Uncrowded Historic Spots for Family Camping Trips

Combine two family experiences in one trip with camping at a historical site. Don’t pick the right spot, though, and you’ll be overrun with tourists.

Here are four fun scenic spots to spend your days seeing the sites and your evenings around the campfire, all while still savoring some peace and quiet.

Bulltown Historic Site, West Virginia

This site of a Civil War skirmish offers several types of camping, whether you prefer to rough it in a tent or rent a luxury cabin. Go with the former, and you’ll be rewarded with lake-side camping spots and clean, well-maintained facilities. Opt for the latter, however, and you’ll have great access to golf and restaurants. Both provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking and other water sports. The historic sites are spread over several areas where you can view battlefields, a mass grave and historic structures such as a farmstead, church and more.

Historic Camp Site

© Holly Riddle

Tishomingo State Park, Mississippi

Paleo Indians lived on the grounds of this park as early as 7000 B.C., but that’s just the start of the area’s Native American legacy, with plenty of other significant events surrounding the Chickasaw Nation that lived there later on. Explore its miles of hiking and beautiful waterways and be sure to stop by the nature center, which displays exhibits on the area’s history, including indigenous artifacts and war memorabilia. There are several cabins for rent, as well as a limited number of campsites, including more primitive camping options.

Historic Camp Site

© Holly Riddle

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri

The first park designated just to protect a region’s waterways, Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a beautiful spot to not only explore the 134 miles of river, but also the native wildlife, more than 300 caves and historic spots. The historic sites are plentiful and all boast unique stories, from Alley Mill to Welch Hospital. There are also several cemeteries and historic schoolhouses found within the region. There are quite a few options for camping, so you can pick the level of seclusion that fits you best, as well as 10 backcountry campsites.

Big Bone Lick State Park, Kentucky

This state park with the slightly humorous name was once a swampy marsh that fed a variety of primitive animals, such as mammoths, mastodons and ancient ground sloths. The large game attracted hunters and the area was a well-known killing ground for thousands of years, from 13000 B.C. to 1000 A.D. The bones have been preserved, with archaeologists uncovering them as early as the mid-1700s. Later on in the region’s timeline, it became a salt-producing town and then a health resort, thanks to the mineral-laden waters. The historic site and state park sits on hundreds of acres, with a few campsites and a visitor’s center for archaeological exhibits.