Updated: May 14
I think its safe to say that after kids the word “outdoorsy” probably isn’t one of the first adjectives you’d use to describe me. Or the second, or third. After all.. after kids life tends to get so much busier. But the truth is I have so missed being in nature — I love being outside! We’ve started traveling more and both the girls and I are loving it! So we decided this trip needed to be a little closer to nature!
When I was a kid, we went camping every Memorial and Labor Day weekend with families from our church. I remember having so many fun times, but can I also remember a lot of work and trouble. We would spend so long packing everything and setting up camp, and then unloading it all when we returned home only two days later. We were all beyond tired and having to report to school and work the next day left us exhausted and once again — needing a vacation. It didn’t seem like that much of a vacation for my parents. Now that I’m a parent, that’s important to me. You only get so many vacations a year, and after all they are meant to be not just fun but relaxing too!
Don’t miss out on my true love for camping though, because I had been dying to take the girls camping. I have great memories from those family camping trips, maybe even more so than from trips to the beach or Disney World when I was little. So bringing my kids camping was so important to me!
Last weekend, we decided to try out a new campground called Horseshoe Bend Marina & Campground in Walling, TN. I’m not going to lie — I was so drawn to the trendy canvas glamping tents I saw on their Instagram, that I didn’t really look into anything about Walling before I planned the trip. I just thought it would be a great first camping trip for the girls (and first trip for me with kids —the anxiety was real about that 😳). I’m so glad I did! What better way to cam than with comfy pillow top beds in an already pitched tent, am I right??
We arrived fairly late because my Dad went with us, and he got off of work later than he had planned. I definitely recommend getting to the campground during daylight though so you can see all around you and the roads into the camp since you are kinda in the middle of nowhere! We loved our tent spot. We had the most beautiful view of the river/lake from our beds and chairs around the campfire.
Our tent had two full beds in it. Some have larger beds but this was perfect for us! Our site had water and electric. Inside the tents is a little table with a lamp, and a place to plug in your phone! The had star battery lights inside the tent which the girls fell in love with, and lights on the railing of the porch of the tent! Too cute! Our beds were so comfortable, far better than most hotel beds. Honestly, that nice! We slept great!
The girls love being outside, so they had so much fun just being out all weekend.
I will say though, if you have toddlers/babies younger that are toddling around I’d be careful on certain sites. So we had site 16, and while the view is gorgeous; the straight drop off down to rocks and then the lake is a little distracting and worrisome with kids. I would have loved a low fence or something somewhere along the drop down so that you could at least feel like that would catch a kid if they fell. We made a cooler/car cargo net/bungee cord fence just to make us feel better. So take that into consideration if you have kids, or some adult with you that acts like a kid —you just never know. I know the Elk Mountain tents that are larger, are farther from that drop off. However, that one doesn’t have water and electric like the smaller ones do.
See our professional fence here ⬇️
We had a picnic table on our site which was great for meals and to play games at. We brought a number bingo game that LG uses in her homeschool lessons and a telling time game. The girls loved that and it gave us an opportunity to keep learning on their brain.
The campground has a tent centered in the camp that has seating and games in it for families to play like basketball, ping pong, checkers and jenga. The girls loved that, too. I think most of all they just loved getting to spend time together outside, like at my grandparents. They’re always so sweet to each other too when they are outside all day!
We had lots of cuddles and sweet special time with each other, and there is something so fun about being in nature. The girls not only played more together but they really connected with each other since they weren't surrounded by toys. They played make believe, played with sticks, helped get firewood and took walks around the campground and asked what things were. So often we don't connect to nature and each other in ways like that. I absolutely loved it, and it just added to my want to get out on property where they can run and play and be happiest.
Horseshoe Bend Marina is great, and we saw lots of people on boats, kayaks and jet skis every day. The Marina is beautiful, has a pergola and deck area where you can sit and visit, have lunch and look out at the lake. The store at the marina has lots of great necessities in case you forgot something, snacks and even clothing and decor. The girls had such a good time down there, and they always looked forward to seeing Walter, the campground manager’s dog!
I think all around it's a great campground tucked away in nature, truly a perfect place to enjoy God's creation and relax. It is so nice to reset and reconnect, and we loved that. Horseshoe Bend Campground & Marina might just be the place for you to do just that, don't you think?
If you have any questions about our trip don't hesitate to email me or send me a message. I look forward to hearing about your trips to the mountains and camping this Fall!