This is my favorite campground! It could be because I’ve been camping in Cades Cove every year since I was 5. I’m 30 now & married my husband at the missionary baptist church in cades cove in 2014. Many good memories have been made in this campground. It’s primitive $20 a night no hook ups large wooded sites. One loop generators are allowed & another loop they aren’t so that’s nice. It’s peaceful & very quiet. There’s a river that runs a long the outside of the campground. Good swimming holes. A store that sells food (the best ice cream), firewood & camping supplies. They also have bike & helmets for rent. They’re very strict about bear proofing your campsite. All my years camping there I’ve seen many bear walking through the campground. So it’s for your safety & the bears that you obey the rules. The rangers walk around frequently & make sure no ice chest or grills have been left out so before you leave your campsite make sure to pick those items up or they will get confiscated & you will get a little ticket. Again it’s all for your & the bears safety. The 11 mile loop is closed for vehicles on wed & sat mornings until 10:00 am so bikes can ride through. I highly recommend walking or riding your bike through early in the morning or in the afternoon. There is a halfway point to use the restroom & buy some souvenirs. Also there is a road called parsons branch most of the time it’s closed but we’ve been lucky a few times & it’s been open. Definitely need a suv or truck to drive down it bc you cross over water a few times. EXTREMELY PEACEFUL! All 3 times we’ve driven it we never saw anyone else. It’s a narrow road & you end up on the dragon in North Carolina so you’ll have a nice drive down the foothills parkway to get back. Also rich mountain road is beautiful to drive down in the fall. It will bring you back out in townsend.
Very busy in summer but very nice in winter.
We love camping here! We usually camp in the 3rd site when you enter at the ranger station. It is usually nice and quiet. Last yr we decided to try the out side loop across from the nature trail this site provided alot more excitement as someone fell on the nature trail. Then we had 3 unexpected visitors for dinner (mom an her 2 cubs). The next morning we saw a deer and her fawn across the street. Just love the nature and feeling of camp everyone is friendly. We can leave camp during the day and not worry about it. (Great spot to camp and walk the cove when closed to traffic!)
Better places to visit on the weekends. this place gets a lot of traffic. Lots of black bears in the summer, though!
Dog friendly area, but not dog friendly trail. This place gets a lot of traffic. It's beautiful, but there are better places to go on the weekends.
This is a great place for fall colors! The campground is large, but the sites are placed so it doesn’t feel crowded. There is no water or electric available, so fill your tank before you come. Cades Cove has a loop drive that is very popular for driving. It can sometimes have traffic jams. And pollution! But, if you are camping there you can get around the loop before the crowds. Great scenery & wildlife.
The campground is dog friendly, but be aware that once you are there there aren't any trails that dogs are allowed on. There are a ton of black bears in the area, and they view dogs as a threat and will approach you if they see your dogs.
Lots of tree coverage for hammocking! Great access to the Smokies, great for groups and families. Access to a store with firewood, food, and more. Just right inside Cades Cove!
The wildlife we saw were unbelievable. You can rent bikes during certain hours but kids are little and tire easily so we still drove “the loop” several times. The only downside would be that many people visit this campground and it is not necessarily quiet. After 10 it settled down quite a bit- the kids enjoyed seeing more kids their age nearby to make friends with. There are several short hikes and architectural gems in a very small area. Views are beautiful. We saw a wolf chasing a deer (deer escaped!)- finally saw a young Bear right off the trail. We saw many deer and wild turkeys, and birds.
Had a great stop at this campground! Loved how close it was to the Cades Cove Road to tour for the downtime. Took a while to get into and out of though. Long and windy road to get to the area.