Basic, Dispersed, and Self-Service Camping

Basic, Dispersed, and Self-Service Camping

Land Between the Lakes offers Basic, Dispersed, and Self-Service camping as alternatives to the more developed campgrounds. We have 11 self-service campgrounds and 5 designated basic camping facilities offering year-round lakeside camping. Although these areas offer fewer amenities than developed campgrounds — these areas offer more peace, solitude, and a more primitive camping experience at Land Between the Lakes.

Basic and Dispersed Camping

You may camp almost anywhere in Land Between the Lakes. A Basic Camping Permit is required for each person 18 and over when camping in Basic Camping Facilities. A Dispersed Camping Permit is required when camping in non-designated areas of the recreation area. Both permits currently cost $50 for annual permit and $10 for a three day permit and can be purchased online or any of our facilities. Please note that these permits do not apply when camping at Self-Service Campgrounds.

Basic Campground amenities include defined campsites, fire rings and/or grills, picnic tables, vault toilet, trash removal, mowed areas, and a boat ramp.

  • Twin Lakes

A Basic Camping Area is an open field area without defined campsites. Amenities might include a vault toilet, trash removal, mowed areas, and a boat ramp. However, they may or may not have picnic tables and fire rings and/or grills. You may camp anywhere within the camping area with a Basic Camping Permit.

  • Demumbers Bay
  • Pisgah Point
  • Ginger Bay
  • Neville Bay

Dispersed Camping includes remote campsites throughout the recreation area. Areas at the end of forest roads or along the lake shore often make wonderful campsites. If you camp in a location not designated on our map, it is considered dispersed camping. Read Camping Rules to learn where you can camp.

Self-Service Campgrounds

Self-Service Campgrounds offer basic amenities including designated campsite pads, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, vault toilets, trash pickup, lake access, and boat ramps.

You pay a nightly per camping unit fee for camping. The Basic/Dispersed Permit cannot be used at Self-Service Campgrounds.

At Self-Service Campgrounds, you choose a site, fill out a provided fee envelope, insert your camping fee into the envelope, and deposit the envelope in the “Iron Ranger” fee tube at the entrance. Please do this within 30 minutes of setting up your camp.

Self-Service Campgrounds include:

  • Cravens Bay
  • Fenton
  • Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area
  • Nickell Branch
  • Birmingham Ferry
  • Smith Bay
  • Sugar Bay
  • Taylor Bay
  • Redd Hollow
  • Boswell Landing
  • Gatlin Point
self service camping


Don’t Move Firewood ~ Protect our National Forests from Invasive Insects and Diseases

  • Leave firewood at home – do not transport it to campgrounds. Use firewood from local sources.
  • If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.