THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Croatan National Forest, NORTH CAROLINA
897 Reviews 758 Campgrounds
Retrieving Results
EXPLORE
Most Recent Croatan National Forest Camping Reviews
Beauty and Seclusion at Toccoa River Cove

"Is there water to play in?" 

This is a question my kids ask about almost every campground we go to. Before this trip I told them, "yes!" But once we got to the Toccoa River Cove, all of us realized that "yes" really meant, "this is a phenomenal wonderland we will never want to leave." 

I want to say this is a "goldilocks" campground, but only because it has something for everyone, not because it falls into an average category. With 12 acres of woodland and the freedom to pitch a tent anywhere (provided you honor LNT principals about where to set up camp!), you can camp right next to the car, set up a camping hammock, or explore the forest and find a secluded area in the trees for a backpacking tent. There is a spring you can drink straight out of, and streams criss-crossing the entire area if you want the rugged feeling of purifying your own water. There's a large shelter stocked with a table, chairs, lanterns, and a two-burner camp stove for the glamping crowd, with plenty of floor space to throw down a sleeping bag for thru-hikers nostalgic for AT shelters. The campsite also has a huge fire ring (and a shelter with lots of cut wood), a picnic table, a bench, lots of bridges over the water, a few established trails, a privy that is obviously cleaned regularly, and most importantly, a total immersion in nature as only one group can book this site at a time. 

Things to note for planning:

-The driveway down to the shelter is very steep, and does not allow much space to turn around. RVs or larger trucks will not fit, and per the owner only one vehicle may park at the base of the driveway at a time--all others should park just past the gate once you first turn onto the driveway 

-Water is available from two natural springs, but there is no filtered or piped water

-There is no electricity at all at this site

-The closest town is Copperhill/McCaysville on the TN/GA border. You can get provisions here, or use the campsite as a basecamp to explore the breweries and restaurants the town has to offer.

-There is a community area a short drive from the campsite that offers swimming and fishing; access is included in your reservation

I cannot see any tent campers this site would not be perfect for. While there are neighboring houses so loud parties are not permitted, this site allows up to 10 guests, with plenty of room to spare if you are looking to get out with friends. Single campers or couples will appreciate the privacy, and families will find the amenities that make camping with kids easier, accompanied with the space to allow kids freedom to explore.

I feel like I am always on a quest to find a campsite that blends the ability to carry gear for every possible contingency, with the beauty and privacy of the backcountry. After staying here, I can say that quest is over. This is it.

Good experience

The only bad part was the non quiet hours- so It was loud at night. But the campsites are far apart, easy walking distance to bathrooms. It was a nice spot we had, we just walked in and grabbed an open spot. Walking distance to easy hiking spots.

Peaceful site on the river

Easy to get from Knoxville without going into the craziest part of traffic in Sevierville.  There are many RV sites and cabins along the bend of the Little Pidgeon River.  Fire rings all along the river with everyone out at night sitting along the river.  Had all the amenities you would want in a full service RV Park.

Just as the name implies

Perfect for what their name implies.  An overnight stay on your travels.  Many of the rest campgrounds are right off the freeway with lot's of road noise.  Overnite is j1 mile off I-75 and very quiet at night.  Full hookups and our campsite was very level.  If you are looking for a place to rest of for the night between Knoxville and Chattanooga I highly recommend.  Friendly owners and very safe area.

Fantastic

Very pretty and well maintained. Bathroom facilities were clean and in excellent shape. Firewood is available for sale at the campground host.

Almost a five star

Super nice campground A few sites are way to close together Super clean bathroom with personal showers on the outside. Will definitely stay again just not on one of the squeeze tight sites

Great little campground

Great little campground just minutes from Helen GA.. Super clean and quiet, ADULTS ONLY. Full hook ups, bath house and laundry room. We’ve camped at several different places around Helen, this is the best yet. Will definitely be going back.

Beautifully Secluded

The highest state park in Georgia has two general camping sections with power and water (and free cable if you're so inclined to hook up to watch TV).

Some of the sites are small ish, and since this is literally on the top of a beautiful mountain, the sites are close in proximity to each other.

The standard State Park bathrooms and showers are available.

In the summer when there are leaves and green on all the trees, it's breathtaking with the views. Once the leaves fall off, it's a bit spooky (my interpretation) and can get windy without the leaves.

My favorite Georgia state park!

An affordable RV park/campground near the Smokies

The Pros: 

  • Location: This campground is located in a perfect spot, in my opinion. 10 minutes from the Metcalf Bottom entrance to Smoky Mtn NP. 15 minutes to the Townsend entrance. 30 minutes to Cades Cove. 15 minutes to Pigeon Forge. And 30 minutes to Gatlinburg. Close, but away from the madness. For a few shops and restaurants you have Wears Valley right next door (I recommend Mountain Chick for a light breakfast - awesome biscuits and coffee).
  • Amenities: full hook-ups and a VERY nice pool/deli (see picture). The pool has karaoke on Friday nights. There is also a stocked fishing pond with dock though we didn't use it. 
  • The view: Okay, not all campsites have great views. But the lower sites do, and that's where we were. Awesome backdrop of the mountains while you sit by your campfire. 
  • The price: All the other campgrounds this close to the park charge $50+. Honeysuckle charges $35 a night.
  • The sites: Sites are typically long, wide, gravel, mostly level, and with plenty of space in between. Our site even had a brand new deck with solar LED lights! Every site has a metal fire pit and a plastic-topped picnic table. 

The Cons: 

  •  This is a mix of long-term RV park and campground. The lower sites are mostly campers while the upper sites are a mix of campers and long-term lots. This isn't necessarily bad. Most of the long-term units are nice looking, but it does impact the camping feel a bit. And along the lead-in from the road to the sites there are a lot of campers in storage. Some of these don't look so nice. 

  • Dumpster: This is bear country so you can't leave your trash outside in cans. The only dumpster is all the way down the road to the office, and it is frequently full.

  • Reservations: The process of making reservations was easy enough. I was assigned a site in the confirmation email I received. But when we arrived I was given a different site. When I asked about it, they didn't have record of the first site I was given. When I drove by that site, there was an RV in it that looked like it was being stored there. We went to site 50, the one they gave us, and it was okay. The one just down the hill, Site 49, was a little shorter but it had a deck. We called the office and asked to switch. They agreed. It worked out, but it was a little frustrating. 

  • Amenities: Because it is more RV park than a campground, there wasn't a bathroom or laundry facility. 

Overall, we were quite happy with the experience. We would stay here again and recommend it to others.

This is a nice campground

This is also a mixed review, it was a nice campground however the area around it is getting more and more populated. It’s right across the street from a helicopter ride and that’s a lot of whop whop whop noise. We looked around and chose a campsite at the very end number 50 and thought we had hit the jackpot. Right on the water and very private. However it turns out that the people from the hotel above the campground feel very free just to walk right down sit in your campsite, (while we were unhooking hoses and sewer hoses) and use it as their own private beach. One of the weirdest incidents we have ever had while camping. Two adult man and six children and one of them and asked me if I “own the spot “

Great campground

We really enjoyed Milton Hill dam, very friendly people , well stocked store, easy access to swimming and fishing and full hook up sites if you want them. Easy access to my family in Knoxville Tennessee

Beautiful wilderness area

We camped 2 nights in the very first camp site, our last night camping we were awakened by a mama bear and her 2 cubs. We are seasoned campers therefore we had no trash, food, cooking gear, or toiletries in our site. We did have 2 water bottles that she found. She and her cubs wandered up the trail just out of sight for a few minutes but she returned and came right up to our tent. So be forewarned there is an active mama and 2 cubs in this area. We did let the people down at smith gall woods know so that they can pass the message along to the park ranger.

Website is for house cabin rental

Not a camping site

A very nice campground in the craziness of pigeon forge

The campground is only a block from the main drag in pigeon forge, but you feel much further away.  A mountain river flows right beside the campground to give it a restful feeling.  

This is a great site for kids, with a good pool and jump park area.  Also a nice loop for bike riding.  The track ( go carts and game room) is a short walk away.  Dollywood and splash country are about 10 minute drive time

The only negative I notice is the noise from the go cart track.  The advantages far exceed this though

If your coming to pigeon forge, hard to go wrong with this place

Since childhood

I’ve been to creekside probably 8-10 times in my life. The facility is not what it used to be, the pool is cracked and half the arcade machines are down, but the couple running it still send Christmas cards every year, and the grounds are still very clean. The location can’t be beat, in an alcove off a major highway that’s very quiet at night. Anyone rafting or just enjoying the area would be a fool not to camp here.

Feels secluded but in the middle of Pigeon Forge

We stayed at Pine Mountain when we were visiting family in Sevierville. We wanted to stay in Gatlinburg for the rustic feel but this park ended up being great. We stayed on the small river in the back. You had no idea you were streets away from the main drag of pigeon forge. They didn’t have a ton of amenities but you don’t need that much with all there is do to in the area. We could easily get to Gatlinburg and did every day for a hike. The pool here is an excellent zero entry pool with fountains. You are also allowed to use the indoor pool at the hotel across the street. The bath houses were pristine along with all of the grounds. There was also a trolly stop across the road. We also enjoyed the size of the sites. Your neighbors didn’t feel on top of you! They offered 10% for Good Sam but also have us that discount because my husband is a fire fighter.

Large National Park Campground with Lots of History in a Beautiful Setting

When you first get to the campground, you may think it is the typical national park campground, and it is in a several ways. However, this campground has a little-known area that many people ignore. First of all, the campsite we stayed in was spacious and had a fire ring. It didn’t have electricity and water, but it was large enough to put a really large tent for my best friend and me. The bath house does not have showers, but they are more than adequate for primitive camping. The campground is located in an area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that has the Little River through it, so you have the sounds of the creek at night. You can gather wood for your campfire, but you cannot transport firewood into the campground unless it has been certified and sealed in plastic. If you are not tubing or fishing in the river, you can travel a few miles to explore Cades Cove. However, next to the campground, there is the little-known area I mentioned earlier. I found it fascinating and lots of fun to explore. It is a ghost town, which began as a logging town. In the early 1900s, it became a resort, and from what I understand, many of the residents were from eastern Tennessee. Some of the buildings have been restored, but most of them are deteriorating quickly. We were able to go inside most of the buildings, but you have to be careful. You are not allowed to go into the some of them, which have signs and are dangerous. However, just to walk down the streets among the buildings is a beautiful sight, especially in the fall. The last thing I heard is that they are going to raze most of the buildings. Overall, Elkmont Campground is a peaceful place to stay with a lot of history. My advice would be to plan ahead since this campground can fill up during peak season. It is the largest campground of the Smokies, if I understood correctly, but campers come from all over the United States to stay here.

Easy to find and a fun place to stay.

We stayed at Clabough's Campground for only one night. The campground sits right off the main road (Wears Valley Rd), so it is easy to find. The downside to this is traffic is easy to hear from the sites towards the entrance. The sites towards the back (section D) probably don't hear traffic at all. There is a market and gas station that you go inside to check in and get your parking pass. The market sells fishing supplies, food, firewood, camping stuff and propane. The campsites were clearly marked and easy to locate. We stayed in a tent site. The designated tent sites are very small and can only accommodate 1 tent. There is a raised area with smooth river pebbles that you set your tent on. This is nice if it rains, because all the water will drain away quickly. However, I would rather not sleep on rocks, even if they are smooth pebbles. If the raised tent area was not there, I believe we could have set up 2 tents on the site. There are many sites that are right along Walden's Creek. This is perfect for fishing of swimming right next to your site. The moving water was also pleasant to listen to at night when the campground got quiet. The water, electric and dumpsters are easily accessed. Our fire ring was delivered very quickly by friendly staff. The tent sites are a close walk to one of the 2 pools. The other pool is right behind the market. You can drive or walk to the lazy river on the campground site. The lazy river is small but the kids really enjoyed it. There is a playground, jump pillow and basketball court. The restaurant is located inside the market and is a great place to cool off and use clean restrooms. The map of the campground is easy to read and well marked. We were at tent site C23. There is no shade at this site until the afternoon and then it is perfectly shaded by the trees on the opposite side of the creek. My kids swam in the creek, which ranged from only a couple of inches deep to about 3 feet deep. The water was flowing but not crazy fast. The tent sites are right next to the pavilion, arcade and snack shop which is in the process of being re-built (June 2019). The sites in section D (144-154) are located in the trees and have good shade and also back up to the creek. The cabins looked nice from the outside and were nestled among the RV campers. The sites are a close fit, but all the sites were booked while we were there and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves! Lots of kids on bikes and scooters on the paved road throughout the campground. This campground is so close to other activities as well. We went to Smoky Mountain River Rat and tubed The Little River. Overall, this is a very nice campground with a lot of amenities. Great for families.

Product Review:

I had the opportunity to test the Grub Stick intro kit:

The Grub Stick intro kit includes 1 handle, fork, grubcage, release tool and carrying bag. We only used the grubcage to make s’mores. I don’t like making s’mores because they’re so messy but there was basically no mess using the grubcage. The retractable handle is comfortable and easy to attach. The cage is easy to open and stack food in. It snaps together with a strong grip. The release tool worked perfectly to open the cage. The handle and cage cooled down very quickly and was able to be touched within 30 seconds of taking it out of the fire. This is a product I would recommend!

Quiet, cheap, but minimal privacy

Nice campground. Many of the sites are along a little creek and all the sites I saw had picnic tables and water (unsure if potable). It was very quiet, although probably because I went on a weeknight and there were not many people there.

There are not many trees inside of the camping area, so privacy is minimal. Lack of trees also meant lack of firewood, but it was not too bad because there were not many campers. The campground also sells firewood.

It cost around $12 (June)

Backpacking from Clingmans Dome to Lakeshore Dr.

We split up our 15.5 mile trek with an overnight at CS71. Forney Ridge and Forney Creek trails run right through and beside this site…you can't miss it. Beautiful area, and creek sounds to lull you to sleep no matter which spot you pick. Used to be an old CCC camp back in the 30's, and has the remaining chimney still standing on one of the tent sites. Forney Creek provides ample water supply.

A few great nights even in the rain...

Spent 3 nights at Elkmont. Clean bathrooms, spacious sites, good water access and dish washing stations (so helpful in bear country!) Stayed in N loop which is just near trails to view fireflies - weren’t quite synchronized yet when we were there (2nd week of June) but the show was still wonderful in the dark among the old cabin ruins!

Kid tested, parent approved

Had a blast here! They have so much for the kids to do, full court basketball, tennis courts, battle ball, arcade room, and pool. Also next door to a ropes corse and close to pigeon forge. This place is awesome!!

Lighting Bug Display was on another level

This campground is absolutely amazing. Everything was well kept and clean, sights far enough apart, plenty of shade, plenty of restrooms and just flat out beautiful. We went up and stayed here to see the synchronized lightning bugs and it did not disappoint. I would 100% recommend staying here even if it wasn’t the time of year to see the lighting bugs. Plenty of trails to hike, rivers to fish and things to see. There is an amazing abandoned summer retreat community just outside the campground that is a must see. I will say you WILL NOT HAVE ANY CELL SERVICE! But for me that is far from a negative. Just prepare accordingly.

Very quiet

This was a cool campground. There was nobody at the office when we arrived we did not have reservations. The note on the door just said to find a campsite and set up and just come to the office in the morning. There is absolutely no cell phone service. Backing the pop up in was rough as we had to back up hill into the site on wet grass but we made it.

Right outside of Gatlinburg

We camped here for a few days. The campground was nice staff was very friendly. The bathhouse are private everyone gets there own room with a toilet at shower which were all clean our first day there but then everyone that came in tracked dirt and mud and they stayed filthy the rest of our stay. They have a beach area on the river that is fun and cools you down very fast. The center of the campground is a large field used for tent camping and they have a primitive camping.

Pretty

Nice but busy, so noisy. Clean bathrooms.

Favorite Campground

❤️ this park! Gorgeous little lake with nice walking trails. Clean bathrooms and super nice campground host.

Great campground

Beautiful campground right on the Little River. It’s tucked away off the main road but only minutes from Smoky Mountain NP. The owners were very friendly and the price was very fair, especially during “leaf season”