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My wife and I. Amped out here for the fall leaves change in October. It was honestly my favorite camp to date. Every morning we’d wake up to the sunrise (even though it was foggy) and go explore a new area.
There was a water point about a qtr like away on the art loeb trail heading back towards the black balsam knob parking area. We camped in a saddle between tennet mountain and the next unnamed peak on map. Perfect spot for views and was bordered on three sides by shoulder height brush. 10/10 on the selection. It was the perfect distance from civilization (1.5 miles to the car) and 10-15 miles of wilderness for us to explore.
Tennett mountain has a superb view of the surrounding area and I highly recommend peak bagging it.
The art loeb trail is heavily trafficked until you reach the northern side of tennent mtn. The trail is for hikers horseback and 4x4 so you aren’t crazy waking up to a car engine going by. I can’t think of much else to put because there was so much to explore.
This review starts with the wonky reservation system. If you look at several campsites, it thinks you want to reserve all of them. Even if you de-select campsites, it still thinks you want to reserve all of them! And then, it didn’t like the apostrophe in our last name. I took that out but then it made me wait for two minutes before I could continue with the reservation. Ugh. We were also not happy that there was a two-night minimum on the weekends.
Now for the campground. This is a fairly small campground with only 40 sites. It was full on the first Friday in November but there was no host (and we did not see a Ranger throughout our stay). There would be free firewood (donations encouraged) if a host or ranger were present, so no firewood for us.
Many of the sites are NOT level but the website does indicate this during the reservation process. Fifteen have tent pads, but others do not and would be more suitable for RVs. The driveways are paved but some are crumbling, and pieces of pavement are tripping hazards. All the sites have electric and water. There are two comfort stations that were very clean and the showers (no additional cost) looked reasonable. There is a pack-in, pack-out policy and therefore there is only one dumpster across from the park office, which is quite a distance from the campground, and you are asked to bring your trash there nightly (the distance from the campground makes this challenging if you do not have another vehicle).
There are some nice hiking trails, but they are not on the map that you are given upon check-in. There is a map posted by the camp office, again quite a distance from the campground. This park is also good for mountain bikers, although they are not allowed to use the trails on Saturdays. Dogs are allowed if kept on a leash. Alcohol can only be consumed if out of public sight.
You will hear trains. Many trains. Loud trains. All throughout the night😊
There is a beach and boat rental in season, which looks very nice, but we stayed there out of season, so this was not available.
To get to this campground, you have to travel curvy, mountain roads. It is not a campground for large RVs. It is better suited for tents or small RVs. Once you get on Bull Pen Road, which is a national forest road, you have to drive about 1.2 miles on gravel. Although the road is in good shape for a gravel road, the short campground approach road is a bit rougher. There are only four sites available, but there are tent pads, lantern poles, and fire rings. I was also pleasantly surprised that there is a pit toilet at the campground, which is unusual for a dispersed camping area. The toilet was clean and actually didn’t smell as bad as you would think. It may be because it is winter, and not too many campers stay at this campground during this time of year. We were the only ones at the campground this time. The only fault I have with the campsites are that the tent pads are very small. We had an 8’ x 10’ tent, and it could not completely fit onto the tent pad. However, the site we were on wasn’t too bad because the back of the tent pad was almost level with the pad itself. I chose this particular site for two reasons: 1) there was firewood at this tent site, and 2) it was close to the pit toilet. That is important because our two young grandchildren were with us. At night, it is quiet, especially since there was no one else there, but also because it is miles from the nearest town. The only sounds this time of year are the sounds of Ammons Branch and the wind. I do not recommend staying there in the winter unless you are ready for cold nights. Fortunately, a down sleeping bag is my best friend when camping in the winter. Overall, I liked this campground because of the wilderness solitude, although during the summer, that may not be the case when others are camping there. However, it is a remote campground close to some magnificent waterfalls and lots of trails.
This was the first "motorcycle" campground I ever stayed at. The campground we were going to stay in was full-up, and a bike riding ranger suggested this place just a few miles down the road. I was expecting loud parties, drunkenness, cruisers blasting loud open pipes. I was pleasantly surprised that this was a very family friendly atmosphere, mostly BMWs and Honda Gold Wings, a few dual sport and a couple of Harley's in the tent area and 6 or 7 Harley's in the cabins. We arrived on a Friday and they had pizzas, soft drinks, coffee and some other foods available for purchase (I think most items were $1-$2) Breakfast was also available the next morning, everything from sandwiches to pancakes. Coffee and food were fresh, very reasonably priced and much welcomed. There is a nightly group bonfire, but no individual camp fires allowed due to being in a government watershed area. Showers were hot, clean and good water pressure. I would highly recommend a stay.
Stayed at campsite #10. It sits about 50 yards up the hill from the main river running through the valley. It is of note that the trail is right by the river, so you will see people walk by and there isn’t any real greenery to block that, even in summer. It is however far enough from the nearest sites that you won’t hear or see anyone else after sundown unless they are hiking at night. The river is a great soundtrack for a nights sleep.
The pad that has been cleared isn’t perfectly level, but it’s fine. There are however a few large buried rocks that keep it from being as smooth as you might expect.
LOVE !!! 4 Paws Kingdom. The owners are a hoot and have some awesome originality and PR skills! Went here for a Sisters son The Fly event, though I had heard of it before. You can rent a camper, cabin or yurt or bring your camper. BEST of all, all have a fenced in yard for your pup! Then there’s the multiple fenced dog areas. Our favorite was the double pond area. The Boys Loved it! Lake Lure is nearby and Chimney Rock, the whole area if excellent for hiking, shopping and whatever else you want to do.
I am going to preface this review by saying that giving it five stars, three stars, or one star really depends on what you expect from a campground. It might be five stars if you are looking for a real wilderness getaway. However, it might be a one star if you are looking for modern amenities with electric, water, and sewer hookups. For me personally, I rate it as five stars, but I know that people looking for a campground wonder how it can be five stars when it does not have hookups or Wi-Fi. Of all the designated primitive camping areas I have been to, this one seems to be one of the most popular, and for good reason. The Avery Creek Roadside camping sites have raised gravel pads, sturdy fire rings, and lantern hangers. Most designated primitive areas do not have such“luxury.” To get to the sites, you have to turn onto a gravel national forest road and drive for about half a mile before you get to the first campsite. The road continues for quite a way, and you can find several designated sites along the road. I was surprised that there were quite a few campers since it was in December. It is a good thing there are a lot of campsites. One of the best things about camping in this area is that there is so much to do within a short driving distance. For example, three miles down the road there is one of my favorite waterfalls. It isn’t very tall, but it has a lot of volume and is a beautiful waterfall. Five miles from the campsites, there is Sliding Rock, which opens during the warmer months and is very popular. Nine miles away is the Cradle of Forestry in America, and in my unbiased opinion, I think everybody needs to visit there at least once. The campsite itself provided a pleasant stay. You can hear the creek all night long, and you are at least four or five miles from a town. It doesn’t seem like a long distance, but it is far enough that you don’t hear the sounds of traffic. Fly fishing for trout is a popular activity, as well as hiking. There is an abundance of hiking trails nearby, including the Art Loeb Trail, Avery Creek Trail, Andy Cove Nature Trail, and lots more. The Blue Ridge Parkway is also only twelve and a half miles away. The area is also a popular horseback riding area with stables down the road. Unlike another camping area I had reviewed earlier this year, horse manure did not seem to be a problem. There are no bathrooms, except at the group camping area, which has to be reserved. The only water is from the creek, so be prepared and take lots of water or a water filtration system. Overall, Avery Creek is fantastic if you want to get away from civilization. There are no amenities such as swimming pool, game room, etc., but it is an outstanding place for people who just love the outdoors.