Dennis Cove Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

Dennis Cove Recreation Area is a secluded campground and picnic area alongside Laurel Fork Creek in Carter County. It includes a remote developed campground, popular with those seeking a rustic experience. The altitude, creekside location and lush forest surroundings make Dennis Cove particularly desirable during hot, summer months. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Dennis Cove Campground is open for the 2024 season.  Please famialize yourself with the Food Storage Order.     
Operational Hours: Gates are open at 7am and closed at 10pm. Guests are asked to leave the area before the gates are closed for the evening.
Reservations: Logo
Area Amenities: Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: Campsites are $10 for single sites and $20 for double site (site #1). 
Permit Info: A special use permit is required for groups of 75 people or more on National Forest lands. Please call the Watauga Ranger District for more information.
Open Season: 4/29/2024 - 10/15/2024
  • Single campsites are for single families or up to 5 people and 2 vehicles. Double sites are for up to 10 people and 4 vehicles.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the campground.
  • No burning of plastic or other non-wood products except local wood in campfires. 
  • Food storage restrictions apply at all areas on the Cherokee National Forest. All food and beverages must be stored in an approved bear-proof container, your locked vehicle or hard-sided camper at all times unless being eaten, prepared, or transported.
  • It is your responsibility to read, know, understand, and follow all campground specific rules and regulations which are also posted at the campground. 
Closest Towns: Elizabethton, TN and Hampton, TN
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush Toilets
Operated By: US Forest Service

General Information


From US 321/TN 67 in Hampton, turn onto Dennis Cove Road (Forest Road #50). Travel 5.0 miles to Dennis Cove Recreation Area. This road is steep and windy, with lots of switchbacks.  

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Dennis Cove offers camping opportunities for tents and RVs up to 30 foot.

No. of Sites 14 sites
Reservation Info All sites are on the reservation system at .
Fire Information There is a grill/fire ring at each campsite.
Status: Closed

Group Camping

Dennis Cove offers great camping opportunities.  Maximum 5 people and 2 vehicles per campsite.  All campground rules apply.  The campground is on the reservation system. 

No. of Sites  14 sites
Reservation Info Reservations may be made at .
Status: Closed
Reservation info: The Dennis Cove campground is on the reservation system at .

River and Stream Fishing

Laurel Fork Creek is stocked with Rainbow Trout below the campground. Above the campground, it is managed as a wild trout stream for three trout species, Brown, Rainbow, and Brook in the tributaries.

Special Designations See TWRA licences and for rules and regulations on fishing.

Day Hiking

Two waterfall hikes are nearby, which are Coon Den Falls and Laurel Falls.  The Appalachian Trail passes nearby.  Laurel Fork Trail (#39) follows the creek upstream for 8.0 miles with twenty-six stream crossings.  Please use caution when the stream is high and/or moving fast as there are no bridges for crossing.  You must walk through the creek.  

Quick Links

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2650 feet