I was turning 28 and one thing I really wanted to do was have a birthday camping trip. I went ahead and started searching for nearby campgrounds that my family and I would enjoy. Piney Campground at Land Between The Lakes is where my heart drifted too. After viewing photos and learning more about it I just had to book the trip. Off we went to camp by the lake and enjoy this gorgeous campground by the Kentucky and Tennessee border.
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OUR CAMPING STORY
We arrived and set up camp that Friday on Labor Day Weekend. 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.
By the swimming area they had a small playground for children. My daughter played around at the park there and even convinced her abuelo (grandfather) to push her on the swings.
As soon as we arrived back 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 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.
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.
Related Article: Leave No Trace Principles
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. 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. The surprise cupcakes was definitely a plus.
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. 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.
Related Article: 10 Must Haves When Camping With Kids
I recommend doing reservations several weeks in advanced (if not months to get the best lakeside spots), 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 (prices are subject to change according to their policies). 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.
Related Article: Camp Kitchen Essentials
621 Fort Henry Rd.
Dover, TN 37058
OTHER THINGS TO DO AT PINEY CAMPGROUND
Piney Campground has a lot of outdoor activities for you to do. From hiking to swimming at the lake. Here’s a quick list for you to get an idea.
- Boating and Ramps
- Kayaking and Paddleboarding
- Target Shooting
They also have a few attractions that you can check out during your time there. We did go to the Elk and Bison Prairie and loved it. Here are a few of their attractions.
UPDATE (JULY 2018)
Last May my family and I decided to do an overnight trip to Piney Campground again. We tried our luck on a waterfront spot without making reservations and luckily had someone cancel about an hour before we arrived and snatched it up. We stayed at Permission Loop spot 214 and loved it. Luckily we had a perfect view of the sunset from this spot. Picture above is of the view from this camp spot during the sunset and the two below are throughout the day.
Well I think I have covered all of the basic for Piney Campground. If you have any questions about our experience there please let us know in the comments section below. Have you ever been to Land Between The Lakes? How did you like it? What was your favorite campground?
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Seems like you had an amazing time! I totally agree with you on not wanting to head back to reality with the same old routine especially after a good trip. Anyway, This place looks great! Also, belated Happy birthday 😀
Awe thank you. And yes. It was a little hard to go back to our busy life after such a nice camping trip.
Camping is so amazing – some of my favorite childhood memories are from family camping trips. What a beautiful trip for you and your family, and a lovely place!
Awe thank you. I remember going camping all the time when I was growing up and it’s exactly what I want for my girls too. Plus a good camping trip always comes with tons of fun stories to tell.
We have a lake similar to this close by. It’s always a good place to unplug and re-set!
It really is. I love being by the water and this campground did just that. Unplug, reset, and helped us create new memories.
Wpw so much fun you guys had
Thank you. It really was loads of fun.
So wonderful your Mom cooks for you so you can relax on vacation. Sounds like an idyllic trip and I couldn’t agree more. I enjoy social media, but it’s important to unplug. Our young children especially need to learn to unplug as they’ve grown up with it.
Oh I was so spolied this weekend. Everyone was cooking for me. I really can’t complain. I agree. It is so important to unplug ourselves from social media. Blogging kind of keeps me plugged so weekends like these are very well needed.
Looks like a great quiet lake for some family picnic…hope you had fun!
Awe thank you. Yes we did. It was such a fun trip. Thank you for reading. 🙂