Located in Bankhead National Forest, Clear Creek is the largest recreation area on Lake Lewis Smith. It offers a day use group picnic site, a campground and countless ways to enjoy the lake and surrounding area.
Many of the camp sites at Clear Creek are well-shaded, private and offer views of the lake. There are 3 reservable group picnic areas that can accommodate up to 50 people. The day use areas stay open year-round. The fish still bite in the winter!
The campground has a basketball and volleyball court, playground and horseshoe pit. Interpretive programs are hosted during the summer.
Day-use visitors and campers have access to a boat ramp and swim beach. The lake provides excellent fishing for Kentucky Spotted Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass.
There are two trails in the area; the 2.5-mile Raven Interpretive Trail and a 1.5-mile bicycle trail.
All facilities are wheelchair-accessible. Flush toilets, drinking water and showers are offered for both campers and day use visitors.
The campground offers standard sites with electric and water hook-ups, as well as tent-only non-electric sites for groups. Sites contain paved parking spurs, picnic tables, grills and tent pads.
Bankhead National Forest is located in northwestern Alabama, and its prominent feature is the Sipsey Wilderness. Known as "The Land of a Thousand Waterfalls," it's an area of abundant streams, old-growth forests, limestone bluffs and lush canyons.
Lake Lewis Smith boasts more than 500 miles of shoreline marked by high rock bluffs. The water is clear and deep and provides excellent fishing.
Two nearby attractions within Bankhead National Forest are the Little Natural Bridge and the 19th-century Pine Torch Church. Another popular attraction in the local area is Houston Civil War Jail.
ADA Access: N
See my previous full review of the campground below. We had site 5 this time with some friends next door on 4D.
Update from my previous review, they now except cards at check in for walk up sites. This is a big change as last time we were here, just a month back, they were cash only.
As always, very helpful staff and we love the water front sites with easy access to launch kayaks and canoes right from your site.
The campground was clean and stayed quiet. About 40 feet between sites. Trees but no underbrush, so no real privacy between sites. The campground is geared towards RV's. It's not bad. There is water and electric at all the sites. Dont plan on playing in the lake unless you get the outer side of the loop. It's good that the waterfront sites are not reservable in that you have a chance at something. I've never been one to plan out my camping weekends 42 years in advance like everyone else seems to. Its on the far south side of bankhead national forest. We went to hike some trails in the Sispey wilderness and it was about an hour drive to get up there. Our neighbors, which I think are camp hosts are friendly enough, but they left there dozen strands of led lights on all night. It looked like the Vegas strip not the woods. I prefer the woods. But if you like the big RV culture you will probably love this place. I'll keep looking for a quiet place in the woods.
This is a highly used camping area on Smith lake. In peck times can be hard to get a spot. The area is well maintained has all kinds of hookups. Swim are access to the lake and day use area also. Great place to go.
We had a 3 night stay on site 55 on the Hoot Owl loop at Clear Creek Recreational Area in the William B Bankhead National Forest. Campground has 4 loops. 2 loops are on the water and first come first serve (non-reservable), and 2 loops are off the water and can be reserved by calling or online. Lake front sites are $26 a night and non-lake sites are $24 a night. Please note, the non-reservable loops are cash or check only, so this caught us off guard, but the staff was nice enough to let us in and find an ATM in the morning to settle up. All sites have a paved vehicle and trailer area that is relatively level and a gravel area with a fire pit and table. Site numbers that end with a “D” on the map below are double sites, so double the parking area, double the hook ups, 2 picnic tables, and double the price. Those sites were large but not sure how two big rigs would fit on those site. In my opinion, they would work good for 2 teardrops or smaller trailers though. This campground is seasonal and closed from the end of October until the first week of March.
Cellphone coverage with Verizon was good throughout the park. No WiFi available.
Multiple bathhouse around the campground so you are never more than ~500 feet from one. Bathhouse’s are clean, but showers are push button style that only run about 10-15 seconds with each push. Plus, the water starts warm, but cools down with each push. Also, because this is a seasonal campground, there are no heaters, so be aware of some chilly showers in the early or late seasons when temps are low.
There is no camp store, but the park office has limited supplies (fire wood, ice, bug spray, batteries, and hand soap). Closest convenient store is about 15 minutes away and real grocery store is about 25-30 minutes from the park.
Lots of downed trees on this visit, so there is a lot of free wood for the taking if you want to put in a little work to cut it up.
Some hiking from the campground with a few amazing rock caves and small water falls. There is also a paved bike/walking trail.
Group camping, swimming beach, and boat ramp also available in the park. Water sites have easy access to put in kayaks or canoes right from your site.
2 nice breweries (one that also makes wine) not far away in Jasper, AL.
We highly recommend sites 5, 17, 47, 55, 79, 81, and 82. Sites that are also nice and would work are 8, 18, 38, 42, 45, 49, 57, 77, 87, 89, and 99.
Stayed one night this week in my 16 ft camper. Campsites spread out so you have shaded privacy near magnificent Smith Lake. Downside is they close December to March. Large showers in very clean bathrooms. Very nice camp staff.
Private and secluded! All spots r shady. Great level campsites..all campsites r gated. Nice swimming area. Great hiking and waterfalls on the most beautiful lake in the US!
White sand aroundswimming area. Pavilion is rentable for gatherings. Very nice place. Usually crowded
It mainly has single units some you can see the water from but can't so easily access the water from. Pavilions for rent are $35 and very well worth it for a family gathering. It is a wonderful and peaceful place just wish it was more waterfront camping/picnicking.
Large spacious sites, quite, and clean.
You can fix nd a site to satisfy almost anyone. Lots of sites on the water. If you prefer seclusion, try the upper grounds. You will see deer in the morning and are likely to have a visitor, raccoons, during the night.
Friendly staff, well maintained, and very peaceful.
I've camped here twice. Once in one of the group tent areas and once in an on the water spot. The group tent area had plenty of room (no power or water) but the bathroom was very close. The only issue I had with that spot was that the staff told visitors to park in our area and we had loud people dropping off and collecting their vehicles all hours of the night and car lights shining in our tents waking us up. The site itself was very nice and the only people nearby would be if the other group spot was rented also. The water camp spots aren't exactly on the water but for $50/night (very high to me) they have water and electric. The sites are a decent size but they are very close together. Same issue with people not respecting quiet time. The swim area is nice with ample shade and lots of room for swimming. The boat docking area is a decent size and perfect for unloading kayaks. I doubt that I'd return to this campground simply for the lack of enforcement of quiet time.