, out in nature, with my family. I feel that when you are forced to unplug from the world, including social media, life seems to grow in joy and laughter. Memories start to form and for a minute, I sat and looked around me to see my family all together having a good time. This was the best birthday gift I could have asked for.
About Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Land Between The Lakes, or LBL as most locals here call it, is literally land between two lakes. On the west side is the Kentucky Lake, North side has the Cumberland River and the East side has Lake Barkley. How cool is our God who created such a nifty piece of land surrounded by three lakes. This national recreation area is in both Tennessee and Kentucky. The border of both states runs directly through the middle (east to west) of LBL. You can find more information about the park and everything that they have to offer here.
Camping At Piney Campground
I chose to camp at Piney Campground after visiting it on our way home from camping at Hillman Ferry Campground. You can read all about it here. We drove through the campground and saw the different atmosphere and the lakeside beauty to it that we knew we just had to come and enjoy a camping trip here one day.
View the Camping Rules here.
I recommend doing reservations several weeks in advanced, especially if you are planning on going during a holiday. Each loop has different amenities and prices. We stayed at Virginia Loop lot 291 and absolutely loved the peace we had there. They also have a few cabins you can rent. We paid $12 a night for the site we chose and we were right on the water. You can view their map here to start planning your trip. I recommend doing all reservations online. You can also do reservations over the phone.
View more reservation information and cancellations here.
To make online reservations go here. Create an account and proceed with reservations.
To view their Reservation Rules & Policies go here.
621 Fort Henry Rd.
Dover, TN 37058
Getting Ready For Your Camping Trip
Whether you have decided to camp solo, with friends or your family, kids, pets, please always come prepared. The good thing about this campground is that your car can be parked at your campsite so you can bring more then what you need and not worry about carrying it on your back for several miles. Coming prepared is a must so in order to do so here’s a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Weather – is it going to rain, be a sunny day, snow, storm? Pack accordingly.
- Temperature – if it’s cold bring warm clothing, if it’s warm bring tick/mosquito repellent and more water then what you think you will need.
- Who’s coming? – You have to park according to who’s there. Kids, pets, group, or yourself. If going in a group you can easily divide the food list among everyone in the group. This way it makes it easier to cook meals and meal prep. I usually do a menu for each day camping and have everyone pick and choose a meal each.
- First Aid Kit – I can’t stress this out enough. You never know when someone may get hurt so it is always good to play it safe.
Here’s a few camping articles that will help you get ready for your next camping trip.
Breakfast – at home
Lunch – Turkey Sandwiches, salad, juice
Dinner – Taco soup, salad, tostito chips, drinks
Breakfast – pancakes, fruit salad, scrambled eggs, juice, coffee
Lunch – left over taco soup and salad
Dinner – at home.
Breakfast – Egg burritos, coffee, juice
Lunch – Turkey Sandwiches, chips, juice
This Bar Saves Lives, Quaker Chewy Bars, homemade energy bites, hershey chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows, applesauce, fruit cups.
Water, coffee, juice, gatorade, powerade, soda
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