I loved the area we stayed at in Grandfather Mountain Campground. I've been multiple times throughout the summers and have always enjoyed staying at one of the campsites right by the river. The campsite is always clean and friendly staff are there ready to answer questions on where to hike, eat and about the wildlife that's in this area of Western North Carolina. If you're lucky enough to catch one of the beautiful sunsets, I would recommend sitting in the grassy field (also on option to camp there) and take in the mountains laced with purples and pinks as the sun sets. And of course you'll have to hike grandfather mountain and walk across the swinging bridge. I finally went this last trip and was not disappointed! There is an intense hike that included climbing up latters and leads to beautiful views!
This campground is also close to Boone, NC. It is a cute little town that has a sweet downtown area to walk around in and grab a beer. If you like breakfast food I would highly recommend trying Melanie's. There food is to die for, and also very earth conscious.
We stayed for one night only on our way to Dreher Island SP. We didn't get in until after 4 pm, but there was still enough daylight to see how pretty the campground was. We had site 60 for the night. We tow a 19' a-frame camper with a Toyota Tacoma and had lots of room on the pad. The pad was pretty level so set up was easy. The site also had a huge area for the picnic table and the fire ring is far away from your camper. There was a huge grassy area behind our site with a creek, lots of space for our dog. We were in campground B (electric) and the sites were decent. There wasn't a lot shade for us, but up in the tent area they were surrounded by trees and it looked like they all had tent pads, some better than others. The shower house was nice, clean, flush toilets, and good showers. By the shower house they also had an outside sink to wash your dishes. We didn't get to hike, but everyone said we should if we ever go back. It's on our list to visit again.
As far as campgrounds go , it wasn't bad . Just something is it's a self service check in which I didn't know , and when I asked for help one of the camp host wasn't vary helpful but since I had a reservation I just needed to go to the site( which was not posted ) . Our neighbors had a generator going ( which is posted that it's prohibited) which was on for the 1st day before someone finally told them to turn it off . Our site was beautiful and overlooked the lake , but you couldn't get to the water from our site , there was about a 6 ft cliff so for kayaking you have to go down the road from the campground and pay $2.00 for a day pass . It's not a bad place to stay just don't know if I'll ever go back .
This campground has a long and steep paved road going to it from up the mountain. We really enjoyed going up and down each time, it’s nothing to be scared of! Once you get to the grounds itself, their is a huge canopy of Oak and Hemlock shading the sites. It really is a gorgeous place to stay
There are four different campgrounds in this state park, one being paddle-in. The park is a linear park that is known for its flat-ish trails and bike/horse paths. Of the 57 miles of this park, about 39 are on the New River. All campgrounds are primitive; no RV sites, no bathhouses (pit toilets only), but potable water is available.
Millrace Campground is right on the river and near Foster Falls; you can rent canoes and bikes here. Reservations required.
Cliffview Campground is in Galax and has 13 sites on the Chestnut Creek. Reservations required. There are a few equestrian sites here (room for your trailer).
Double Shoals Campground: first-come, first-served.
The paddle-in sites are located at Baker Island Campground.
Really cool campground located right on the New River, located at Foster Falls. The river sounds amazing at night. You have to walk everything into the campground from the parking area, but it's not a long walk so you can still bring all of your "car camping" luxuries. There are no RV sites and there are no bathhouses, only pit toilets which can be a little funky, but it is what it is. Just a short walk from the campground, you can explore the area which includes stables, a wildlife center, visitor center with local artisan goods (we got some local teas, stevia, and handmade jewelry/ornaments as gifts), an abandoned hotel/grounds (you can check them out from the outside), an old train car, and much more. Pet-friendly.
Sites 2, 6, and 9 would be my personal picks for next time. If you have a large group, G17 is HUGE. You can also use this campground for day-use, picnicking, etc.
Shot Tower State Park isn't far from here either, so definitely check that out while you're in the area. Millrace Campground is located within the New River State Park. We went in October and the colors were really starting to change.
Hungry Mother State Park, Royal Oak Campground, Marion VA…site 3. https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hungry-mother
Campground Overview: Located outside of Marion VA
Hungry Mother State Park is somewhat split up and fragmented on either side of a local highway and the first campground is distanced from the other two. So a little different than most parks but not necessarily a negative.
The Visitor’s Center is on the left after the first campground (Camp Burson) and across the roadway from the reservoir and beach area. The remaining two campground loops are past the beach area…one to the right along a feeder stream (Creekside Campground) and opposite that is the third loop (Royal Oak Campground) on the side of a hill with wooden platforms for tents.
I was hoping to paddle this meandering reservoir but it was being drained for bridge work…so it was six feet or so lower than normal. Even the migrating geese weren’t too happy about it, as they waddled around on the mud.
During the peak of the summer season, it appears that it would be very popular with s nice swimming beach, paddlecraft rentals, cabin rentals, conference center, ample covered picnic pavilions and both paved and dirt trails.
I stayed on site 3 in Royal Oak Campground, pitching the tent on a 20’x20’ leveled wooden platform. Several pros and cons to elevated platforms.
Pros: It’s level and large enough for any tent I’ve ever seen. Water drains pretty decent between wood decking, so no pooling. D-ring lashing points were attached to the decking to assist in securing tent or rainfly.
Cons: When the cold wind blows, it’s hard to retain heat in the tent…360 cold. While there are D-ring lashing points, they don’t accommodate every tent of rainfly. Previous knucklehead campers drill Tapcon screws or nails in the wood decking and rails to secure their tent…then leave them there so everyone else snags or rips their tent on them.
It rained for 12 hours straight with cold, high winds…so it was a bit chilly, but still enjoyable.
What I enjoyed: deer wandering through the grounds, the Molly’s Knob Trail and Vista Summit,
The ugly: the lake (reservoir) was drained. Heaters weren’t on in the shower rooms…37 degree showering gets tricky.
For a weekend that just started out wrong (double conjunctivitis, sinus infection, son didn’t seat the camper correctly on the ball hitch… yep, we dismounted my friends!) The campground was a terrific place to get some much needed rest and relaxation. The secluded spots are a friendly distance from your neighbors and the water was peaceful and serene.
This campground is located along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. We saw wildlife when we woke up in the mornings and before we went to bed in the evenings. The bath house in the tent only loop has private bathrooms with showers. The bath house is also cleaned daily.
Campground review: Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA. This park has something for everyone. Hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, swimming. There are interesting campfire get togethers too. Two campgrounds, one up the hill, the other on the main road. Secluded cabins and yurts. We stayed in the smaller campground at the top of the hill. There is electric at each site and plenty of room for more then one tent, hammocks and small campers. A nice showerhouse with dish sink on the end. You will get your exercise walking the rolling loop still campground and hill. There is a yurt in this campground with a nice deck. Some visitors saw a bear near the backside of the lake, but I didn’t see any large wildlife. The cabins are located on the backside of the lake with some nice porches to sit and enjoy the evening breeze. The beach is popular, there are kayaking programs and paddle boats. You could easily stay a week here. Two things to do while your here is ONE: check out DIP DOGS a very popular and busy restaurant and TWO: the “Back of the Dragon” an AWESOME DRIVING TOUR across the mountains from Marion to Tazewell, VA.
Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger I have the opportunity to check out some awesome outdoor products. Outdoor Element stuff is like survivalist gear that can be carried with you all the time. Bracelets that can be used to make fire, use as fishing line and as rope. This bracelet has a fish hook “embedded” in it and a flint and striker for sparks. Cool thing they do is give you a piece of the 550 cord used for the bracelet to take apart and experiment with. Watch my video for more information. I wear the bracelet all the time now so it’s a little stinky , ;p not sure about washing it, but I am going to the site to find out.
Raccoon Branch Campground is with in the Jefferson National Forest. We stopped here between Hungry Mother SP and Grayson Highlands. The scenery through this entire area is AWESOME! Raccoon is the trailhead for a 2 1/2 mile one way trail TO THE TOP. There is some awesome overlooks and scary drop offs. It’s well worth the climb! Once your done hiking you can relax in the campground which has a choice of primitive or electric sites. Secluded, quiet and dark at night. I had no telephone signal, but that was the story the entire time I was in Virginia. A nice overnight camping spot.
End of season… Pool was closed but it was hot as hell (9/3/2019). WiFi is good if you're in the right spot. We had a great spot for camping, but bad for wifi. Bathrooms were amazing. Pulled my review from a 3+ to a 5! Private baths like at home. Toilet, sink and shower all to yourself and CLEAN!
Camping was located closer to the trailhead than expected. Some sites looked quite crowded but we reserved one further in the back.
The hike was challenging but definitely doable. The view was worth it (as you can see in the pictures). We first went down to the falls and then to the peak. Was around 6 miles in total.
Campground Review: There are two campgrounds in Grayson Highland SP which is located by The Mouth Of Wilson, VA, near the North Carolina border. Just an FYI certain cell phone providers do not have great coverage in this area, so plan ahead and print out any Geo or local info before you arrive. As a non-Virginia resident you will pay more to hike and stay at the State Parks. That being said the facilities I’ve visited have been immaculate and well staffed. Grayson Highlands has a front gate where you can pick up your packet if pre-registered. I’m not sure what I picked at online registration other than electric and water but I had the choice of over 10 sites. I originally pulled into site 29 which has an awesome view, but had visions of plummeting down the mountain side so I moved. There are several pull through options, I opted for a back in. The lay out of the park is very linear and the “corners” are completely used with up to three sites. We visited on a week day after Labor Day and the campground was sparsely occupied. The shower house closest to my site, 46, had a shower and latrine option or just shower option. The camp host was located across from the shower house and the dump station was adjacent to that site. For the most part there was plenty of shade. Near the entrance there were a few sites off the field that had few or no trees. There is a six pad group site available behind the camp store that had plenty of picnic tables and a large fire ring. LOVED the hiking trails!!! The VIEWS!!! The “one” the park is known for is the Rhododendron, which is where the wild ponies live. We saw ponies, but more then that it’s like you are on top of the mountain range , “Lord Of The Rings” or something like that! The Creekside Cabin hike is very technical as in tree roots and rocks, but so worth the exertion! Very cool waterfall and aside from some modern day trash there is still the old wood stove and pantry in the cabin. If you like to cool off in the streams that you hike to this trail has many options to sit and enjoy. We saw several deer, some turkey but no bears. Still be aware of your surroundings when moving around and in the campground.
Product Review: Outdoor Element makes some useful gadgets to wear, carry and stash on your person for all contingencies. I reviewed the “Firebiner” while at camp this time. Realize I am a laymen and “thingy” is an acceptable word when describing products. Please visit www.OutdoorElement.Com for all the big words and complete descriptions. First and foremost I want to say I am not an outdoor , backwoods phenomena, so bear with me on my fire making skills. I have watched “Survivor” and they are right about how hard it is to get a fire going with just flint. Outdoor Element gives you everything you need to be successful though with PRACTICE! SO … The Firebiner first has some cool added features before you ever get to the fire part. A cool assortment of colors and National Parks in a titanium coated finish, a flathead screwdriver tip, a bottle opener, a built in utility blade, hang slots ( like for key rings and small hanging things ). This biner can hold up to 100 lbs ( non-human ) and has a stainless steel wire gate that springs closed. Now one of the coolest features to me is the Everspark fire wheel. It can throw some sparkage around! I was unsuccessful with regular tinder but got the jute burning. The ferry rod has two replacements included in the package and you can get a kit for the replacement or use an eyeglass flathead, but remember it has a spring in there.
This is a wonderful family campground with amazing people running the campground close to Boone and Banner Elk. There is a beautiful creek that runs through the property. Campsites are level. Bathhouse is adequate but they could use an additional restroom facility on the cabin/tent side of the creek. Only downside is the road noise from Hwy. 105 which can be extremely noisy.
I’ve stayed at Blue Bear twice and booked my third stay as I was leaving. Wonderful campground - you can’t beat any aspect of it.
The sites are well spaced so you don’t feel on top of other campers. Remote sites provide that extra sense of privacy.
The owners are so helpful and friendly. Providing wood and also have devices to haul your gear to certain remote sites.
Location is a great jumping point for tons of hiking and other activities. We went to Ashe County Park to play disc golf, and into Boone to walk around and look at shops.
Bathhouse is very clean and well kept. There is nothing negative to say about Blue Bear. It is our favorite site by far, and keeps us coming back.
Went with our two dogs for two nights. Spaces are pretty close together and open, so you’ll see your neighbor.
Unfortunately, we had terrible neighbors our second night and made a quick exit the following morning as a result.
Otherwise, the bathhouse was clean, and the trails around the campground were very nice. The stand alone outhouses were very gross; spider webs, flies everywhere, and dark.
I don’t think I will return, but think it would be good for families and people who want ease over quiet.
Nice, clean campground with friendly staff. Outdoor pool, mini golf, bowling alley and more to keep everyone busy. We stayed on Labor Day weekend so it was crowded and of course it was a bit noisy but would definitely recommend anyone to stay here and we would definitely go back. They also have two dog parks in the campground which is nice for your furry family! 😊