A Tour of Belle & Beau Acres

Baxter, Tennessee

 

Off-Grid Camping Experience in Tennessee

Waterfront camping with waterfall on site.

Rated 2nd Best of Tennessee HipCamp.

We got lucky and snagged a tour of Belle & Beau Acres with owner, Christine K.

Belle & Beau Acres is a family-owned homestead in Baxter, Tennessee near Cookeville Boat Dock, Window Cliffs and Burgess Falls. 

Rated 2nd Best in Tennessee on Hipcamp, this place is worthy of such an award. And actually, you can note it as #1 in Tennessee for primitive camping! #1 and #3 in this Best of Tennessee award were actually glamping sites! So yes, it is official – this is #1 Best of Tennessee primitive camping! 

It all started five years ago when owners David & Christine moved to Tennessee from Florida to get back to their roots. As avid campers, this was a move to pursue what they have always loved – primitive camping.

When they found this property, it was a cattle farm that had been on the market for three years. (Which is shocking because this place is nothing short of a dream.) There were no trails, and the river was hidden.

With extensive manual labor, they primped and primed what is now Belle & Beau Acres. With creative vision and a good understanding of primitive camping, they scouted the property for camp sites and carved out paths leading to the river and waterfall. Christine noted they initially sought out the paths made by deer – natural trails created that led to the water.

Off-grid private camping in Baxter, Tennessee offering beautiful natural surroundings just outside Cookeville, Tennessee. Approximately 1 hour east of Nashville, Tennessee. Near Cookeville Boat Dock, Burgess Falls, Window Cliffs, and other attractions.

As we toured, every site was like a surprise – watching where we stepped as we hiked the trials only to look up and be completely floored by the scenery. It’s hard to believe such a peaceful place is only an hour away from the honky tonks of downtown Nashville. Each stopping point was just like a postcard.

Campers can utilize a variety of camping gear including a tent, vehicle, smaller camper, hammock tent, roof top tent, or a pop-up camp. 

Camp site 5

was like a multi-level site. From the open field down to the flat area and then a trail that led to a spring-fed cold creek. It’s important to note the double level because the view directly across from this site is rolling ridges.

Your eyes almost play tricks on you as they take in the what seems to be an endless sightline into the trees. Sunlight seemed to peek through at least 300 sky high trees like lace curtains.

Camp site 1 would seem to be perfect for hammock camping. It was hard to believe the perfectly spaced trees weren’t planted there on purpose years ago in anticipation of hammocks.

Campsite 3

was right off the second open field. Another rolling ridge view but with bushes and bushes of sprawling mountain laurel, a signature Tennessee plant that is beautiful with spring / summer flowers and green in the winter. While this one had no trails that led to the river, it did have twisted trees perfect for lazy hammocks.

On the backside of the property by the river, you will find the common areas and campsite 2. While the open pastures (which by the way are great for stargazing) were sunny and warm, the trails that weave through a maze of trees are cool & breezy as you near the water.

Some say river, some say creek, but it definitely feels like a river. Wide and rolling with waterfall cascades, this place is mesmerizing. Maybe it’s the sound of the water or maybe it’s the scenery, I don’t know. The river forks here and offers a straight shot view upriver – another place where your eyes play tricks on you as it takes it an endless view. Something else – the surrounding bluffs that rise from the river and end in the sunlight. There’s no telling what wildlife you would see.

Back to campsite 2 though

This is where it can be found! Just look for the corridor of trees as it would seem. Very large trees pointing out the way to a spot right by the cascading waterfall. Obviously very nice during the day, but at night…..can you imagine falling asleep with that hushed, soothing sound of a nearby waterfall cascade? Dreamy. Forget the apps and noisemaker – you can leave that at home. 

While we toured in early November, it’s good to note the treetop coverage. There is no need to worry about rain or needing to cancel plans if the forecast changes. The thick treetop coverage and giant pawpaw tree leaves serve as a natural umbrella. 

Camp site 6: Summer (picture 1) vs Fall (picture 2)

Waterfall On-Site

There’s also a waterfall on site which is really interesting and different than the others in the area. Right off of the river, there’s a trail of mossy rocks and a creek. Guests can follow this back to a 20 foot drop ledge waterfall over a rock shelter. Standing under the water, you are surrounded by steep rocky bluffs. Just think about that! This place offers a little bit of everything!

 

It’s hard to say which site will be your favorite because each just has something about it. And by the way, there are only five sites available to campers (at the moment – 3 more coming soon). Christine being mindful of others & their stay wanted to make sure everyone had enough space to enjoy their own little slice of Heaven. While other campers may be on the grounds, you won’t see them unless you’re at the common areas by the water. 

Strolling and passing each site along with viewing the comfort station and common areas, it’s apparent what the focus is at Belle & Beau Acres: you. From the hand-painted signs on site to the strategic, well-thought-out paths to the camping site locations to the guest amenities, hospitality & a love for the outdoors is top of mind. 

Community Comfort Station

While this is a primitive campsite, there is a comfort station with an outdoor shower stall for hanging your own solar shower bag. It also includes a changing room which doubles as a private place to use your portable camping toilet. The backside also has a rain barrel collection system for putting fires out if needed. Everything at B&BA is efficient including this space – made of 90% recycled material, a door from a chicken coup and scrap metal from the barn on-site.

We definitely gotta mention the walking sticks too! How cool are these?

When asked who books this place the most, Christine mentioned girl groups & those celebrating! And what a place to hang out and celebrate.

This place is also popular with those looking to relax and recharge. It must be true – it’s hard to be in such a beautiful place listening to the river roll, standing under a waterfall or starring at the stars in open fields and not be at peace. You are exactly where your feet are – delightfully overwhelmed by the surrounding Tennessee beauty & sounds. Most visitors come back and are repeat guests – for good reason! 

Overall, this is a place you need to see & stay. Private, well-maintained, guest-focused, serene, peaceful and full of that Tennessee wonder. 

These pictures…honestly it really just doesn’t do this place justice. It’s hard to capture the seen but also the unseen – the peace that is found here.

Belle & Beau Acres is a good picture of the best of rural Tennessee, thoughtful guest-focused hospitality and primitive camping all in one. And it’s only their 3rd year!