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At the intersection of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia state lines, sits this national forest which offers multiple dispersed camping areas along Bear Creek. Opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, and paddling are abundant. The Appalachian Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail are just minutes away, as well as some easy whitewater paddling fun on the White Top Laurel Creek.
Most of campsites are large, very shaded, along a beautiful treelined road, and surrounded by mountains. There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we often spend about 20-30 minutes cleaning these sites upon arrival. Please Leave No Trace!
Our site had a good fire ring, and was on the edge of a creek that we could filter water from with ease. We stayed at this camp for 3 weeks during the pandemic shutdown and it was a perfect place to ride out this crazy storm and decompress from some anxiety.
The closest town is Damascus, VA, about 12 miles away. The town is small, but draws thousands of tourists each year who are either hiking the Appalachian Trail or cycling the famous Virginia Creeper bike path. It is equipped with a decent sized grocery store, gas, and couple of restaurants, and a cute downtown area. There is absolutely no cell service at this camp, you have to go into town or hike a local mountain to get service up high.
Just on the edge of Watauga Lake sits this free dispersed camping area that is perfect for tent camping only. This is a park outside the gate and walk your gear in type of place, some bring your IKEA bags or a wagon. Opportunities for fishing and boating are abundant. Most of campsites are large, very shaded, and have at least one fire ring. A handful of sites have direct water access, and are more private.
There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we spent about an hour cleaning the entire campground. Please Leave No Trace! Also, we would not recommend camping here on a busy weekend because the road is very close and the trucks are very loud!
The nearest town is Butler, which is small but offers the basics such as groceries and gas.
Lots of pull offs off a dirt road. Beware if you’re coming from the south google tries to take you through private property. Take 221 to linville falls, right on 183, and right onto kistler memorial highway. It’s a dirt road but no issues with my Subaru Forester. I camped here in December 2020 and didn’t see anyone else. Plenty of wood, but not much of a view from my camp anyway. Lots of camps.
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.
We have been trying to find campgrounds close to home to make a quick weekend and Curtis Creek didn’t disappoint! Fairly quick drive, groceries in Old Fort, gravel road and you are there. Not very big but that was great for us. Several hikes right from the campground. We stayed near the road which was fine at night but was really busy during the day with hunters so that was kind of a bummer and probably the only reason I knocked it a star. Kids loved playing at the creek and will try to get a site on that side next time!
Super clean grounds at the south edge of the Pisgah. Friendly hosts, and great hiking all around.
If you are feeling adventurous and don’t mind a dirt road, leave the campground and go north, up the hill. Five miles of gorgeous mountain switchbacks along the creek. And just when you think the road doesn’t go anywhere, you turn onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The sites are very clean, but the standard and RV sites are not private. If you want some privacy right on the creek bank, get Primitive site 1.
This amazing campsite it at the base of Big Tom. It’s a moderate hike to and from the campsite with great views. There’s fire rings and lots of sites to choose from. I recommend packing in enough water for your stay because there is not a water source at the site. Also no cell service.
Weather was far from good so I quickly decided this site would work. It was pretty level, had a nice fire pit. It was very foggy all day with off and on rain. My mistake was not paying attention to where the runoff was. This morning I had a small stream running through my camp. This site had plenty of room however.