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Campsites are perfectly spread apart. They do a fantastic job on keeping everything neat and orderly. Plenty of places to hike and if you want to have a picnic there is a picnic area right next to the creek where the kids can play. The loop around Cades cove just takes you back in time to much simpler time. You can rent bikes if want to take it slow.
I’m a reluctant camper and hiker doing this to spend time with my family so factor that in to my review. I had a permit, but no one asked to see it. Perhaps anyone who might had left for the day. My pack weighed at least 30lbs. and I’m new to this, so it took me forever to get up here. It was dark by the time we arrived and boy, was I disappointed to learn this shelter is situated PAST the lodge. My exhaustion made the merriment I glimpsed behind its fire-warmed window panes seem cruel, but I’m sure it wasn’t as personal as it seemed in the moment. There were two other tents set up outside the shelter when we arrived so I set up my camp, silently, by the light of my otherwise useless iphone. I would’ve slept inside the shelter, even though the entrance was covered by a plastic tarp that read, “keep out” (because of COVID, maybe?), but my son told me there would be mice. Then, he did something with our food that involved some system of ropes and pulleys, but I didn’t care if I were eaten by a bear. At least then I wouldn’t have had to hike down. Or discover what a “compost toilet” is.
I had the opportunity to tour this facility before it was open to the public. This is going to be a phenomenal RV Resort. Big-rig friendly, a HUGE pool with a hot tub, fishing, kayaking, and hiking trails. Inside the lodge, there will be meeting spaces, a retail store, and an on-site concierge. If you have been to Catherine's Landing, this resort is going to be even more magnificent (If that is even possible)!
We stayed at the main area but not much space or privacy so we put up a tent out side our door, but then moved to the tent camping site area the second night which was more secluded and private, but still close to the showers/bath house. So much hiking and a cool view of the dam is all within walking distance. Nice bath rooms and showers too.
Rhea Springs is a wonderful free campsite in central Tennessee which permits stay up to 14 days. As a part of the TVA the property as a whole is well maintained despite some obvious wear and tear on the restroom facilities.
I pulled into Rhea Springs later in the afternoon on a Wednesday and found a waterside site with ease. Though there were several other campers there it did not seem crowded at all as spacing of sites is well thought. I camped in my van near the waters edge in a semi flat area, though I will say some sites are much more uneven than others. I was on the main entry area as opposed to the peninsula are for camping as that seemed to be attracting more group camps and louder crowd at the time of my visit.
All sites are equipped with a fire ring and picnic table, but additionally they have a trash can which is picked up every few days by the TVA maintenance. Additionally you can find trash and recycling near the restrooms.
The restrooms were large enough for a couple of stalls and a very large kind of dingy looking shower. The shower had no curtain so a bathing suit or a buddy would be needed to use this and have privacy. The water in the showers does get very warm, so that is a bonus. There are also no mirrors in the restroom so if you are counting on one to get ready for the day pack one in with you.
When I visited my initial goal was to stay a single night but I really enjoyed the waterfront positioning of my campsite during the rains, it was very peaceful and coaxed me into a second night’s stay. I would definitely return to this campsite again in the future!
This is really an incredible camping site. The shelter is well maintained and they have taken all the COVID precautions. Another feature of this shelter that is really special is the composting toilet bathroom. They built an entire stall to help with waste buildup at the site. The shelter itself is very large and has a bench for sleeping on along with a fireplace to keep everyone warm. At the moment they are asking people to sleep outside as a safety precaution but in the future, this is a wonderful communal place to sleep. This is a very busy trail and highly trafficked but still worth the stay. If you are considering this site though make sure to book it early cause it can get full. Finally, I would suggest visiting all the small side trails along the way since the views are incredible!!!!
This campground is small but has some of the prettiest views I've seen. I'll definitely visit it again!
I highly recommend this glamping spot. It could not be more perfect. This spot is new, and the set up is awesome. Perched on top of a hill, the site has great sunrise views. The glamping tent is very high quality, with a covered porch, two comfy beds, and a wood burning stove, so camping is possible year round. a fire pit is out front of the tent too.
The spot has great hammock trees, as well as spots for tents for extra room.
The property has a one mile hiking trail. There are restrooms and an outdoor shower justba short walk, or drive down the hill. The is a cabin, and event venue on site also.
The area is close to The Great Smoky Mountains, and also Downtown Knoxville. A perfect spot for a nice glamping getaway.
- beautiful and scenic
- Near great trails
- lots of wildlife - saw a bear!
- clean and quiet campground
- camp store nearby
- easy enough to get to with an RV
- reserved same day
- campsites are kind of close to each other
- no dogs allowed on trails (I know that’s pretty common for national parks, but it’s still something we look for)