Mark D.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2021

Beautiful mountain setting!

We stayed in one of the tent-only, walk-in sites. This was our first (and so far, only) walk-in tent camping experience as a family. I gotta say - there were challenges.  They weren't unexpected, but still... It should go without saying but nothing here is flat. And after heavy rains some of the trails are not in the best of shape, quite rutted and muddy. So lugging a ton of gear up into the woods was a challenge. It was only 50ish yards, but it was not an easy 50ish yards. So setup and tear down was not the most fun part of the trip. Next time we'll pack lighter for this sort of camping.

However, with that out of the way, we had zero other complaints about our time here. Once we got to our site, it was awesome. The pad was in great shape, flat, clean and plenty large enough for our 9-person tent and all our gear. Other campsites could barely be seen through the woods so it felt very private and secluded.  The bathhouse was good, clean and in good shape. And the setting was amazing.

While here we also hiked a few trails.  The Tennessee Rock trail seems to be the most popular, but let me warn you -- it was NOT as easy as we expected. My youngest kid and my wife turned around and went back. I and my older kids, along with the dog, completed the hike, but it was challenging. Its narrow and very slippery in spots, with more elevation changes than you expect. I mean its not the sort of hike you need to prepare for and pack for the day, but at least have proper footwear and some water with you. And to be honest, if you're going for the mountain views, skip it. The best views in the whole park, by far, are accessible from the roadside, especially at the visitor's center. 

Overall though, we thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful park and will definitely camp here again!

  • We arrived the day after a large storm rolled through, so the low cloud cover was still in place. It was beautiful though. This photo was taken from the Visitor's center area. I'm telling you, if you just want the views skip the hikes. The best views in the park are right here.
  • Beautiful fall foliage around the lake. This trail was partly washed out after the storms so we couldn't go all the way around, but it was still worth looking. This isn't easily accessible from the camping area though, you're going to drive down here from up top.
  • We made it to the summit! There's no view here, its all wooded. But it was still quite an accomplishment.
  • Not much better than campfire coffee and breakfast cooked over the fire.
  • Our site, all set up.
  • Some campfire chili simmering away, waiting on some hotdog roasting later that evening.
  • Here you can see our site through the woods, up the trail. You can see how these trails are not the easiest things to traverse, especially with heavy gear.
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