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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)!
Full Video With Drive Through Of The Campground CLICK HERE
When visiting the smoky mountains you might be tempted to try something a little bit more off the beaten path. Sometimes the path being rocky and windy makes the campsite all the more worth it. As is the case with the Cataloochee campground.
I took a trip to this campground in hopes of finding something spectacular I had heard that the elk in this area around freely and that on a crisp day you could hear the water which runs along side the camp even at the furthest campsite. As I drove down the winding road I noticed that the twist interns grew narrow the bumps grew frequent and then encountering a motorist was a hairy experience. I had been told that large RVs we're not permitted however I saw one precariously going down the mountain side.
The roads suddenly turned from dirt and gravel to a paved section of highway and I was slightly confused.
Just a short distance after this occurred I found the Cataloochee campground jetting off to the left-hand side of the road. It welcomed me with open arms and tall trees casting gorgeous shade that seem to be dancing in the sunlight. I pulled in to speak to the Ranger on duty and then quickly found my campsite. It was something unlike any other campground I had found in the area completely removed from the comforts of community and distanced intentionally from the creature comforts.
This campground is one for making memories and enjoying truly the outdoors. Hiking trails depart from this campground and lead to some of the most historic areas of the great Smoky Mountain National Park including several structures which ones were the homes of some of the first residents of the Smoky Mountains.
Each site was large enough to spread out in with a small camper or a tent. Tent pads are large and size allowing for even the largest of tents. Each pull in was large enough for a large vehicle, though I could see an RV being an issue. Campsites came standard with lantern hooks and picnic tables in addition to a fire ring.
Centralized restrooms and trash receptacles were available in addition to a spigot. These restrooms are very basic however do have a wash sink area in a common area as well to avoid restroom clean up for dishes. There are no showers at this facility.
Since this area is widely regarded for bear sightings in addition to other wild animals, you can find bear safety at the kiosk and locking trash bins. I would advise brushing up on your bear safety before a trip to the Smoky Mountains for a camping trip in general.
Sure enough after settling in this campground was a peaceful and idyllic setting. At$25 per night the waterfront sites more than justify the price point. However, I will say reservations are required for this campground as it is more remote and also more limited on availability.
This campground is frequently effected by weather so planning in advance is a must!!
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!!!!
We went to the non-reservable spots and we loved it. 4 is probably the only one you can car camp at. The other sites are small walk-in. I mainly wanted to write a review because the campground host was so nice to us. He helped drive us up the hill and even brought us a map of the hiking near by. You will not regret a weekend trip to this spot.
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.