The best camping near
Croatan National Forest, NORTH CAROLINA

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Camping North Carolina Croatan National Forest
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Awesome staff

The only place we will camp in pigeon forge

Not too bad

They have quiet time at 11pm but no end time. People were laughing and yelling all the way up to 11pm. The sites are really close together. People were packing up and playing music at 6am an hour before daylight. In the RV area there were 2 bathrooms for 50 sites so it was a walk to get there at night. You can’t check out before 9am so we waited around until Wanda got there. Very clean. Not complaining just informing.

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.

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.

Definitely come back!!!

Spacious campsite, clean, friendly people, the view is fantastic mountain, lake, water falls and lots things to do! Love!!!!!

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.

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.

Another wonderful Georgia State Park!

Took advantage of the 1/2 price camping in August offered by the Georgia State Park System since we had already camped in June & July.  What a beautiful campground.  Lots of trees and 2 streams running through the sites on both sides.  Our site was level with plenty of room on gravel to spread out our floor mat.

Beautiful hiking to waterfall and around the lake.  There is a beach for swimming and paddle boats for rent.  We also enjoyed a day trip visiting wineries in the area and having breakfast in Blairsville.  If coming north on 129, there is a sharp hairpin turn into the main entrance of the park.

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.

Has Everything you can Imagine.

Unicoi is a beautiful State Park and a great place to camp for a couple nights.

Only about 10 minutes away from the German-Style historic town of Helen, which also has the Chattahoochee River. Helen has two companies who rent out tubes that go through the city on the river. That is something everyone has to try if they go through this part of Georgia!

The Chattahoochee River also has some pretty good (freshwater) fishing, you just have to watch out for the tubers.

Enough about Helen, Unicoi is a truly awesome place to stay. It has everything you can imagine, with a little hiking, a river to dip your toes in, a lodge to stop and get some food or buy souvenirs, canoe/kayak rentals, zip lining and more.

This used to be my family’s summer vacation place to stay, and I would recommend you make it a tradition as well!

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.

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.

A delightful surprise!

Vogel State Park, Blairsville, GA

https://gastateparks.org/Vogel

$32 a night with water/electric, walk-in tent sites$30…as of this review. 

Arriving in the dark for the first visit, is a bit confusing in the labyrinth of roadways(some One-way) throughout the campground…but for the normal camper it would be no problem. 

After the visitor center is closed, a list of available sites are posted and a sign-in Sheet for the site you choose. 

After experiencing 12 hours of straight rain(9-9)…the sun broke through for a beautiful fall mountain day. The campground sits at 2500 ft.so it was comfortably cool.

Campsite are spaced reasonably, but with tall, mature trees, although you do see and hear your neighbors. In fact, you see and hear your neighbors half a dozen sites away. During my visit, it was almost entirely retirees from out of state…so other than a random yappy terrier, it was quiet. 

There are several loops offering more or less “privacy.” Had I known about the incredible tent “walk-in” sites before arrival, I would’ve stayed there. They are tucked away on their own loop on a wooded hillside. 

Bathroom/showerhouses are strategically located in each loop. They are modern, bright, well-stocked and clean! Also provided are individual “family/unisex” bathroom/shower facilities. 

Numerous very nice cabins are available for rental, from efficiency to 3 bedroom interspersed throughout the park…and appear moderately priced. 

Available State Park Activites: Two separate children’s playgrounds exist, not too far from one another. One near a small kids ball field…the other near a very nice volleyball court, permanent corn hole pit and state of the art outdoor exercise machine area…the likes of which I have never-ever seen. Two 9 hole miniature golf courses next to the visitor center are reminiscent of the old Putt-Putt courses of yesteryear. Bicycle and boat rentals are available during summer months for reasonable hourly, half and full day rates. A swimming beach also exists on the park’s 22 acre picturesque lake.

 A gravel walking trail circumnavigates the lake and at the far end, a trail leads down to lovely Trahlyta Falls. If you are a waterfall chaser, this immediate area boasts numerous worthy falls. The closest being the upper and lower Helton Creek Falls. The upper and lower Desoto Falls are 7 miles away in one direction and several in the opposite direction. 

Terri Tucker, manager of the visitor store, and her staff are excellent and knowledgeable about not just their park but also the surrounding area and nearby parks. They are pleasant, cheerful and helpful. Additionally, Terri has outfitted this visitor center store about the best I’ve seen in all my years of camping. For a state park visitor center, it has a unique balance of food items, camping comfort foods, park specific knick-knacks, souvenirs, and practical clothing items, along with a fantastic assortment of camping, hiking related necessities. Shoot…they even sell Eno hammocks and slap straps! Did I mention two bookshelves of outdoor books and maps?! For as small as it is, it is masterfully stocked. Well done! 

Several creeks meander through the campground, notably Burnett Branch, Wolf Creek…so the rushing water noise is both soothing and assists in drowning out neighborly conversations. 

In most advertisements, the phrase “one of the oldest and most beloved state parks” is used and frankly, I see why. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.

The hiking both from Vogel State Park and nearby are incredible. Take half a day and climb Blood Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. Views from the summit are breathtaking…doing the hike is also a little breathtaking too. It is worth stopping and shopping at Mountain Crossings just a few miles away (turn right out of the park)…you just can't leave the area without buying some souvenirs.

I am planning next fall's return already!…I do wish GA state parks were a tad cheaper though.

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.

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.

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

Wonderful place!

We just spent 4 months here. Nice sized lots, good water pressure and power. Cable and wifi were great. Nice club house and pavilion. Small but very clean laundry. One half mile to beautiful golf course. One mile to clay county park. 3 fishing piers within 4 miles. Walmart in Blairsville Ga and Murphy NC about 15 miles away.Monthly price is very reasonable. Joyce and Phil (owners) are very nice and helpful. 4 miles to hayesville NC and 7 miles to Hiawasse GA. We are going back next year!

Beautiful

We are here in October and the leaves are gorgeous as well as the park and camping facilities. Great hikes with fun little towns nearby. Next time we’ll stay longer so we can explore more.

Simple Pleasures

I truly love this campground. It is for campers who want to get back to the basics. No electricity, no water hookup at the sites, and no sites that accommodate large campers or trailers. Instead, the campground offers beautiful scenery, lovely trails, and peace and quiet. If you’re not a “glamper” and you want to get away from it all in a rustic, peaceful atmosphere, then this is the place for you.

Pretty but Alcohol Not Allowed

Pretty but don’t plan on taking any alcohol. It isn’t allowed at this campground and it’s the same with most campgrounds or sites in this area.

First to Review
In the middle of nowhere

NIce and peaceful