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Almost 5 stars! Only negative was that they have a huge playground with many structures but none of it is friendly to littles under age 5 which means you have to “helicopter parent” if you have a little…
The campground is surrounded by a little river so many sites have river views. Most are relatively spacious. There are also a few spots on the road side of the island.
The amenities were spotless. Laundry was pretty new and worked great.
Location was fantastic. Removed from the chaos and in the woods but close enough to be in Gatlinburg in 10 minutes or on a smoky mountain hike in 20. 5 stars for this location!
We stayed in #200 which is a “sideways pull though” though it’s a pretty risky attempt to actually pull through vs back in with a tight squeeze between a tree and your hookups. This spot is on the road side (off the island) but we had an excellent river front and the road noise wasn’t a problem.
Wifi is ok… good for most things but can’t handle a video conference. Had ok cell service on att.
We spent 4 nights there recently. So much to do yet so little time to get it done. Being near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, The Great Smoky Mountains, Knoxville etc. , it makes for a wonderful centralized place to stay so that you can do activities to your hearts contents. Zip Lines, Shopping, Hiking, Dollywood, Kayaking. One day while there we took a 1 1/2 hour drive to Ashville NC to tour the Biltmore estate. We planned on posting some photos but quite honestly we didn't have time because of all of the other activities we had going on.
Some sites are pretty close together. The sites closer to the lake have more privacy-without direct lake views. Lake is underwhelming-but still nice. Bathroom and showers are cleaned well everyday-and are heated. Book ahead-the guy said they'd been completely full since June.
This amazing campsite it at the base of Big Tom. It’s a moderate hike to and from the campsite with great views. There’s fire rings and lots of sites to choose from. I recommend packing in enough water for your stay because there is not a water source at the site. Also no cell service.
Weather was far from good so I quickly decided this site would work. It was pretty level, had a nice fire pit. It was very foggy all day with off and on rain. My mistake was not paying attention to where the runoff was. This morning I had a small stream running through my camp. This site had plenty of room however.
Although you can camp just about anywhere in Pisgah National Forest, there are specific sites near the trailhead to Sam Knob. This area is known as Black Balsam. There are no RV sites, and you have to hike about a hundred yards or less to the sites, unless you camp on the bald. The sites had lots of roots, so it was difficult to find a level site without roots all over the area. With that said, it is a good place to camp, and it is just a short walk to the pit toilet, which is also at the trailhead. There are fire pits, but there are no lantern hangers or tent pads. Expect to hear lots of cars and people during the busy months about 200 feet away. Because of that, a better place to stay is at the top of Sam Knob, which you can do. That was a better choice for me since I try to stay away from crowds as much as I can. However, you cannot clear or make a new spot; you have to“find” a spot in which you do not disturb the area. You will need a freestanding tent since you will probably be pitching it on solid rock.
The biggest problem with staying on the knob is the weather. Unfortunately, it poured rain and was windy when I was there. I expected it to be windy, but mixed with the rain, it made it unpleasant. Sam Knob is a heather bald, so that gives you a little privacy. However, expect a hikers to end up there since it is a hiking destination and the views are great.
Overall, it is a good place to camp, but there will be people close by no matter where you pitch your tent, whether it is a hundred yards from the parking lot or up on top of Sam Knob.