My name is Nick Westermeyer. I am a quadriplegic from a gymnastics injury sustained at Michigan State University in April 1991 who is interested in global travel and participating in activities not normally associated with disabled people. I’m currently on an adventure that will explore worldwide handicapped accessibility. Many people have travel blogs, but there are none that I know of that come from the vantage point of a wheelchair user going off the accessible path.
Mountain Lake Marina and Campground advertises that they are ADA accessible and has WiFi this not accurate. Although the majority of the Marina and campground are accessible it’s impossible for a wheelchair user to even got on the dock. This has been the issue for over one year. The owner, Mark, said they had a new dock plate on order but it was late. This was in March of 2019, it is now May of 2020. I do not know the current status of the dock plate. This is a safety hazard not only for me but the people helping me out. Once on the dock with substantial help, it is accessible. Bathrooms are accessible, dock is flat and easy to wheel on, and outside seating at restaurant. The campground bathrooms, showers, and pool are accessible.
The campground is located on a hill so you need a car or golf cart to make down to the docks. There are a few flat areas to wheel at the top of the campground. The campground also advertises WiFi. The campground had free WiFi but since it went down late in 2018 the owner has refused to get WiFi back. There is WiFi for the new$300,000 condos, so I know it possible to get WiFi at the campground.
Let me start off by saying this campground is difficult at best to find any information about online. I tried to go to their website off several searches and nothing came up that was valid. I had been told about this site when passing through the area because of their water views and fair pricing. I was fortunate that the phone number on the site at least worked so I could find them. If you follow GPS, I wish you luck, if yours does what mine did it took me in circles and then kept saying rerouting. I opted to call the campground and their directions were so much more simplistic.
With all that being said, once I arrived the tent camping here was nice. My site was level and on one of the many roads of camping. I was no where near the water, but that was ok because my site seemed to be far enough away from louder traffic which was going in and out of the marina area so that made my stay a bit more pleasant.
I decided to talk a walk around camp and it seemed like there had been some upgrades around the campsite, still other areas looked like they still needed a bit of work. Specifically in the way of the long term campers area which looked a bit junky in some areas.
I noticed that some of the RV paths had long hoses reaching across to access water, I am not sure if that was because their water wasn't working or if there were not enough spigots available. It looked like there were many using piggy backs.
The playground looked fairly new, the restaurant which floats on the water smelled delicious from a distance and the restrooms were very clean.
The staff was so friendly on my stay, someone drove past on a golf cart to welcome me when I had settled in and we had a great chat to which they told me there is a continued effort to make improvements to better accommodate campers including a project to potentially widen the roads on the RV loops.
This place has some great potential but isn't quite there yet. I am interested in keeping up with this place to see how it changes over time.
When you are in this area you are near 2 state parks which have a lot of hiking and water options as well. Both of these can be traveled to via boat from the marina.
In Rocky Top there is a very interesting historical exhibit to visit about the miners and the war which took place with these miners.