Compared to nearby Anderson Cove Campground, Jefferson Hunt Campground is smaller, less developed, and not as crowded. It’s nestled right on the South Fork of the Ogden River, and because of its location (and tendency to attract fewer people), the potential for encounters with wildlife and the illusion of solitude is starker. Still, though, plan to arrive early; the campground operates on an exclusively first-come, first-served basis, and it can sometimes act as spillover for Anderson Cove.
Even though it’s only a mile outside of Huntsville, Jefferson Hunt can feel like an escape—especially if you have a knack for immersing yourself in history and an imagination to match. Before it was sold in the mid-1950s to the Forest Service, this area belonged to the Winter family, who acquired it from its current namesake, Jefferson Hunt. It’s said that Jefferson Hunt originally settled here in the late 1860s and soon thereafter sold it to the Winters. His family homesteaded and lived on the exact site of the campground for generations, and at its height, one could find eight cottages, picnic tables, swings, and teeter totters. It served as a recreation place for family outings, picnics and community gatherings as more and more people settled along the rivers.
The campground has been developed to have 29 single sites that are all accessible by dirt roads. Note that there is no direct access to the water by way of the campground. Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed at all times. Amenities include drinking water, vault toilets, and fire rings. There’s a convenience store located just a half mile down the road in case you’ve forgotten anything, but be sure to make the trip before it gets to be too late—the campground activates a tire-rip barrier at 10 p.m. sharp.