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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.
We had the best weekend at Steele Creek! We went the 3rd weekend in October and the fall leaf color was gorgeous! The close proximity to Linville Falls, Blowing Rock and the Blue Ridge Parkway was perfect. We will definitely be back to explore the area more. It was cool outside but we saw several kids playing in the creek and it looked fun. We will have to come back in the summer to enjoy the water.
Tis campground is a little hard to find because it is off of the beaten path but close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went during the peak leaf season and of course, had to book the site super early. But we snagged the belle of the ball with the Laurel group site. The maximum number of people in the site is 50 (pre Covid) but we were a group of 3 families with 11 people and it was the perfect size for this size group. There were steps leading down to the river with a small spot for a 2 person tent. There were also a number of dispersed tent sites with room to spread out. We had our own very clean restroom that was not in the way but accessible. There are a number of trails to access from the site including Setrock Falls. Even though the campground was full, we felt completely private in our site. The Toe River is the real gift of this site. The constant sounds around you and the river loop trail allowed you to explore further. This is a perfect site for kids because it is open and the river is shallow enough. I would highly recommend this site any time of year because of the river but fall adds a special quality with the leaves all around.
Camped 9/25-9/27 in the family campground. Stayed at site 13. Super clean bathhouse which was very nice. Shower stall with doors instead of just curtains. There is a sink for dish washing in the back of the bathhouse. Dumpster is at the end of the large parking lot. The river is wonderful to listen to as you fall asleep. There is 0% service in the campground. No carriers had service so be aware.
Hiked to the top of Chestnut Knob and that was a very strenuous and beautiful hike. You will have service at the very top of the hill to call/text family and friends. You can start your hike right from the campground which is another bonus so you won’t need to drive to a trailhead.
Note: Bring firewood with you! Once the visitor center is closed there is none available and the campground has been picked clean of all available logs and sticks.
Overall I would definitely come back to camp and hike again. Beautiful state park!
It’s a 6 mile hike up Maple Camp Ridge on trail 191 (Buncombe Horse Range) starting from a small parking lot close to Carolina Hemlocks Campground. (Can also be accessed from the Mount Mitchel side). 0.4 miles from the bald is a nice water source. There are 3-4 areas to set up camp, two of them could accommodate multiple tents. An amazing spot to admire sunrises if the weather cooperates.
It’s also a horse camp with a large ring. The first camping loop is the best. Head back to the end of the camping loop away from the office and find a trail that leads down to a nice swimming creek. Great place for exploring all over the park. Sites were well spaced with picnic table and fire ring.
Lots of sites could use some attention. Tangled tree roots, water ruts. Muddy when it rains. They don’t put gravel often. It gets jam packed on the weekend. Staff isn’t terribly friendly. Lots of big group tent campers. Lots to do in the area. Very friendly squirrels.