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Bryson City, NORTH CAROLINA

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Awesome staff

The only place we will camp in pigeon forge

Family Friendly full service

There are lots of activities for the kids. Campsites in the newer sections are very nice and worth the upgrade charges as you are not as crowded. The older part of the park is well maintained and nice, yet was designed and laid out in an era of smaller RV's so it is a little crowded. Bathhouses are very nice and well maintained. We stayed over the Thanksgiving Holiday and the park was full to capacity.

Online Reservation 2 hrs Before Arrival

Didn’t make it to our destination so had to improvise. This place allowed me to make an online reservation and complete check in the next morning. For $30 (roughly) we had access to a bathroom and a great clean camp site.

Edit to add: if there is a chance you will stay at another state park within a year get the adventure pass for $105. It comes with 3 free nights. I spent $62 on another camp site the next day.

Very clean

This camp ground was super clean and very well taken care of. The women on the camp ground was wonderful, we had gotten there after dark because of thanksgiving traffic and she waited up for us to get our site. The only reason I’m giving it a four star instead of five is because we like to tent camp and over the tent grounds there was a bright light that wouldn’t turn off. Definitely more of an RV place but still very nice.

Very nice

Very clean, very spacious and very friendly staff

Fisherman's Paradise

Situated on Lake Burton, beside the trout hatchery, this small, yet busy campground offers fishermen a good supply of trout, and they are delicious! Moccasin Creek's staff is superior. The setting is peaceful. Hiking to Hemlock Falls is a must. Even in the hottest days of summertime, the trail is cool. The majority of the trail is right by the bubbling stream. The hike is a mile in, mile out, but can be a little tricky in spots, especially in wet weather. The Falls are well worth the trek.

Great staff/Horrible Tent sites

The positive: Great and friendly staff, clean facilities. There was an otter living near our site. Close to park entrance.

The negative: Photos of tent sites along the Little Pigeon River are misleading as can be. Being in Pigeon Forge I knew not to expect complete solitude but this was over the top nonsense. When the noise of the amusement parks and traffic dies down you get about an hour of peace before the food warehouse on the other side (about 50 yds) starts loading trucks non stop through the night. We were awakened every night at 1 am or later to the sounds of tractor trailers backing up. The came the loud bangs of the trucks actually being loaded. We left a night early and drove halfway home because we couldn’t tolerate it any more. Do not stay here ever if you actually like real camping.

Very nice

This campground is private and not very crowded. It has the best bathhouse that is very well maintained. It even has two very sweet campgrounds dogs. One of my favorites.

Favorite Campground Yet💛

Visited for just one night in mid-August and absolutely loved it. Stayed at T1, which you can’t pull your car up to, but we were able to park a couple hundred feet away. The views are incredible, we were literally in the clouds. I highly recommend this spot. Also lots of butterflies in the area if that’s your thing 🦋

Awesome

We go ever year and have an awesome time. Park is well maintained and the people are very friendly.

Great primitive camp

Great hunting fishing and camping. Outhouse is the only thing that is there for use. Anything else you must supply yourself. I go every year for bear season and will continue to do so.

Camp next to the river

Lovely campsite. Some space between you and your neighbors, but not the most private camp I’ve been at. About half the sites are along the river and the others are just a short distance away, so you can still hear the river. We were there in mid November and it was full. It was also cold, so people ran their generators all night long, which obscured the sound of the river. During the day, the camp was quiet and gorgeous.

Beautiful campground

We have stayed here twice, once in May 2019 and October 2019. It is a beautiful campground that is extremely well kept and decorated. The sites are paved and well sized. We love how it is on the trolley line in Gatlinburg and a short ride into town. Best location for RV in Gatlinburg for sure. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is the booking has to be done via phone and both times we stayed they’ve had a minimum night stay requirement.

Details

No firepit but nice flat area above the Falls - just past the natural stopping point for tourists. May have day hikers hiking past your setup if you choose to leave it and go hike.

Fall Wonderland

The scenery of campsite was beautiful and from our campsite the bathroom was very accessible. The bathroom itself was clean and even had heaters in it due to the low temperatures overnight. It was a nice surprise that the bathroom area also had washer/dryers for those staying for a bit longer but unfortunately didn’t have a spot for one to wash their dishes. Each campsite really had a nice view but because this camping area was in the mountains the sites seemed stacked on top of each other and didn’t really give you much privacy. There was a small lookout accessible a short walk from the campground which overlooked the mountains and gave you an amazing view but beyond that the rest of the trails were not accessible on foot and required a short drive.

Popular But Fun

I've been camping at Burrells Ford since I was a small child. During peak season (summer, Spring Break) it will be slightly crowded, but there's usually still room to camp and it doesn't normally get rowdy or loud. Fishing will of course be inhibited when it's crowded, but otherwise its a good spot to fish. 

Pit toilets are fairly well maintained and the sites are almost always clean and free of debris. Camp sites are a short walk down a clear road from the main parking area for those who prefer to carry things in or those who have visitors to their campsite. 

If there has been a lot of camper traffic, it will be difficult to find firewood. Firewood is available to purchase all along the road on the way to Burrells Ford from individuals and stores. 

The other side of the river is a much rougher trail, not an official campsite at all. However, there are some areas that other campers have cleared out for camping if you don't mind a more strenuous and brushy hike in to your camping area and you prefer a little more privacy and seclusion. Just be sure to follow local regulations for camping in these areas as far as cleanliness, fire safety, and distance from the water.

Perfect for families

Access to the campground is a narrow partially-paved but well-maintained single lane road with only one area to pull over, so be careful when entering and exiting because if you meet another vehicle one of you will be backing back the way you came!

The campground is very clean and well-maintained, with every site having its own fire ring, lantern pole, and at least one picnic table. Trash bins are located near the pit toilets (one at the entrance to the campground and one across the creek deeper in. 

Past about site 15 the road gets slightly rougher and you will need a vehicle that can cross the creek. 

All in all, the campground is perfect for family camping or for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors without needing to backpack supplies in. Only a short drive from Clayton, GA if supplies are needed.

Pretty awesome spot

We didn’t have reservations and got to the area later than planned, so we were lucky to get the last spot at this campground. The view of the river here is amazing. We camped right on the edge of the river and the sound of it rushing was so peaceful.

The facilities were immaculate. We didn’t use the laundry room or the game room but as far as I could tell they were also very clean.

The only drawbacks are how close the sites are to the edge of the river. There was very little space between the fire ring and the river’s edge; so little we couldn’t walk all the way around the fire ring. Also, some sites have a small fire rings that leave a lot to be desired. It would have also been nice to have access to a permanent grill.

It's rustic

A very quiet campground that does allow you to have a fire in your campsite. There is wood for sale. The bathhouse is very nice. The views from most of the sites are breathtaking.

Nice site

Nice campground. Clean bathhouse. Sites are close together, but terraced off because it’s very steep terrain. Friendly hosts.

Parking lot

Sites are super close together. There was construction on the hatchery dam that started at 8:00 am M-F while we were there. Bathhouses were very clean. Everything was tidy, just could use about 30% less spaces.

Back to Nature

Dirt site by the River all hook ups. They also have small cabins and tent sites. Walking distance to trails and town. Spa with hot spring hot tubs across the street.

Great Campground for RVs and Great Views for Tents

I had wanted to stay at this campground for several years, and I finally got the opportunity to do so. It looked inviting every time I passed by it. When I looked on the website, it showed tent sites, but most of the sites are for RVs. I was surprised to see that the best sites are along Jonathan Creek. These do not have water or electricity, but that didn’t matter to me. There are tent sites that have water and electricity, but they are behind the office, which is part of the main building. I am guessing that there are well over 100 RV sites. Most sites(if not all) have water, electricity, and sewer hookups. There are not many tangible amenities; there is no pool or playground, basketball court, etc. However, this campground is all about location. Not too far from the campground is Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hemphill Bald(mountain and trail), the Cataloochee Divide Trail, and the natural beauty of the mountains. There is also Jonathan Creek, which is known for trout fishing. The tent sites along the creek are beautifully arranged in a line with enough space not to be crowded. Unfortunately, most of them do not have fire rings, but I found one at T5 that did have. I am guessing that the picnic tables at the entrance to the tent sites are for the tents since only one or two tent sites had picnic tables and it is close to the end of the season. My favorite part about the tent sites is that you can sit facing the creek and look at the mountains in the background, although you will see a few houses in the mountains. Another advantage of the tent sites by the creek is that you hear the creek all night long, which drowns out any road noise. This campground is privately owned and not part of a franchise. It is good to see that they still welcome tent campers.

Campground Close to Smokies and Blue Ridge Parkway with Great Views

This campground is about views. It doesn’t have water or electric hookups. It doesn’t have sewer hookups. It doesn’t have a swimming pool, playground equipment, an entertainment pavilion, or any of the other things many campgrounds and RV resorts have. The biggest attraction for Mile High Campgound is the view, but I guess I should say views(plural). The campground is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but there is a long approach road to lessen any traffic noise—not that there would be any anyway. It seems to be situated on a ridge, so it offers different views in several directions. The host was nice and suggested that I pick a site before paying. I camped during the week and when it was cold, so I had a good choice of sites. She highlighted the available ones with the best views, and it was difficult to decide which one I liked best. I chose one with a view of a sunset rather than one with a sunrise, knowing I might not get up early enough to catch the sun rise. You can expect it to be at least ten degrees(or more) colder than down in the valleys. There is a reason it is called“Mile High.” This is a primitive campground, and there are no hookups that I know of. There is, however, a bath house with flush toilets and showers. The bath house is a bit rustic, but it serves the purpose. Some people might not like that it has a concrete floor and just one stand up sink, but again, it serves its purpose. There are also“toilet facilities” at opposite ends of the campground since it is a long, narrow campground. Since I forgot to take any firewood, I bought a bundle of kindling for$5.00. I knew I wouldn’t have a long fire anyway. As I mentioned earlier, there are no modern amenities like a swimming pool, playground, or recreation hall. Did I mention that this campground is all about the views? There is a platform for viewing the sunsets close to the camp office. The campground is within a short driving distance of several waterfalls, places to view elk, Harrah’s casino, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so sticking around the campground all day is not something you probably want to do. The towns of Maggie Valley and Cherokee are close, so if you like shopping, those towns have several quaint shops and other attractions. Overall, this campground is a pleasant campground to stay in because of the peace and quiet and the beauty.

Conveniently located for all things outdoors

Smokemont Campground-Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee, NC-

-site 25($25 nightly). 

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232486 

Nestled in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park at 2200 feet, close to crystal clear mountain streams, great hiking, and right down the Ridgeway from Clingman’s Dome. 

There are far too many outdoor activities to list that are a short drive away. So the location is prime.

(Disclaimer: My perspective comes from a tent camper that prefers privacy and solitude…so take my ramblings with a grain of salt…and I ordinarily fly by the seat of my pants without reservations). 

Even during the week in late October, there were only four available sites left right near the entrance. Campground Rangers in the office and walking the grounds were very friendly and helpful. All sites are line of sight…and though at capacity, campers were politely quiet. 

Tent sites have a gravel pad that you must utilize…firepit and picnic table. An all non-electric, non-generator campground. You won’t get cell service either…you must travel to the nearby visitor center for that convenience. 

Bathrooms are modern, no showers. 

Water is available throughout the campground. 

The park’s visitor center, roughly a mile down the road usually have local herd of elk grazing in the adjacent fields where tourist stop to take photos. A few gobblers joined the elk during my visit. Warning signs and Rangers on foot, keep photographers from encroaching onto the fields…but the visitor center parking lot is usually filled and vehicles are parked along both side of the roadway. 

Clingman’s Dome is a highlight. Realize that though you get to drive most of the way up the mountain, you must still walk from the parking lot to the summit and up the ramp for the birds eye 360 view.(**Pit latrines are in the parking lot only…not in the tiny visitor center, nor at the summit) Note: while the walkway to the summit is paved, it has a fairly steep pitch. Tip: earlier in the day has fewer clouds, afternoon tends to see more view-obscuring cloud cover. The wind is strong and several degrees cooler than the parking lot.

 Final Thoughts: Smokemont Campground is a quiet, comfortable, conveniently located campground for short stays in a wonderful setting…but realize it is extremely popular and fills up nightly.

Woodall, wildlife, and whitewater

Primitive camping. One portapotty at the parking lot. Numerous paths to hike down to the wild and scenic Chattooga River. No RV sites or dump sites. Multiple campsites surrounding the parking lot, and no camping/fires within 10[?] feet of the river itself. It is regularly checked by forest service, they'll give you a friendly reminder, usually. Lots of rafting/kayaking, fishing, hiking, swimming. Check local laws for fishing and boating permits. Beautiful, wooded camping; easy gravel road in. No trash bins, take it in, take it out.

Basic Trail Shelter for Overnights on the Way to Appalachian Trail

This is the second time I have been to Kephart Prong Shelter. The first time was over thirty years ago, and it seemed dreary. This time, however, was a much better experience. To stay here, you have to get a permit from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since it is within the park boundaries. To get to the shelter, you have to hike two miles starting from Hwy. 441 through the national park between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. The trail is not as steep as some trails, but it is rocky! It is so rocky that my trail shoes didn't quite seem adequate… because the trail was rocky. It was rocky all the way after the first of four foot bridges. After the first footbridge it became"rockier." Large rocks, small rocks, medium sized rocks. It was rocky. Did I mention that the trail was rocky? BTW, I finally decided to take a break at the fourth foot bridge because my feet hurt from the rocky trail. Once you get to the shelter, the trail continues up to the Appalachian Trail. In my opinion, the main reasons for staying at this shelter are(1) that it is on the way to the AT, or(2) you just want to get into the woods for a night. The“bathroom” is a short trek into the woods to the seventh big tree on the left. You have to hoist your food up at night via one of two cable systems. Otherwise, you risk of your food being taken by mice/rats, bears, or other critters. The only water source is from the creek, which is a pleasant sound at night while you’re sleeping. Make sure to take a good inflatable pad. You can take a closed cell foam pad, but they don’t provide a whole lot of cushion on a wood platform. Overall, Kephart Trail shelter is good for a night’s sleep, but I have been to better shelters.

RV Resort Close to Great Smoky Mountains, Elk, and More

The first time I came here decades ago, I stayed in a tent. The second time, I stayed in one of the cabins. This time, it was a whole different experience. This campground has transformed, like many campgrounds, into more of an RV resort. Not having to walk to the bath house in the middle of the night was a welcome relief, but RV camping is not my favorite way to“camp.” Primarily a tent camper, I am not used to being shoulder length from my neighbor at the campground. However, this campground/RV resort is a great destination campground for RVers. It has all the amenities you could want—a swimming pool, basketball court, open pavilion; and some people were even playing corn hole under one of the pavilions. A great thing about this campground is that you get a sense of“community” here since some of the campers stay here for six months out of the year. Besides the aforementioned amenities, there are at least two areas for children to play that have swings, slides, etc., and there are horseshoe pits for older“children.” Trout fishing is a popular activity in this area, and with the adjacent creek being stocked on a regular basis, visitors often come away with some prize catches. I have seen more than one fisherman coming away with three or more trout. The campground is along Jonathan Creek, so if you are lucky enough to get a spot along the creek, the sounds are very relaxing. Where we were, we heard lots of road noise during the day, and since this area is a destination for bikers, we heard lots of motorcycles. Fortunately, staying in a camper, the road noise is somewhat lessened. Unless you are staying around the campsite all day, the noise shouldn’t bother you. After all, this area is a popular destination for lots of activities outside the boundaries of the campground. Some people go to“Wheels Through Time,” a nationally famous motorcycle museum, and some people just like driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is only five to six miles from the campground. Others enjoy going to see the elk at Cataloochee Valley or in Cherokee, or they might catch a sunset at Waterrock Knob. This is just a small sampling of things to do near the campground. Overall, the campground is a great“jumping off” destination and has lots of things to do for all ages. Although I prefer tent camping and a little more privacy when I camp, it is ideal for RVers.

Gorgeous, Tent Only Campground

The only tent-only campground in the GSMNP considered frontcountry. Well maintained sites and restroom area. Note that some sites are closer to the parking area than others, and if you have trouble walking long distances I’d recommend site 1! Highly recommend.

Convenient location

Tucked away in quiet town of Townsend TN on Hwy 73, the campground has tent sites and RV hookups. There are toilets and a shower for each restroom. The restrooms were clean and plenty of hot water. It is just off the main hwy and there is plenty of traffic noises, but that dies down at night and you wake up to the birds chirping and the sound of the nearby stream. Staff is friendly. Had an enjoyable stay