REVIEW: Cedars of Lebanon State Park (TN)

Earlier this year, our small group thought it would be fun to spend a long weekend camping together.

During our regular weekly meetings, we’re restricted to a church class room for an hour on Wednesday night. Most of us are rushing home from work, feeding the kids, racing to get to church on time… and then scrambling to get home to preserve bed-time routines.

We began to plan armed with the idea of camping under the stars with no plans, no agenda, no screens, and no walls.

Cedars of Lebanon was a great option for us, just an hour away from the North Nashville area. We knew that state parks fill up quickly during Fall Break so we looked past our commitment issues and booked our sites early.



We decided to take the kids on a short hike and made plans to fit in a game of kickball. After checking out a cave and making a couple of turns we started down our chosen trail. Although I confess I was somewhat swept up in the beauty of the day and said “this way!” without knowing exactly where I was headed. What was supposed to be one mile, quickly turned into two. As we continued, we began to see horseshoe prints… and then the inevitable horse poop the rest of the way. At mile three, we started to worry. Just how long was this trail?


With 11 kids in tow, we were in the middle of nowhere and had no clue how long the trail was. The only choice we had was to turn around and follow the trail back or keep going. We chose to press on. Five miles later, we ended up at a horse stable and a street. The kids were tired, thirsty and hungry. I had the forethought to bring salami in my pack so I passed that out while we waited for our friends to rescue the kiddos. Thank goodness a couple of guys stayed back at the campsite to hang out. The kids were worn out but in good spirits. We were very happy with the accessible hiking, just make sure you read the map. Or not… just be prepared for adventure!

Camp Site(s):

All of our sites were in camping area three. This area is reserved for tent camping and pop-up campers so you won’t be stuck next to RVs. My family was specifically in 107 (closest to the bathrooms) and the site was huge. We even said if we were to do it again, we probably could’ve fit our five families into three camp sites. There was very little traffic except for the camp patrol that came by very frequently to check on things. Cedars of Lebanon definitely gets thumbs up from our crew and we hope to check out the cabins and horseback riding at some point in the future. Always planning!

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About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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