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We had the best weekend at Steele Creek! We went the 3rd weekend in October and the fall leaf color was gorgeous! The close proximity to Linville Falls, Blowing Rock and the Blue Ridge Parkway was perfect. We will definitely be back to explore the area more. It was cool outside but we saw several kids playing in the creek and it looked fun. We will have to come back in the summer to enjoy the water.
Tis campground is a little hard to find because it is off of the beaten path but close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went during the peak leaf season and of course, had to book the site super early. But we snagged the belle of the ball with the Laurel group site. The maximum number of people in the site is 50 (pre Covid) but we were a group of 3 families with 11 people and it was the perfect size for this size group. There were steps leading down to the river with a small spot for a 2 person tent. There were also a number of dispersed tent sites with room to spread out. We had our own very clean restroom that was not in the way but accessible. There are a number of trails to access from the site including Setrock Falls. Even though the campground was full, we felt completely private in our site. The Toe River is the real gift of this site. The constant sounds around you and the river loop trail allowed you to explore further. This is a perfect site for kids because it is open and the river is shallow enough. I would highly recommend this site any time of year because of the river but fall adds a special quality with the leaves all around.
What a treat. This park is at milepost 297.1 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our campsite E02 was on one side of the parkway, the Julian Price Lake was on the other side. This was not a problem, easy to cross. Probably one of my all time favorite hikes- Boone Fork Trail. We have a dog that could have gone w us, but the hike would have been tough on her (10 years old) we were glad she wasn't with us. Rocks to climb over, ladders, etc. The canoe rental on the lake was great! We fished for brim, had a ball. There is Wifi at the lake/boat rental. Connectivity was null otherwise! We loved this campground, picturesque, friendly, space between sites was generous. Our site was the entry site for all of E loop and F loop= lots of traffic, but we booked late and was glad to have it. No hookups, so you must be self contained. Dump and potable water is available at the entrance. Firewood to buy from the boat rental at the lake. All was spectacular!
Kingsport/Bristol has easy access from Interstate 81 and the campground is easily navigated with a large 5th wheel.
They have cabins, a nice pool, a blob, lots of outdoor activities, playground area, horse shoes, even with it being a smaller KOA Campground there is a lot to do. The park is also near Warriors Path State Park, which is fun to go hike and see.
They have several large pull through sites, as well as back in smaller sites. They have 50amp service and full hookup sites.
Cellular reception is decent for TMobile and AT&T.
This park is frequented by travelers and NASCAR fans.
This campground is minutes from Blowing Rock NC, which makes it super popular. There are restaurants and grocery stores nearby. There are two sides: the A-side is next to the lake but has no showers, just flush toilets, water spigots, and a food storage area. The other side has newer bathhouses.
RV spots have electric hookups, tent spots do not. Many on lakeside have to be reserved in advance and are not as isolated as they may appear on the recreation.gov website. If you are thinking the “first come first served campsites” that are lakeside will be up for grabs at any given time you will be disappointed. I would recommend reserving one if possible. Tent pads are decent and will have some small gravel in them, they will for a standard six persons tent but that’s about it. Fire rings are standard size and sites have a lantern post, along with a cement top picnic table.
Note that if you are towing a trailer and tenting you may have issues finding a place to park. Solid campground with friendly staff.
Just the drive up the mountain is enough to take your breath away. My absolute favorite place to go camping and there are plenty of camping spots to go around! The campsites are so spread out that the only noises you’ll hear are the numerous creeks that flow off the mountain or a car driving up or down the gravel road. The fishing there is absolutely beautiful and the trout are pretty plentiful up there. I highly suggest this spot, just please pick up your trash after yourselves and for the love of god don’t go throwing beer cans and bottles down the hills from your campsites. I pulled 30 pounds of trash off the hillside of my campground the last time I was there. It’s sad indeed but the saddest part was the soda can I found that had been tore open by an animal. The can was lined with some poor animals blood. If an animal cuts its mouth on something like a dirty can and the cut gets infected, that animal will stop eating and slowly starve to death. Please please please pick up after yourselves!!!!!! No trash left behind!!! P.S….the adventure doesn’t start until you’re lost….
My husband and I have camped at Julian Price three times, most recently in July. Obviously we like it. We’ve always been in the RV section in our camper van so I can’t comment on the tent section other than to say it’s well away from the RVs and looks quite nice. The campground is right on the Blue Ridge Parkway just five miles from Blowing Rock. Lots of hikes nearby including a loop from the campground. Bathrooms are fine. Showers are located in the tent section—private, nice. Sites are nice sized and most are private. One negative is all the moss growth on picnic tables. Most RV sites are heavily shaded plus the campground just reopened so I realize lack of humans resulted in the moss flourishing. ;)
My wife is new to camping, so I took her tent camping here to see how well she would adapt to being outside and away from her blow dryer. She did amazing and this trip kicked off our adventure of moving on to a tear drop trailer and then to a class c motorhome. As I do, she loves camping and we are having the time of our lives. Thank you to this great campground, the trails, kayaking, and the waterfalls. Wonderful campground. I highly recommend you give it a try.
Two adjacent campgrounds Briar Bottom Group Campground and Black Mountain Family Campground provide the perfect summer getaway in the heart of the Black Mountains area. The group campground is more expensive, and is more suitable for groups of 10 and more, whereas the family campground is perfect for couples, families, and small groups of friends.
The sites differ in terms of the privacy and amount of shade. We stayed at site 32 and loved it. The driveway is flat and the site is a little downhill from the road. We noticed that a few sites on the other side of the road (like 31) are uphill, not as convenient in my opinion.
The campground has clean bathrooms and free showers with hot water. The campground office sells ice and firewood. The campground doesn't have any cell reception! The closest place where you can connect to the internet is the golf course, or the general store on HW80.
This is a wonderful spot to be to explore the surrounding areas:
- The famous Mount Mitchell trail, starts a short walking distance from the campground. This is a 5.5 mile trail(one way) that will take you 3600 feet up to the Mt Mitchell summit. The trail is super strenuous and takes about 3.5-5 hours one way, depending on your shape. There are no good views from the trail, except at the top of Mt Mitchell.
- The South Toe River Loop Trail- it actually has two loops. The upper loop starts between Laurel and Poplar sites, continues along the river, crosses on the bridge and continues up the hill. Eventually it will bring you back to the campground entrance. It's a moderate hike that will take you a couple of hours. The lower loop starts from the showers at the Black Mountain Family Campground, between sites 27 and 28. First it goes into the woods, then takes you to the river, crosses two bridges and loops back through the woods again. This part is easy, no elevation change at all, but the trail is narrow and rocky at places.
- Setrock Creek Falls- a nice waterfall just a few steps away from the group campground.
- Roaring Fork Falls- a super nice and beautiful cascade located at the intersection of South Toe River Road and HW 80. It's a short drive from the campground and then an easy 0.5 mile hike on the old gravel road.
- Black Mountain Crest Trail(also known as Deep Gap Trail or the 5 Peak Trail). Starts from the Mt.Mitchell summit and goes across Mount Craig, Big Tom Mountain, Balsam Cone to Cattail Mountain, all about 6,000 feet. The trail has beautiful views, and is moderate to strenuous, with some ups and downs, rocks, boulders, steps and ropes. We always go from the top to Cattail Mt and back, which is 3 miles each way. The trails continues to Deep Gap and has other options, including a 2 day backpacking trip.