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Benton, TENNESSEE

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North Georgia park with Mountain Lake

Fort Mountain State Park We visited this park in early/mid November for 10 days. Keith and I hiked and played hard every day here- despite the early winter storm 🌨, gusty breezes 💨and freezing temperatures ❄️that finally gave way to beautiful crisp days☀️. The park is rich in history but we are not history buffs so we will leave you to get that info from your friend, Google. . 🥾The trails: Get a trail map!! These are awesome trails and varied trails with lots of elevation. The Gahuti is the most known hiking trail here and we never saw another hiker on the trail except each other when our solo hiking excursions crossed paths. The most popular trails here would be the trails to the CC C Tower and overlook and the “wall”- just know these are not easy hikes due to them going up hill. The most stroller/limited mobility friendly trails are the lake trail and the Cool Springs overlook. . Most of the trails except the Gahuti are multi use and there is a strong community of mountain biking here. We didn’t bike the trails here with our hybrid specialized bikes because we felt the trails (other than the lake trail and the park roads) to be too technical for us due to the major elevation changes, loose gravel and rocks. . *Sidenote .

  1. You do NOT need a permit or notify park office to hike the mountain bike trails anymore.
  2. If you hike a lot- be aware that some of the double blazes signaling trail split ahead actually already happened by the time you see the blaze. In addition, some trail signage is only on one side of trail or in one direction. (We are one of those couples that creates new hiking loops using existing trails so the signage was a little confusing at times.)
  3. The bike trails are not blazed. We suggest everyone wear a helmet not just the required 16 years and younger group. . ⛱🛶🏊🏼‍♀️The lake area- a small 17 acre spring fed lake is here for your fishing, paddling and swimming pleasure. The area also has putt putt, the only playground,seasonal concession and rentals, beach area and a super nice walking trail for everybody. . 🚍The campground consists of large spacious gravel sites that are well maintained. In the winter, you have lost a lot of privacy foliage but still nicely spaced apart. All sites are 30/50 amp with water. Grey water drains are located around the campground. There is a dump station. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring too. Remember, there are a lot of hills here so expect this when walking to bathouses from most campsites. We had inconsistent cell coverage even with a Winegard booster with AT&T and Verizon. Mornings were best reception and evening were not so good.
    . 🏕Other camping options include, walk in tent camping, pioneer campground for groups, backcountry campsites and super cool and private platform (aka squirrel’s nest 🐿) campsites. . 🏡There are also beautiful cabins with lovely views on the mountain side. Most have mountain/forest views and a very few are near the lake. Realize that most of these are on large hills 🏔 so there will be a nice walk to the lake/recreation area. . We really enjoyed the hiking here so much we never kayaked or fished the lake…(also due in part to the cold temperatures). Our 10 days went super fast and we were never at a loss for something to do. You will truly enjoy this park with its history, mountain and lake views. Happy Camping! Pamela and Keith
Stunning place

We were in the first week of November absolutely lovely park loved the staff in the office they were so accommodating We had a nice level site plenty of space to spread out and kick our shoes off for a few nights sunsets were incredible cool autumn nights Trails galore and nice wildlife scenery for photography

Horrible

We made a reservation well I advance as we knew we needed to be in the area for 15 days. Called and made the reservation as we were traveling w friends and wanted one spaces to be close they couldn’t find our friends reservation but then called me back later I told them we had pets and three slides and needed ample room and that my husband needed level ground due to just having surgery. I was assured no problem and we’d be right next door to our friends. The family they arrived 2 days before we did and the campground had Lost their reservation. Moved their space. But told them our reservation was still good. We arrived and our site was narrow with a huge tree right where our slide would open, horrible experience. The next morning. We were able to move our site by our friends across the park, we were told we’d have to move by Friday because the site was reserved. We went in on Friday to see if we could stay in the site pay the difference we were told no it wasn’t good someone had reserved the site fri thru Sunday. The story changed to Saturday to Monday … we moved to a water site and the “reserved site “ had no one in on Friday, a fifth wheel Saturday and a motorhome on Sunday… very disappointed in being lied to. The park was is huge need of repairs and grading of the roads and sites The power poles were falling over water leaked at faucets Very narrow roads to be getting larger rigs through do not recommend the larger rigs it was even hard to get our 33 feet through

Nice campground

We enjoyed our stay at Raccoon Mountain. Sites were a good size. Not right on top of each other. The caverns were pretty cool. Having the dog park close by was a bonus. We would definitely stay here again.

A place to go back!

My husband and I went this weekend and had a great time! (Although, it rained almost the entire trip.) The primitive sites were great! A little walk to the bathhouse from our site. Bathhouses were clean, heated, and even required a passcode to use. We’re already planning a trip back here with our young boys. So many caverns and caves to explore so don’t let rain deter you from visiting!

Very nice

This campground is private and not very crowded. It has the best bathhouse that is very well maintained. It even has two very sweet campgrounds dogs. One of my favorites.

Details

No firepit but nice flat area above the Falls - just past the natural stopping point for tourists. May have day hikers hiking past your setup if you choose to leave it and go hike.

Very nice campground - great hikes!

This was our 1st time out with our new camper.  We choose it because it was close to the dealer.  I was inexperienced in selecting camp sites and we were in the middle of everything.  Site 24 isn't very private.  But the hiking was great and scenery was beautiful.  They don't call it Fort Mountain for nothing - there was quite a drive uphill to get here.

Really neat experience!

This campground was super different from anywhere I've ever stayed. My family and I went a few years ago on a trip to Tennessee. It was a decent place to stay. We RV camped on this trip, but the campground had tent sites too. Ours was pretty spacious and right next to our friends' site. 

What was neat about this campground that it actually is right above a series of caverns, one of the biggest systems in the US I think. We got to go on a 4 hour caving trip led by a guide, which was really awesome. If you're every at this place, definitely book a trip to go around the caves. Also, right at the campground was a place where you could mine for gemstones. This was really great for the younger kids we had with us and pretty fun for me too. 

As always, there's some good hiking around. We checked out snoopers rock trail which was beautiful. Also a fun thing to do since the campground isn't too far from Chattanooga was going to watch the Lookouts at a minor league baseball game. This area has a ton of stuff to do and it was a great trip!

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.

Hidden little gem

This is an awesome little dispersed campground alongside a beautiful stream and extremely secluded! If you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path this is your spot. I’d imagine it only fills up during hunting season if ever. I read that the steam is good for trout fishing but I didn’t have any luck. Probably some of the larger pools up or down steam hold fish but right along the campground it wasn’t very deep when we were there. There is not much to this campground at all so make sure you bring everything you need. There is nowhere to purchase anything and you are a good 20 minute drive away from any stores. The bathroom was borderline unusable for anything other than the worst of emergencies and even then I would prefer to venture off into the woods and take my chances. Bathrooms were beyond disgusting. This is not a campground that gets maintained daily. I would imagine maybe once every 2 weeks at most they have a park Ranger role through there and that is probably being generous. It is not trashed by any means and it is a beautiful spot tucked away in the woods. Definitely give this place a shot if you are looking for some seclusion in the north Georgia area and maybe some decent trout fishing.

Level park

Level fishing is great. Very few large sites

Wonderful place!

We just spent 4 months here. Nice sized lots, good water pressure and power. Cable and wifi were great. Nice club house and pavilion. Small but very clean laundry. One half mile to beautiful golf course. One mile to clay county park. 3 fishing piers within 4 miles. Walmart in Blairsville Ga and Murphy NC about 15 miles away.Monthly price is very reasonable. Joyce and Phil (owners) are very nice and helpful. 4 miles to hayesville NC and 7 miles to Hiawasse GA. We are going back next year!

Pretty but Alcohol Not Allowed

Pretty but don’t plan on taking any alcohol. It isn’t allowed at this campground and it’s the same with most campgrounds or sites in this area.

First to Review
In the middle of nowhere

NIce and peaceful

Great tent sites; loud neighbourhood across lake

*FYI: This is in a dry country. My wife was disappointed.

The tent sites here are nice, clean and tucked away from the general RV spots, and the showers aren't bad as long as a couple daddy long legs in the corners don't freak you out. 

Here's the downside: just across the lake is the "town" of Lake Santeetlah, which consists of a bunch of vacation homes for a bunch of loud, rich assholes who love to blare their music over their massive, outdoor sound systems, and somehow manage to scream sing even louder. Listen, Karen and Larry, I really don't need to hear your awful, off-key rendition of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" at 11pm on a Monday. Also, thanks for ruining "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

Great site close to Blue Ridge

We lucked out and got site 33 (it’s a first come, first serve site). It’s close to the water and we visited in late October so there was no one else nearby. We had the beach to ourselves for a meteor shower. The main bathrooms and showers were nice (even heated). They drive firewood and ice out to your site.

Needs Improvement when raining

Its beautiful camping site, however, it floods with even a little rain. There needs a ditch around the road to keep the runoff from flooding the whole place

Awesome Campground on the water

This is an awesome campground on a large lake with fairly secluded sights. Cell phone service was pretty spotty which became an issue while trying to do some hiking. Their are a number of activities available including, hiking, biking, fishing and boating. This campground is extremely family friendly, almost too much for our liking as there were kids EVERYWHERE. There is a large beach area and an event center where they hold daily shows and classes. They even have a put-put course on sight. Bathrooms and facilities were well maintained, clean and plentiful. This is an extremely large campground! My biggest complaint would be the lack of markings on hiking trails. We had a hard time finding some of the trailheads even with the maps provided at the main office. I would like to make a trip back here during the week to avoid some of the crowds but outside of that this is an outstanding place to camp. Even with the weekend crowd we very much enjoyed ourselves!

Very nice campground

The staff was super friendly and very helpful. The bathhouses were clean and plenty of hot water for the shower. Our campsite was large with a fire ring, BBQ grill and picnic table. Also, had a lantern post. We stayed at site A which was down a steep slope but, we had a nice view of the lake and even went for a swim right from our campsite.

Jane and Bud offer a simple yet nice place to rest

Nice place with 10 50 amp pull through sites and a few back in 30 amp used by monthly renters that make you feel welcome.

Beautiful place

Absolutely beautiful. We stayed in the cabins. Cabin #1. We attended the Hammer-In in the fall of 2019. That event itself was awesome. Campgrounds were very clean. Cabin was good, clean and comfortable. A little close to the neighbors is my only unliked thing about the whole place. I’m an isolation type of person though so…. fuck it. It was still AWESOME! I’ll be back in the spring! Oh also dogs are only allowed in one of their cabins. Kind of bummed about that but I understand. Another downer but won’t stop me from going back.

Primarily an RV park

I’m giving this campground 4 stars as an RV park, not as a good spot for tent camping.

There were pros and cons, so I’ll start with the cons- the campground is surrounded by what looked to be a mobile home community. If you stay in an rv site, you probably won’t notice this, but the tent with electric sites are on the outer loop, so we noticed, and heard commotion from the road and community well into the night. The tent/electric sites were slightly wooded, but most are basically in the back yard of said community, so you don’t really have the “camping in the woods” feeling. We were the only occupants of tent/electric and there was not a single tent in the primitive field. The campground is pretty pricey also, compared to other places I’ve stayed.

Pros- This grounds was very clean and well maintained. Every site has gravel, and they had a pile of fill gravel, so I guess they fill it in when it gets low in spots. The restrooms and showers were also very clean and well kept. While I believe there are some long term residents here, the sites were not very cluttered as many are at other parks.

The campground is really close to the exit, and several restaurants, and really close to Chattanooga. There’s a camp store with essentials, including ice and firewood. There’s a pool that looks to be very clean and well maintained.

This is a great spot to spend the night if you are visiting Chattanooga and just need a place to stay close by, but I would say if you are just wanting to camp out, you could find a better spot in the great outdoors for that.

Great riverside camping!

We camped here after kayaking the Taccoa River from Deep Hole Campground. You can also access these sites from a parking area about a half mile from the river. There is a lot of people walking down from the parking area during the day but the campsites are still fairly private. On the other side of the swing bridge is Rock Creek Lake dispersed camping area that can be accessed from Hatchery Road off Hwy 60.

Great views and lots to do.

Some of the sites have excellent lake views. Not too stacked. Nice beach with easy walk around the lake. Great for kids.

Decent site

No sewer hook-ups and alcohol is not allowed on the grounds. Supposed to have a 14 day maximum stay but walking around you can tell there are plenty of long-term parkers. The road in is rough with potholes and the transition from blacktop to cement at the gate is a huge jarring transition. Probably a 3 inch difference. Not exactly what I want to hit on the way to my site.

Awesome Campground on the Hiwassee River

This is a quaint little campground right on the Hiwassee River. A number of the sites are less than 15 yards from the river through some thickets. Each site has a cut out with access to the river. My favorite part of this campground is the ability to hear the river from pretty much anywhere in the campground. If you are looking for activities this Campground/Park is awesome for hiking, horseback riding, kayaking/tubing, fishing or just flat out relaxing to the sounds of the Hiwassee River. The restrooms are clean and sites fairly spacious. There is an awesome playground for those wanting to bring their children and the campground overall is extremely family friendly.

III Rivers Farm

Absolutely love this farm. Multiple sites to camp, plenty of room for everybody, and very secluded! Can’t wait to go back later this fall

Cooper Creek

This campground was great! It was very clean and well maintained. Although the dirt road that led to the campground was a bit sketchy if you're not use to mountain driving, it is very well maintained as well. The fishing was great too. This was my first time trout fishing in North Georgia but I was able to catch plenty of trout. I highly recommend this campground for those looking for some seclusion.

No horsin around

I visited Bristol Fields for a planned primitive camping event with a group. I’m glad I arrived in daylight because my first drive in on the approximately 4 mile stretch of dirt and gravel road was a little nerve racking. Mostly because I wasn’t 100% sure I was going the correct way and second because there are some nice drop offs from the road. It is a wide road (about 1 1/2 lane)but passing in some areas would be interesting. Stay right and you will find the sign. The campground is primarily for horse oriented camping. It is split into three areas. The first section to the right as you pull in is the area we set up in. Then there is a long field that is obviously for horse trailer parking and camping with tie out poles included. There is a small tree break prior to the last area which has the pit style latrine and a large field for camping use. This whole area is bordered by a nice cold stream that is excellent for soaking your sore muscles in after a horse ride or hike. There is direct access to horse and hiking trails that are not extremely scenic (as in no long views until you get to the top) but will give you a good vertical workout. You can run or bike ride on the road too. There are several large fire pit areas throughout and a fire circle with wood chairs in the main area. There were five of us, three tent campers and two in vans and we had plenty of room to set up. The gravel center with picnic table worked well as our “kitchen” and dining area. Once parked my vehicle didn’t move again until it was time to leave. Total black at night meant excellent star gazing and the creek was the loudest thing out there. It did seem to be a young adult destination in the evenings, but they left when they saw that the site was occupied. A nice feature someone created was a “dam” of rocks with a round pool to sit in. Excellent get away with no electronics to speak of.