My little brother is getting ready to go off to college and we wanted to plan a special family getaway with him before classes started. My dad and I planned a 3 day camping trip to Tim’s Ford State Park in Winchester, Tennessee by Tim’s Ford Lake. It was a sunny, humid, and very hot Friday morning when my brothers picked me and my daughter’s up for this fun filled weekend. We loaded up in the car and jammed to some good spanish music as we headed off to the state park.
It was about a 2 hour drive from my home, which felt like an eternity for us. When we arrived, unloaded, and set up camp, we decided to get some lunch/dinner and head out for a nice walk by the lake to view the sunset. We went up on the bridge and just stopped in awe as we watched the sunrays shimmer off the water and the turtles swimming. It was soon after we saw the cute little turtle that my daughter dropped her flip flop in the lake. Yes! That’s my daughter Bella alright. My brother Alex and I decided to go grab the paddle board and take it out before darkness hit, well… and to retrieve the floating shoe. Of course as soon as we came back some kayakers had already retrieved the shoe for my daughter. That didn’t stop my brother and I from going for a paddle though. We both sat on the paddle board and paddled out to the end of the bay where we met up with my dad, stepmom, other brother, and my daughters.
We then headed back to camp through the woods and it was so cool. All of the woods were lit up by lightning bugs. Yes! Tons and tons of lightning bugs flying around. It was so pretty. I’ve never seen so many lightning bugs in one area before.After showers my brothers and I sat around and talked. It was such a great moment to finally have some father daughter and brother bonding time like we used to growing up. We talked about everything, catching up on all the stuff we have missed out on in each other’s lives due to the military separating us from our family the last several years. That night my brother Alex and I ended up passing out on the hammocks talking about silly things and starring at the stars.
The next day we got up to a beautiful day and started off with a delicious breakfast. Right afterwards my brothers and I headed out to the lake to go paddle boarding. We might of pushed the limit on my board as all 3 of us sat down and paddled like if we were 3 little kids excited to be on the board. Yes I may be 27 but I still am a child at heart sometimes, especially with my little brothers (who FYI are bigger then me now).Right before lunch we were lucky to have my husband arrive, and luckily with an extra pair of flip flops for my daughter as hers had gone through hell and back. They got lost in the lake and then ended up breaking while she was running around. Thank God I was prepared though with extra shoes (click to see my post on the “10 Must Haves When Camping With Kids“). We finally finished preparing lunch and sat down to eat some delicious vegetarian haystacks immediately followed by some of us taking a nap.That night we gathered around the campfire and told stories as well as made s’mores. Yummy, delicious s’mores. Yes I have a sweet tooth. We finished the night off and headed to bed shortly after a creepy crawly bug scared the living poops out of me. I think that was the highlight of the whole trip for my brother seeing me jump, scream, and hop across the campsite cause as if Freddy Krueger was after me.
The next day we had a quick breakfast and tore down our camp. We didn’t leave without going to the marina first for some ice cream. Sadly the rain put an end to our Sunday but all around the trip was pretty memorable. This is what camping is all about. Bonding and spending time with your family and friends and making memories that will last you a lifetime. These will be days that my daughters will look back and be like, “Mom remember that one camping trip when you thought that bug was going to kill you?” or when I go like, “Bella, remember that one camping trip when you lost your shoe and after running with my board to rescue it someone else already did.” Or even the many times my brothers and I flipped our board out in the middle of the lake. Yes. Very fun and memorable times.
Camping At Tim’s Ford State Park
Tim’s Ford State Park is located in Winchester, Tennessee (any Supernatural fans out there?) and is named after Tim’s Ford Lake. There’s no on the water campsites that I saw but there are a few fairly close to the water. I was a little distant from the water but was still able to walk to it without a struggle.
Rates for their campsites range from $20 to $32 a night depending on the site you are looking for. Follow the links below for reservations and to learn more about the campground. Make reservations ahead of time as sites do fill up fairly quickly especially during high peak times such as holiday weekends and summer time.
Tim’s Ford allows animals as long as they are on a leash at all times. The leash is to protect your pet and other’s from getting hurt or getting lost.
The lake is beautiful and a must to go to. Feel free to bring your paddleboard, kayaks, canoes, etc,.. or you can even rent your own at the marina there. They do rent out quickly as well so make prior arrangements if you plan to rent. Follow all lake docking laws and safety regulations please and be courteous to others on the lake.
To learn more about the campground and what it has to offer go here. To make your own account and make reservations go here.
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 all on a hike. 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 and 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.
Disclaimer: All opinions and experiences are my own. All photographs are owned and taken by me. This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated in any way for this post. There are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my link I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Leave no trace and enjoy the outdoors.
I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors.
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