Cherokee National Forest, TENNESSEE
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Most Recent Cherokee National Forest Camping Reviews
Love it!!!

I have stayed at this campground twice. Both times we had fantastic fishing. The camp sites are well maintained and allow for lots of room. There are lots of activities outside of fishing as well. But that was what I was there for.

Love this place!

We had a premium site overlooking the French Broad River and the surrounding valley. Breathtaking. It is a clean campground with very nice hosts. The shower house was dated but clean. The site we stayed in was plenty spacious. The view made it seem gigantic. Proximity to Asheville is great. The hosts provide plenty of information about the town and activities there. We had to tear ourselves away from our camp spot to go to town. This campground is very convenient to great local food and arts as well as the Sierra Nevada Brewery (don’t miss this) and the Biltmore Estate. (also don’t miss) We talk about coming back here again a lot. If you can get a premium site pay the extra. If you can’t, there are spaces you can bring your chairs to and see the view anyway.

Great stop

Perfect little stop in from cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cozy little hideaway

Perfect little campground not far from downtown Sylva. Lots of amenities beautiful views.

Breath taking views off cliff 300 ft from camp site

1.2 mile hike each way,in and out site. Plenty of space for large groups and plenty of fallen wood for fires.

The hike has some minor obstacles. Dogs are able to join, be careful near cliffs.

Usually hammock camp here near the cliffs to see the stars. Rumored you can see Brown Mountain lights from the cliffs.

Beautiful Blue Lake in Mountain Valley

Amazing lake front camping. rock bed lake creates a dark blue color instead of the brown many lakes in the area have. Great place to rent a pontoon boat for the day and explore the lake!

Family friendly

This is our go to campground. We love coming here. Our favorite sites are on the creek. Live music on the weekends is always a good time. Great friendly staff+


Very large sites and the staff are very helpful. A lot of activities for everyone to enjoy. The lake sites are beautiful.

Quaint, quiet, and peaceful.

We started our RV camping adventures at Mountain Stream, and have been hooked ever since. As the name implies, it's right beside a rocky mountain stream that all the sites back up to. It's a small park, and very well kept by the owners who live on site, Gena and Kevin. The sites are close together, but very level, clean, and with a nice picnic table. Many of the sites now have their own wooden decks overlooking the stream, which is a nice addition. There's a small dog park, and a large grassy area in the center of the park for playing games or catching some rays. They also have a large, very nice picnic shelter with fireplace, grill, and a huge built-in television. Each Saturday evening, Kevin serves up his special home cooked bar-b-que under the shelter at no additional cost, and many campers bring sides to share. It's like having a back yard picnic with friends and family! They've also recently built three yurts, and bought two large campers parked on the non-stream side that can be rented for those who don't have their own camper. Last year they invested heavily in a new wi-fi system that's MUCH improved from the first time we camped there. The bathhouse is clean and adequate, but nothing fancy; we're hoping that this will be next on their list of improvements during the off-season. Cell service is almost non-existent, but you can use the wifi for calls if necessary. There's no playground for kids, so some may see it as little more of an adult campground, but it's still kid friendly with the grassy area and stream to play in. I HIGHLY recommend this campground if you want peace, quiet, and seclusion.

Nice little campground

Great campground! Easy access to everything needed. Tent sites were a little small. But overall very friendly management. Close to Waynesville and all the cute places in Maggie Valley.

Beautiful camping area

This place is absolutely beautiful.

Campfires, hiking and beer

We stayed for a week late October and loved it! We had a pull thru and full hookups. We hiked with our dogs and went into downtown Asheville almost every day.

Basic, small, but gets the job done

I stayed here on a lollipop backpacking loop I did in the Smokies. While I was there, it was raining fairly heavily for my entire trip, which obviously hampered my camping experience a little.

This campsite is slightly remote for the Smokies, and I had to do a bit of bushwhacking to get myself back there at the end of the trail. I was the only person there—did not see a single person on any of the trails around there for two days. So, if you're looking for seclusion in the most visited national park in the country, this is where you'll want to go.

All-in-all, the rain was a damper, but it's a nice stop overnight for a backpacker. Just don't plan on spending multiple days there.

Small RV Park with Great Owners

Located within walking distance of restaurants and shopping, Hillbilly Campground is ideal for tourists who are looking for a basecamp for adventure. Although it is a small campground with limited amenities, it is well worth checking out. We have stayed at this campground many times. I'm not sure if tent camping is still allowed, but the first time we stayed there, it was in tents in the back behind the RVs. There was only room enough for two to three tents, but it was enough for us, and there was a picnic table. Since it was beside the creek, the sounds of the croaking frogs drowned out most of the road noise. Most recently, we stayed in a popup camper, which had water, electricity, and sewer. It is next to the main road going through Maggie Valley, but unless you are planning to stay around the campground all day, it won't bother you. The owners, Richard and Stacy, are fantastic. They are nice, and they keep the facilities clean. The bathrooms have always been clean every time I have been in them. There are also laundry facilities, and sometimes they have a "community" campfire. The main office is in their store called Maggie Country Store. They have basic necessities, and they have plenty of gifts and other items such as t-shirts, moccasins, etc. One of the best things about this campground is that it is within a forty-five minute drive to waterfalls, hiking, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Harrah's casino, the Cherokee Indian Museum, tubing, great trout fishing, and several other attractions. It does not have recreational amenities within the campground, but as I said, there are many attractions close by.

Smokey getaway

Great campground to go for one night or many, close to downtown Gatlinburg and conveniently by Great Smoky national park

It is on Cherokee Lake

The big plus is that it is right on Cherokee Lake which is beautiful. As for the sites there are some good ones and some not so good. Be prepared to level your rig because East TN have very little level ground. The facilities are so so… nothing special and not sure how clean they are kept. The closest grocery or place to eat is 8 miles and 12 miles away.

Max Patch--beautiful views

I've camped at Max Patch and absolutely loved it. What is upsetting is that people pitch tents and build campfires on the summit, which damages the fragile maintained meadow. There are specific campgrounds only a ten minute walk from the summit. This is where I camp when I go. Just take the trail around the mountain instead of the erosion-causing trail straight up to the summit. There are a couple of nice spots by a creek. It would be unpleasantly crowded on the top anyway. Grab a headlamp and take the quick walk up/down for sunrise/sunset, then retreat to your private campsite.

Off the beaten path nestled in the mountains.

Great family place to stay. Lots of things to do for everyone even thr furry four legged family members. Very reasonably priced as well.

Very clean but crowded

Campground is very clean especially the bathrooms. The lake is near the sites and a boundless playground is also nearby. The only issues we had were several of the sites were too small for even our pop up camper, no way an RV can fit. You really need to scout the sites beforehand.

Nice campground

First time staying in the area. Campgrounds were booked up for the weekend all around but this KOA had a spot in the workers section that they let us stay in. It was a very tight spot but the rest of the campsites, especially along the lake & river looked very nice. We came to the area to visit Biltmore & it was only about 10-15 drive there.

Back up plan if the Smokies are full

This campground is right off of Route 321. The campsites are packed in tight and there isn’t much enjoyable space to walk around in. There are bathrooms with hot showers, and there was a washer and dryer available. They do allow tent and RV camping.

Less crowded campground; stay while exploring this part of the Smokies

I was too early in the season to stay at Cosby (it doesn't open until id/late April), but I was exploring this area of the park and spent some time wandering through the campground. I wished i'd been there a few weeks later to enjoy this area. A beautiful river runs along the road into the campground and there is a picnic area and amphitheater for Ranger programs in season. Of all the no-frills campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this one falls on the more basic end of the spectrum and the low cost reflects it.

Unlike the more popular campgrounds where sites are practically on top of each other, Cosby’s sites are generally farther from each other, offering a little more privacy. Most of the sites are better suited to tent campers, though a few of them are designated RV sites offering a back-in parking pad. The parking at the sites is parallel to the road and then the picnic table, fire ring and tent pad are either above or below the parking area, sometimes a dozen stairs or more. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but you’re in bear country, so all food needs to be secured in your car when not in use. You won’t want to haul your cooler up and down a few times each day, etc. A few of the sites are small, with limited space around the picnic table and/or fire ring. The B loop seems steeper than the A loop. It also contains 3 group camp sites. As with other campgrounds in the park, bathrooms provide flush toilets and sinks with a dishwashing sink outside. No showers. Buy heat treated firewood outside the park or you can gather firewood in the park. No camp store here.

Several trails leave from the campground, including the popular Hen Wallow Falls trail. A beautiful river runs alongside the road into the picnic area and campground. The Roaring Fork Auto Road isn’t too far away, with hikes to more waterfalls and Mt. LeConte; Greenbrier is another starting point for hikes, including Ramsey Falls. There’s rafting available during the summer just outside the park. It’s about 25 minutes to Gatlinburg in the spring, probably longer during peak season . I wouldn’t make it my home base for a week-long visit to the Smokies, but it’s worth a night or two here to explore this side of the park, away from all the crowds. It’s at least 90 minutes from here to Cades Cove and that’s a spring, low crowd estimate; I can’t image how long it would take during peak season. 

100 of the 140 sites are online reservation only; if you have an RV you'll probably want reservations to be sure you get a spot that is optimized for an RV. No cell service.

Convenient and Fun, With Amenities Galore

This park is located about 15 minutes off I-81 just south of the VA/TN border, making it extremely convenient, and a great place to stop for anyone traveling that stretch of the country.

There are a total of 134 campsites. 94 are available year round and have electric/water hookups, and the remaining 40 sites are in an overflow section that is only open from Memorial Day-Labor Day. The overflow sites do not have electric or water hookups, and accommodate trailers up to 60 feet (site 106 only; all others sites can only fit smaller RVs). The sites open year round are primarily used for RV camping, accommodating trailers up to 40'. Sites have asphalt driveways and are otherwise gravel, with picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. Sites 94, 73, 57, and 28 are ADA accessible, and site 90 has a pull-off parking spot with the campsite set down from the road (this is an excellent tent site!). Most sites are very shady, and sites on the northern side have a view of the lake from late fall to early spring. The bathrooms have electricity and running water, are single stall and include a shower, and are some of the cleanest campground bathrooms I have ever experienced. And since we were there in late March and it was still fairly chilly, we appreciated the space heaters!

Amenities at this campground include hiking, fishing, boat rental, golf, disc golf, a swimming pool, and the best playground I have ever seen--this campground is worth it for the playground! It is huge, has an interactive story trail based on "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," a creek that runs through it, and the best part is that it is universally accessible, so children of all abilities can enjoy the park (sensory-friendly areas, and all signs include brail!). There is also a concession stand at the boat house, and two miles of trails are horse-friendly.

My only complaint about this campground is, given the proximity to the town of Kingsport and I-81, there are still a lot of civilization noises at night. This should not be an issue if you are in an RV, but for tent-campers you will still be able to hear distant traffic while falling asleep, instead of just the sounds of nature. But while we may not choose this as a place to "get away from it all," as frequent travelers between eastern TN and central VA, this campground is a perfect place to stop, and beats a hotel any day!

Amazing campground

Lake Powhatan campground is well maintained and peaceful. Bathrooms are clean and there's hot showers. Firewood and ice are available for purchase by the gate. There's a good amount of trails to hike at and the lake is good for fishing. We enjoyed our 2 days camping in here. All the rangers are nice and friendly. We stayed at hard times loop, site 68.

One of the best

Cute campground with the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen. If you’re in the tent sites, prepare to go on a little hike up some stairs to reach them. But they are lit with string lights on the way up. When we arrived it was pouring the day before and all the fire pits had puddles inside. All we had to do was tell the owners and they came over with a pump and fixed it. They even had kindling for sale at their shop. No need to purchase wood, there was plenty of it all around you can gather. Overall a good experience!

Family-friendly/tween-friendly outdoor resort

This is a large campground resort that offers cabins, spaces and hookups for RVs and travel trailers, and camping spots for tent camping. We have stayed here in a tent and in a camper so I can give a pretty good review as a camper here. The tent spaces were pretty large and very shaded and wooded. They offer electrical and water, and have a designated firepit and picnic table. We did not feel like we were on top of our neighbors at all, and with all the trees we were able to set up our hammocks easily. When we returned with our camper we still had a very wooded space,(although there are sections for larger RVs that are typical RV park spots that don't have much room or trees.) Our spot was on the river towards the back of the campground and felt secluded and was very shadedand and awesome. We were a little far from the pool, but still within walking distance, it was ok. The kids had room to play and explore and we were close to the playground, where many kids were playing, so my kids had a great time. The campground offers events on weekends, like pool parties and water balloon fights and scavenger hunts, and there is a gameroom on grounds for older kids. The pool is huge and there is a mountain waterslide and inflatables for the kids(and some grownups too) to enjoy. We loved camping here and felt that it was great for kids and tweens and teens. Probably not the best place if you want a quiet getaway though, lol. Also restrooms were okay, not the worst but not the best.

My happy place!

The staff is very friendly and helpful. The campground is clean and beautiful! It’s close to downtown Asheville and Black Mountain. Great place to bring kids and dogs!

Clean & peaceful

Very clean campground right on the river with a great view of Douglas Dam. Diverse population of bird species for birdwatchers. Very laid back attitude here. No parties or loud music. Only reason it didn't get 5 stars is there was a dead duck hanging from the power lines in front of our site. He was hooked to a fishing line. Kind of an eyesore.

Just a lovely place

The grounds are beautiful & well kept. The shower house & bathrooms are very nicely done & were always clean. The game room was the icing on the cake. Kids can play free games while parents talk around the fire. Refreshing & crystal clear stream circles the property with a beach area. My daughter played all day on that little beach-cool, clear water, plenty of shade made it the perfect place! Staff were super nice. Totally recommend!!

French Broad River Camping

Nice for a night or two to get away but not be too far a town or necessities. Good for camping with kids too.