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Be prepared for an encyclopedia of reading all the rules. I found the yurts and cabins to be way too close together for any type of privacy. Maybe they have it set up that way for big groups to come in at once? But it was so noisy with kids and dogs echoing in the valley, and we could even hear the neighboring cabins talking while sitting around their campfire. I suppose if I was there with a group of close friends it would be okay but it seems with all the land they have that they could have given each person more privacy in their spaces. One more thing that may help is we hiked all of the trails and noticed in several places there were 3-4 inch protrusions where small trees where cut down but not cut all the way back to the ground and I almost sprained my ankle. They all did spray paint some of the roots and had the trails nice and cleared but the exposed ends of the small trees throughout the trail are a real hazard. I’m super fit and have good eyesight and hike a lot so I was able to dodge many of them but I’m sure the kids and the older adults may get hurt. Other than the close proximity of the cabins/yurts/RVs and the exposed tree stubs I think they have a great concept (for large group events) and we enjoyed our stay. One more thing the shower handle falls off in the small yurt.
Great campground! The prices are reasonable, the campground was very clean, the people were friendly, and the bathhouses were some of the cleanest I’ve seen. It was also very close to Mount Mitchell so we could go on long hikes. Loved our time there!
Just on the edge of Watauga Lake sits this free dispersed camping area that is perfect for tent camping only. This is a park outside the gate and walk your gear in type of place, some bring your IKEA bags or a wagon. Opportunities for fishing and boating are abundant. Most of campsites are large, very shaded, and have at least one fire ring. A handful of sites have direct water access, and are more private.
There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we spent about an hour cleaning the entire campground. Please Leave No Trace! Also, we would not recommend camping here on a busy weekend because the road is very close and the trucks are very loud!
The nearest town is Butler, which is small but offers the basics such as groceries and gas.
Lots of pull offs off a dirt road. Beware if you’re coming from the south google tries to take you through private property. Take 221 to linville falls, right on 183, and right onto kistler memorial highway. It’s a dirt road but no issues with my Subaru Forester. I camped here in December 2020 and didn’t see anyone else. Plenty of wood, but not much of a view from my camp anyway. Lots of camps.
We went to the non-reservable spots and we loved it. 4 is probably the only one you can car camp at. The other sites are small walk-in. I mainly wanted to write a review because the campground host was so nice to us. He helped drive us up the hill and even brought us a map of the hiking near by. You will not regret a weekend trip to this spot.
Great sites right by the river for tents, various unique styles of “cabin camping” along the river and off the river, great staff (brings wood to you!) and if you have family members who don’t wanna rough it they have a great bar(beer, food, music)by the river with WIFI. Everybody wins. Launch your raft or theirs and enjoy the outdoors.
One nice thing is the size and separation of the sites. One bad thing is the road is busy.
This campground is one way and exits into a trailhead parking area. There was one site that was in the parking area, would not be my first choice. Shaded sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Nice shower house , well maintained.
Easy access to several trails and not far from the falls. The river runs the back of the campground.