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Had a two night stay reserved, Hurricane Zeta had other plans. We arrived after visitor center had closed, but were able to locate and set up camp before sun went down. We were staying in A-16 just next to the natural trail that takes you off the Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park grounds and into Cherokee National Forest. Our site had views of the southern edge of the Appalachian mountains and they were “smokey” all day. It would be beautiful to camp here anytime of year. The less leaves the better the views.
We set our rain shelter porch and tent on the flattest part of the large campsite. All the sites I saw were pull through style. This seemed to be to make allowance for vehicles with trailers towing River recreational gear like canoes/kayaks and the like. It is park of the extensive Tanasi river recreation area. Other reviewers likely have more to say on this. We were there off season during late October.
The next day we went to the visitors center to check on the weather and found out were in the cone of what was becoming a hurricane zeta. At the time it didn’t look like it would be anything more than rain by the time it got there, I asked the staff member to let us know if the forecast changed to a situation where we should breakdown camp. She said of course. Very friendly and very on top it of it. Maps were readily available.
We went for a drive through the National Forest and enjoy the many views of the river. I would recommend downloading a map of the area on google maps before spending time out there as the connection is spotty. We made our way back to and we’re planning to hike a trail as the rain had stopped, when a park ranger cane by to tell us they were predicting a quicker arrival of the storm meaning it would be a lot stronger when it got to our area. He said he didn’t want to leave for the day before letting us know the conditions were not safe. We packed up and left. I very much appreciated this care for their campers. This experience speaks so highly of the Rangers. Every exchange was thoughtful and respectful. Would return anytime. As we are boaters, I think I would probably stick to off season.
We absolutely love this place. Small quiet little campground while still close to everything we needed. Wi-Fi was good, cell signal was good. They have everything you need to make your trip comfortable and their bathrooms looked brand new and immaculate. The staff were very helpful and accommodating (Lonnie helped me back in and hook up). With a little notice Lonnie even set up three kayaks for us to paddle around the river.
This campground is a first come first serve basis. The hosts are amazing!!! They brought my firewood everyday and even took all the kids for rides on the golf cart around the campground. We had 8 kids with is so that took a few trips. The campground is beautiful and most of the people camping there set up for the season and everyone watches out for each other. I highly recommend a stay at Riley Creek you will not be disappointed.
My wife and I went for our 5th anniversary. The campground is great and within a mile or 2 of a lot of trail heads in the Smokies. It was beautiful in October, but if you go in peak season I would recommend staying in the national park due to the insane amounts of traffic getting into Gatlinburg.
This is for the eastern campgrounds. I had spot 4 and 20. Decent campground. Bathroom/shower needs work. No sewer. Decent att LTE coverage. Check pictures for wooden picnic tables. The concrete ones suck. Giant power lines through campground so need to head to dam for scenery.
Pluses: Nice, clean, updated facility with excellent amenities including heated lazy river. Good location for commercial stuff in PF, Dollywood, getting to several areas in different direction of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Minuses: Lots of add in costs to use some amenities like pedal carts, no balls for games. WiFi was horrible all 3 days there You are packed in with other RVs everywhere.