Dave V.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2021

Wonderful Wilderness Close to Big City

Lake Powhatan Campground, Asheville, NC 

Tucked quietly away only 10 miles southwest of Asheville, Lake Powhatan Campground(within Pisgah National Forest) is a popular but peaceful campground. 


•Quiet, peaceful and clean•Beautiful mountain setting

•Plenty to do in and around the campground

•Spacious sites and spaced apart

•Trails by the miles

•Modern facilities-Hot Showers•


•Trail maps would be useful

•Site 28/29 picnic tables were entirely rotted

Three loops off to the left of the main entry(Big John Loop 1-21; Bent Creek Loop 22-35; Lakeside Loop 36-57)...just past Smokey the Bear...and then a 4th larger loop straight down the hill from the Entrance office and to the right(Hard Times Loop 58-97). Which is where the“luxury cabin tents” are located on a separate loop within. These large cabin tents appear nicely appointed, on an elevated wooden platform with tarred porch.

All four loops have a smattering of all types of sites...some that accommodate trailers, some offer pull-thru drives, some electric and water, some have steps up or down to gravel tent platforms. Something for everybody.

The restroom/shower house in each loop offers four(4) doors on one side. Two(2) outer doors are individual unisex bathrooms and the two(2) inner doors are individual showers. All are spacious, well-maintained and stocked. It was in the low 40’s at night and only the restroom and shower on the left side were heated, the right ones were not. I was advised that this campground and facilities are open year round. We stayed at site 28/29(a shared pull-through). Tents must remain on the gravel pull-through...bent a lot of tent stakes on that one. Water spigots are spaces evenly throughout the loops.

Lake Powhatan itself is a dammed reservoir. A picturesque setting, but more the size of a pond than a lake. There is a nice fishing dock and a separate swimming area. The feeder stream is stocked with rainbow and browns.

Trails abound...for hiking, biking and equestrian. Mountain biking seems all the rage. I was dismayed(as a lifelong cyclist) of the lack of common courtesy trail“on your left” or“passing.” Several bombed by without a word and most are narrow trails. Some education needs to take place.

Speaking of trails, the trailhead maps were not adequately informative and the campground was out of the pocket size. Cell service is pretty nonexistent so you can’t utilize some trail apps unless you preload them...Our campground neighbors got lost mountain biking. Locals know the trails intimately, but visitors do not. One trail leads to the NC Arboretum...a very worthwhile visit!...but is quite lengthy round trip. Tuesday was half off entrance at the arboretum for carloads...quite a deal at$8. Several local Craft breweries and Cider Mills close by...and you couldn’t throw a stone in any direction without hitting a bicycle shop. Shameless plug for the Bold Rock Cider Mill and their food truck...the smokehouse bacon burger and apple-grilled cheese sandwiches were excellent. Asheville has a REI and a Sportsman Warehouse nearby, but my favorite is the Frugal Backpacker(which was sadly closed during this visit).

  • Entrance sign
  • Some things need fixing
  • Campground map
  • A double site, definitely more a pull through RV/Camper site than a tent site but it worked…and was flat
  • A feeder stream you cross on the trail
  • Entrance station…very helpful attendants
  • Lake Powhatan
  • One of the numerous trails
  • A man-made waterfall…lake overflow
  • Some trails are much wider and more heavily traveled than others
  • Auxiliary parking areas for trailheads display trails…mountain bikers must love this place
  • It’s nice they keep things monitored, you are close to Asheville
  • Love these older icons for photo shoots
  • Even when you don’t see them, they aren’t very far away
  • View from the showerhouse/restroom

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