the dyrt
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National Forests in North Carolina, NORTH CAROLINA
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Most Recent National Forests in North Carolina Camping Reviews
Sumter national forest is so beautiful

Such a beautiful place to camp, fish and hike! They have hike in campsite in the park as well as the trail and even secluded drive-in campsites. Only downfall is that it's becoming a little too popular with teens (and/or immature adults). We've been there on a few occasions where there's been an issue of loud noises, illegal hunting, and bags of trash being left behind. please take care of our parks!

Falls creek trail hike

We did a short day hike to check out the camp sites and look at the waterfalls. We went on the weekend and was pretty late start so we did have to wait a good while to be let in the park - minor annoyance but it was OK. The trails and the park are so very well kept up! Was a beautiful day and hike. We are definitely coming back and looking into getting the year pass since it's so close to home.

French Broad River Camping

Nice for a night or two to get away but not be too far a town or necessities. Good for camping with kids too.

Pisgah is Big and Beautiful

So many trails at different levels of difficulty. Incredible sights and access points to all kinds of campsites. You can care camp or hike for a couple of days.

Great Camping Experience

Big, clean campground with great amenities such as a scenic walking path around the lake, pool, playground, clean and efficient bathhouses, hot breakfast options, nice camp store, etc. The cabin was perfect for a girls' weekend away. I was completely satisfied with my stay. I gave the campground 4 stars because a 5 would have to really put the wow factor into play. In summary, this campground provided a great camping experience.

Awesome trails for u & ur horses

Love this place

Mills River camp ground

It's an awesome place to take n different views

Great camping, close to Asheville with awesome mountain biking trails

We stayed here on a road trip for a trail race in Brevard in early December. Campground was fairly empty. Site was spacious, with a fire ring and picnic table. Bathroom facilities were great, with free hot showers. Close proximity to Asheville, with its many restaurants and breweries, and very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway as well. We used this as a jumping off point to do some hiking along the blue ridge, with some local beers afterward.

The campground is in the Bent Creek experimental forest, which has some really great trails for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running. We have mountain biked here before and loved it. We didn't check out much of the lake, as it was cold when we were there. Really liked this campground!

Smokemont Campground - National Park in the off season

We stayed for one night, on a weeknight in early December. The campground was completely deserted (one other camper came in the evening, there were only two of us there!). Most of the campground is shut down during that time. Bathroom was open, with cold water. Water was available at the spouts. Sites are very close together for the most part, typical of most National Park Service car camping campgrounds.

Campground is along a creek, and there were some sites right along the water. Nice little trail across from our site that we explored. You must buy heat treated wood locally (we found some easily in nearby Cherokee).

Campground is close to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, and we had the luck of seeing a heard of Elk in the field at the center on our way in! The road through the park shut down the night we were there due to snow and ice in the higher elevations, so keep weather in mind when visiting in the colder months; if you are planning to drive all the way through the park, you might not be able to. Same goes for the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, which was still shut down in many areas for clearing after an ice storm a week or two before we got there.

Ranger Review: Escape Campervans at Davidson River Campground

Campground Review

Davidson River is a really nice campground located in the Pisgah National Forest in Brevard. There are several sites that are right along the river. There is a short walking trail within the camgpground, and the Art Loeb trail starts right at the beginning of the campground as well. There are miles and miles of hiking/running and mountain biking trails in the surrounding area, as well as numerous waterfalls. The campground is less than a mile from The Hub bike shop/Pisgah Tavern, a great bike shop offering rentals also, and several breweries are nearby - check out Ecusta and Oskar Blues!

Our site was very spacious. We stayed in Late November/ early December, so there weren't leaves on the trees but the site was still pretty private. There are only 3 loops of the campground open in the off season. The bathroom facility for the loop was open and there were showers (free and hot) and the camp host was very friendly and helpful and had firewood for sale. Campground was very quiet. Very convenient starting point for trail adventures in the area! Campground was quiet in the off season, but definitely not empty.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - I was lucky enough to be able to take an Escape Campervan out on a camping road trip for a trail race that started at this campground.

Escape Campervans have become my favorite way to travel! The vans are small enough to maneuver in cities and to trailheads, and can be parked in a normal parking spot. Click here to see the different models they offer. There is something for everyone! The vans include….

  • A kitchen area in the back, with a 2 burner propane stove, sink (5 gallon fresh water tank), and a drawer fridge. Dishes, pots, pans included. Just pull up, hop out, and get cooking! The dometic drawer fridge is fantastic, keeps things super cold and can fit a TON! (way more than it looks).
  • Seats inside fold down to a bed. Add a rooftop tent to the top and bring your friends! (or just sleep up top, and don't worry about converting the seats to a bed. Both beds are really comfortable, and the ladder up to the rooftop sleeper is super easy to use. Bedding included (sheets, pillows, and duvet with cover).
  • Plenty of extras. You can add on (for additional cost) and e-z up tent/awning, small picnic table, bike rack, rooftop tent, and more.

We have traveled as a couple and a group of four adults, and had an awesome time. The vans fit in anywhere. From boondocking in the wilderness to established campgrounds or RV parks, pull up, park, and have fun!

I really can't recommend Escape Campervans enough. From adventurous singles/couples to small families, they are the BEST way to explore.

For more pictures and a more in-depth tour of the Mavericks version of the van, check out one of my blog posts here: http://adventuresneaker.com/2017/01/04/escape-campervan-review/

Great family campground

We camped around halloween and the entire campground has trick or treating for the kids on Saturdays. Clean, friendly and really great for kids. Would definitely go back.

Clean and well maintained campground.

Sites are close together, however there are lots of activities for the kids.

Full hook ups available, some with cable. The stream and lake are beautiful. Next time I will reserve a spot near the lake.

Beautiful Trails and Falls, Barebones Campgrounds

My girlfriend and I camped at Gorges State Park for a few days in October of 2017. The trails are excellent and they were in great condition when we visited. The waterfalls are beautiful and it isn't a very strenuous hike to Rainbow Falls.

Camping seems to be hit or miss. The campsites aren't bad, but during our stay the privy pit was nearly unusable, so we dug our own. The access road to the campsite trail was closed as well, so the hike to the campsite from the parking lot felt closer to 3 miles. Given the lack of amenities and the distance to the Raymond Fisher campgrounds, I'd advise that you snag one of the primitive backcountry sites instead. They are situated along the main trail to Rainbow Falls, and almost every backcountry site was in a nice spot with easy access to the stream. Be aware that many of these backcountry sites are directly adjacent to the trail, and hikers will probably pass by your campsite.

If you are camping, expect bears. I don't know if this is still an issue, but we had a bear messing with our stuff every night. It didn't exactly bother us, but we did have to hang our trash and food far from the campsite while we slept. It made us a little nervous because we were the only campers there and you are miles from your car, but it didn't come close enough to our tent to really frighten us.

That being said, we had an incredible time and would definitely return. Despite being in a state park campground it still felt very secluded, and we felt that all the set backs made it more of an adventure.

Nice Campground

We stayed here over the summer and really enjoyed it. It is prime location to downtown chimney rock and lake lure beach/water park. The staff was very nice and accommodating. We had a site that was covered and that was nice to have. We were right on the river so the sound was serene and sight was beautiful. Definitely plan on returning again for another trip.

Amazing Place to Camp

This place is by far my families favorite. We camp here every year. The campground is beautiful. The sites are clean. They have an amazing playground with an activity center. They always hold events for families. They have everything you could possibly think of. Staff is wonderful. You go long enough and they feel like family. Most highly recommended in western north Carolina. We love this place.

Wonderful Campground

This is a very beautiful campground. Sites are very well kept and clean. Bathrooms were very clean and nice. The staff was amazing and helpful. Prime location to so many amazing places. The pool was nice and clean! Will def. camp here again.

Wow

There is drinking water. No electricity, so if you need to charge your battery, you’ll need to have a generator. The wild life here is so wonderful. If you want to see the elk, you’re going to have to be up early. I use to be in the park at 5 AM with night vision gear, I saw some very nice elk. If you go in the winter, the elk are out eating most of the day. The rut here usually goes on from about Late October through December. I had about 40 rolls of film with just elk.

Family friendly lakeside camping

I have camped across the US in tents, camper, or just the back of my truck. I have been a campground host at Ralph Andrews Park for several years. This is one of the best campgrounds that I have ever stayed in. It is small, only 38 campsites. It has a few full RV hookups, 10 or so el/water sites&12 or so primitive. Campground is located on Glenville Lake (aka Thorpe Reservior) which is the highest elevation lake east of the Rocky Mts. The Lake is a TVA lake built in 1941 and is 4 miles long The gates are locked from 10pm until 8am which reduces any drive-through traffic and increases safety. The staff are helpful and friendly and the campground is well maintained. Reservation for coming season (2019) now open

The Little Gem Where the Blacktop Ends

Just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Asheville, yet secluded enough to forget it all, this little gem is conveniently located at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.

I went camping here on November 2nd, just after half of the campground closes for the off season. Usually starting at $22 per night, after November 1st the prices get cut in half, so I stayed for $11 (hard to beat)! To pay you fill out a permit envelope, tear off the receipt, include your payment and insert it into a mailbox of sorts. Make sure to bring a writing utensil (I forgot one, but luckily my neighbors let me borrow theirs). You then simply place the receipt portion in the provided zip-lock bag on the number post in front of your site. Check-out time is noon.

Each site comes with a gravel platform for your tent, picnic table, bear box, and a fire pit with a grill top. I opted to set up my backpacking tent in the bed of my pickup, but the site was very clean and well maintained. The host made rounds in the evening and the following morning, and was very approachable and informative, and even gave out weather predictions for the coming days to those who asked. The bathroom facilities may be limited in the off-season due to being unheated, but they were open during my stay, and shower facilities are available during the regular season.

I had a blast enjoying the peace and serenity of the woods, smelling the autumn spice of decaying leaves and campfires, and listening to the babbling river that runs through the center of campground. The other occupants were quite mellow, with no unwanted noise or partying (not that it would be a deal breaker, everyone camps a little differently). In the morning I took a stroll through the recreation area and got to see the group sites; everything was pristine and gorgeous in the gleaming yellow sunlight. My pooch also enjoyed the area, and I was grateful for the free bags to pick up after her.

I would recommend this little spot to anyone looking for a quick getaway from the traffic and humdrum of the nearby townships, as well as visitors to the park. Hiking trails, fishing and hunting opportunities, and scenic waterfalls are all nearby, making the location prime. A big chain grocer is also just a 10 minute drive up the road, making it easy to grab last minute items you may have forgotten. I look forward to returning!

Left early cause it was so bad!

Water was nice but the actual camp ground not so nice. No room what so ever to actually camp.

Terrible managment. Treats customers like dirt and doesn't care.

First of all, I had been loyal to this location for over twenty years. Dozens of trips there over the years with various friends and family. I have also been loyal to KOA in general and have been to dozens of KOA around the country. This time we arrived for our reservation on October 25th and I had reserved the month prior. I was directed to a cabin that was nothing like what I had booked or paid for. It was extremely inferior with no view, but I had paid a premium for a view. I asked if they were at least refunding part of my payment for the inferior cabin and extreme inconvenience, but the night guard would not let me talk to a manager. He would talk to the manager on the radio but she refused to address the situation. She was extremely rude and refused to adjust me to a lower price for the far inferior cabin and inconvenience. At the time, I felt they should have offered me some discount or adjustment for neglecting to honor my original reservation--especially since they didn't warn me ahead of time. If they had, I would have never wasted my time and money getting there. When I felt uncomfortable paying my original premium price for the the far inferior substitute they offered, she threatened that I had to leave or she'd call the police. I had been a long time customer of over twenty years and was stunned at this terrible customer service and aggressive rudeness. They refused to treat me with any decency and would not take care of the situation. They left me with no place to stay for two very young children after an eight hour drive, and the company still refuses to answer calls or messages. They have been irresponsible and unethical. To be denied my reservation, treated like trash, and refused any adequate adjustment of the price was just stunning. The corporate office does not reply to messages either. They simply have no interest in customer service.

Horrible management. Treats long time customers like trash.

First of all, I had been loyal to this location for over twenty years. Dozens of trips there over the years with various friends and family. I have also been loyal to KOA in general and have been to dozens of KOA around the country. This time we arrived for our reservation on October 25th and I had reserved the month prior. I was directed to a cabin that was nothing like what I had booked or paid for. It was extremely inferior with no view, but I had paid a premium for a view. I asked if they were at least refunding part of my payment for the inferior cabin and extreme inconvenience, but the night guard would not let me talk to a manager. He would talk to the manager on the radio but she refused to address the situation. She was extremely rude and refused to adjust me to a lower price for the far inferior cabin and inconvenience. At the time, I felt they should have offered me some discount or adjustment for neglecting to honor my original reservation--especially since they didn't warn me ahead of time. If they had, I would have never wasted my time and money getting there. When I felt uncomfortable paying my original premium price for the the far inferior substitute they offered, she threatened that I had to leave or she'd call the police. I had been a long time customer of over twenty years and was stunned at this terrible customer service and aggressive rudeness. They refused to treat me with any decency and would not take care of the situation. They left me with no place to stay for two very young children after an eight hour drive, and the company still refuses to answer calls or messages. They have been irresponsible and unethical. To be denied my reservation, treated like trash, and refused any adequate adjustment of the price was just stunning. The corporate office does not reply to messages either. They simply have no interest in customer service.

Camp Driftwood

I found this campground through airbnb. They have tent camping as well as two cottages. The cottages are titled "Paddlers Paradise- Camp Driftwood Cottage" and have cable TV, a laptop friendly work space, heating, air conditioning, and a private entrance. The tent camping sites are titled "Camp Site- Camp Driftwood" and have fire rings, picnic tables, and access to a shared bathhouse and common area. Both of these have free parking and are located right on the French Broad River. The water is easily accessible and tubing is frequently seen along the bank. The entrance to the area is directly off the road, but has a VERY steep decline immediately following. Be cautious in driving too far up the bank as the path becomes soft, especially after a good rain. Overall, a small and personable camping option that is worth a visit!

Fun Little Trail

This trail was lots of fun! My friend and I decided to go here on a whim and it didn’t disappoint. There are lots of features to this camp and the surrounding trails such as waterfalls, rock outcroppings, cable crossings, and access to Caesar’s Head trails. My favorite thing about the boy/Girl Scout campsites was that it was along a river and was very large. It would be a great campsite for those who have a big group or just like the space. The only thing I didn’t like about the campsites was that it was visible from the trail so offered little privacy from hikers or fellow campers. My word of advice is to not take dogs that can’t swim across the river; we saw a few couples who struggled to carry their pooches across the cable.

RV site in a fun area

First off this is really just a campground for RVs and you wouldn’t want to drive in and stay in a tent here. However, for that purpose it is a nice site and located in a great area. Right along the Cullasaja rive you have easy access to swimming and boating or you can drive a mile or two up the road and get to some amazing swimming holes with cliff jumping and natural water slides. The area is really beautiful year round though best in the summer when you can cool off from the hot days by getting in the water. The campground itself has many of the amenities you would want while RV camping such as full hook up and picnic benches for hanging out at. They also promote a family friendly environment that seemed to be very welcoming. Overall, their location right along the river and only a few minutes downstream of the amazing swimming makes this a place well worth checking out.

Love!!!

I absolutely loved these primitive campsites and was so bummed when they started to tear them down to make cabins. The campsites are very secluded and right on the lake. The bathrooms are within walking distance and there are also playgrounds, a sand volleyball court, and picnic tables. Make sure to book a few weeks ahead of time if you are camping on a holiday!

Great summmer destination

We really enjoyed our two month stay in the NC mountains. They have a fenced dog run, great creek side sites and old, old, old growth trees at our site. They have many recent upgrades including new concrete pads, upgraded bathrooms and game room. Evidently under new management as they moved the permanent sites taking up all the creek side spots so some of us temp people could enjoy the creek and have a fire. Very calm. There is entertainment booked on some weekends. Great weather!

So Diverse

This place is so beautiful and offers a variety of things to do. My family and I come here all the time to fish in the rivers. They also have a lot of nearby hiking/biking trails for all skill levels. I would give it 10 stars if I could!

Worth it just for the view

I live roughly 10 minutes from Table Rock and go there all the time especially during the summer. The Table Rock trail is a must if you are nearby! It is pretty strenuous especially if you have health issues but is well worth the trek to the top. Just make sure that if you hike during the winter to give yourself plenty of time to finish the trail and to wear good trail shoes since ice can be expected. The campsites are always very well kept; as is the park in general but gets pretty crowded.

Great Setting For Larger Groups

When traveling to the Smoky Mountains there are so many options for camping. Depending on your preference, group size or location you can find sites scattered throughout the park which suit your needs. As a solo traveler, a lot of times I miss out on the awesome amenities offered by the various group camps around the country, however I decided while enjoying my time in the Smoky Mountains to check out a few of them just to see what I was missing.

Cosby Group Camp is about 5 miles from the town of Cosby. Despite being in the park, unlike many which are located inside its bounds this means you are closer to amenities like modern stores and plenty of supplies. The roads here are wide and sites are spacious and the sites are secluded in a beautiful shaded array tall trees.

The bathrooms here are much nicer than some of the campgrounds in the area and offer flushing toilets and drinking water, although I didn't notice any showers when I was visiting.

The camp is made of 3 main sites, so it by no means is the largest group camp in the park, so if you are looking I would suggest trying to make your reservations early. Each site has tent pads and firings with grills. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the site and plenty of parking is available for guests so you could probably have a pretty sizable group in each of the sites.

I'd say this site would be great for a group of friends traveling together or a family out on a vacation together. And I think the overall best part of the site was that it only was $30 for each site, which is crazy considering some of the solo sites I had looked at in the area were that much with the same amenities.

TIPS:

  • Stop off in Crosby if you need food or other supplies, the closest next town would be Gatlinburg which has tons of entertainment.

  • Book in advance, don't try to arrive and book on same day, that apparently is rare.

  • Keep in mind this campground is not open year round so if you are traveling check online first before trying to stay to make sure it is open. Dates are flexible for opening based on weather in the area.