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First, make sure you have everything packed, cause you DON’T want to have to go back to the car! You are camping next to the river at the top of High Shoals Falls. It’s hard to suggest which way to go on the loop trail to get there. The stairs(left) are a workout, tall steps, slippery and steep. But your crisscrossing the falls so scenery on the way up. There were a lot more people descending on this part of the trail. The right side is steep, all dirt and does the zig zag up to the top. Some scenery. So pick your torture:D This dispersed area is not totally off the beaten path however it’s a pretty sweet area. Site 4 is back by itself and has room for a small group. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Several are right by the stream. A plus is there are two pit toilets, complete with resident mice;)
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.
Non generator site. Beautiful
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.
We camped here at Oconee, at site 7, on the Lake Loop, in the middle of May 2020. PERFECT!! We were able to pitch a tent AND had room for my tow vehicle and teardrop camper! The folks that run the Visitor Center were PHENOMENAL! Plenty of room, nice sun and shade areas, EXTREMELY clean bathrooms and bathhouses, wifi, MANY trails to walk and hike, and really awesome buildings and a man made lake, that were built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)! I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out, and camping here! We're planning another trip in the Spring!
You can also visit nearby Table Rock State Park, Bald Rock Heritage Preserve, and Riley Moore Falls!
We did a spontaneous trip to the mountains and we found this nice camp site along the North Fork French Broad River and we camped right along the river. It felt like we were camping deep in the woods and the Fall leaves were still clinging to the trees and made it absolutely beautiful. We fished right next to our camp site and then relaxed with a camp fire listening to the sound of the River.
HWY 215 runs along the camp site but since it was the weekend there was very little traffic. Hosts were very friendly, bath house was clean, and had chickens running around the camp site. Only reason I gave the camp site a four star is because there is clutter around a old cabin and old camper, has a broken down sink and if cleaned up would look much better.
Camp site is close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and other areas of interest.
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.
Pretty clean bathrooms. Easy to find sites. PLENTY of rangers. Heads up: if you have a cooler or water jug it needs to be in your car while you’re sleeping or away from the CG. Nothing food or prep related can be left unattended. I have a large Pelican bear resistant cooler that lives on my hitch rack. It’s locked to my car frame, ratcheted down to both sides of the rack and locked shut. Upon telling the ranger it did not fit in my car, he inspected it, said “mm it seems rugged enough” and let us be. Would stay again for sure.
The campground itself is nice. Great location off of newfound gap road, with tent sites along a rushing creek. Large sites, although not very private. Flush toilets and running water, but no showers. The office staff was friendly. A few trails start from the campground with plenty more a quick drive away.
My arrival left a bad taste in my mouth. Long story short, my reserved site had equipment set up when I arrived after hours (8pm) and a call to the ranger gave me three options: move that person’s tent, take someone else’s reserved spot (campground was full) or leave and go to another campground. I was told there was no ranger or camp host to assist. I grabbed a reserved spot and luckily no one showed up. The next morning, I asked the office if I could just keep my new spot, rather than set up everything again and was told that I could not. However, the office told me that the person on my spot should not be there, but they did nothing to move him. I had to wait until he left on his own so I could move my stuff, wasting a lot of the morning.
This was my fifth trip to the Smokies this year, and it is obvious that the most visited national park is also the most understaffed. Very little ranger presence and consequently plenty of disregard for the rules, especially after 5pm.