Aaron S.
New Orleans, LA
Joined September 2016
Ranger Review: Banner & Oak lifestraw water bottle at Stone Door Campsite

Campsite: Stone Door review

This campsite is great for novice primitive campers. The campsites are secluded, but very close to the parking lot. There is an outhouse and drinking water close to the campsites. Each site has a fire ring and plenty of space. 

There is a parking lot for overnight campers/hikers. There is also a lovely pavilion with grills for day hikers. This site is obviously close to stone door and Laurel Falls. You can also hike over to Ranger Falls on the Big Creek Gulf Trail. I did the Big Creek Rim trail. It was relatively flat, but had some beautiful overlooks. A great campsite with easy accessibility to great trails. Book ahead of time as campsites fill up quickly on weekends! 

Product review: Banner & Oak lifestraw water bottle 

As a ranger, I get to test products occasionally. I took the Banner & Oak lifestraw water bottle hiking with me. It very easy to use. You follow the instructions for first use, and then you can fill the bottle with any water source. I think it works because I did not get sick! The most difficult part is storage. You have to follow the directions for proper storage of the bottle. You have to properly dry the filter before storage. I liked it more than drops I have used in the past. Pretty awesome that the purchase of this bottle gets a child clean water for a year!

Alright hiking

The hiking here is alright. Good sights to see, but it isn't my top priority in Texas.

Great Water

I love swimming on camping trips. Pedernales has a lot of variety and is wonderful place to swim and camp. I highly highly recommend this place to anyone that wants to enjoy a great trip.

Good time

This campsite was an alright trip. We had good time, nice scenery. Before you go, make sure the trails you want to do are open. A fire affected them a couple years ago.

Cliff Jump

My favorite part about this campsite is the ability to cliff jump into a lake. I love the water and this campsite was perfect for me.

The beach

My favorite part about this campsite is the beach! It is delightful swimming and can get relatively crowded. I have stayed in the "bungalows" there, and had a great time!

Close by--AT

This was a great stop close to the water. Between Blood Mountain and Neels Gap, we camped for two nights at different sites. Both were primitive, non-shelter sites. The sites, as is typical with the Appalachian trail, are pockets of cleared space just a few feet off the trail. Both sites had fire pits surrounded by nice logs to relax on as you cook your dinner. The first site was about a mile from the closest water source. There is room enough for 2-3 tents. The second night had a trail that was near a stream and had nice access to water. Second night was very close to Vogel.

Beautiful Views

Great campsites and RV sites. Still have good privacy. Great facilities for showering. Even in July, it is a good temperature, and the views are awesome. It is so close to the continental divide.

Black Mountain Crest

Black Mountain Crest-Mount Mitchell trail (Supposed to be one of the hardest trails on the east coast; total trail is an out-and-back, one of the sides you can start on begins with an immediate 3,500 feet elevation gain) This campsite is in a gap on the ridgeline. There is a water source nearby, but it can be a bit tricky to find. The trail is a bit difficult to follow—it may seem not even like a trail and is quite steep going down. Keep your eyes peeled for PVC pipes coming out of the side of the mountain; when we went, the third PVC pipe (it was black and kind of hard to spot) had a steady trickle of water falling down. Patience is a virtue. The camping area in the gap was rather large. Spread through a decent-sized area, there were probably 5-6 different potential camping spots. Almost all had fire pits, and room for several tents. One of the campsites was hosting a group of probably 10-15 people. As you are on a ridge, there is a pretty strong wind and it does get chilly.

Good Hike

A ton of waterfalls. A very pretty gorge, you will walk up and down lots of stairs! Stop by if you are in the area.

So close to Auburn

This is a great location. Nice place to get away. Nice hiking and a big grass field to play sports. This was a great place.

Alright place

Close proximity to Nashville and very close to Opry Mills. It heavily favors RVs. Campers are close to them, not a lot of privacy. You do have a fire pit and grill. It is a good place for the family. Not my style.

Fun time!

I loved the hiking there. The campsite has a good website, letting you know exactly what you get. Have the option to go tent or RV. Beautiful surroundings.

We weren't at the lodge

 Primitive campsite on trail near highest mountain peak. There were several primitive campsites in close proximity. Our campsite had a large metal bear box in which you could store food and packs. The site was large enough for a few tents (2-3), we had a group of five and have more than enough room. Nearby, there was a compostable bathroom that was shared by the surrounding campsites. The toilet is rather open, and they ask to add on soil/mulch after using the bathroom. There is not a water source (to my knowledge) anywhere on the mountain or close to the trail, so you must pack in all water. This campsite is approximately a mile from the (insert mountain trail here); where it meets with (this trail), the peak is a half-mile further along. Additionally, if you continue along the (trail with the campsite), it connects with a ridge-side loop, with breathtaking views atop the ridge that look out over an immense canyon (flatlands?). On a clear day, you can easily see the Rio Grande, Mexico, and the cliffs and mountains across the border.

Camped close by

 Primitive campsite on trail near highest mountain peak. There were several primitive campsites in close proximity. Our campsite had a large metal bear box in which you could store food and packs. The site was large enough for a few tents (2-3), we had a group of five and have more than enough room. Nearby, there was a compostable bathroom that was shared by the surrounding campsites. The toilet is rather open, and they ask to add on soil/mulch after using the bathroom. There is not a water source (to my knowledge) anywhere on the mountain or close to the trail, so you must pack in all water. This campsite is approximately a mile from the (insert mountain trail here); where it meets with (this trail), the peak is a half-mile further along. Additionally, if you continue along the (trail with the campsite), it connects with a ridge-side loop, with breathtaking views atop the ridge that look out over an immense canyon (flatlands?). On a clear day, you can easily see the Rio Grande, Mexico, and the cliffs and mountains across the border.

Hiked to the top!

Primitive campsite on South Rim trail. Trail to campsites branches off from the junction of the Pinnacles trail and Emory Peak trail. As we were first summiting Emory Peak, we took Pinnacle trail up, dropped off our gear the junction of Pinnacle trail and Emory Peak (there are several bear boxes), and summited. After, we returned, grabbed our gear, and set off down the South Rim trail. There were several primitive campsites in close proximity. Our campsite had a large metal bear box in which you could store food and packs. The site was large enough for a few tents (2-3); we had a group of five and had more than enough room. Nearby, there was a compostable toilet that was shared by the surrounding campsites. The toilet is rather open, and they ask to add on soil/mulch after using the bathroom. There is not a water source (to my knowledge) anywhere on the mountain or close to the trail, so you must pack in all water. This campsite is approximately a mile from the junction of Emory Peak and Pinnacle trail; where it meets with the two, the peak is a mile further along. Additionally, if you continue along the South Rim trail, there are breathtaking views atop the ridge that look out over an immense canyon. On a clear day, you can easily see the Rio Grande, Mexico, and the cliffs and mountains across the border.

Easy beach access

You are a ten minute walk from the beach through part of the bird sanctuary. The campsites are large, big enough to fit a 10 person tent. Each has an electric hook up. A great place to visit.

Beautiful Place to go

In the Sipsey wilderness, specifically on Thompson’s Creek Trail 206, there are several absolutely gorgeous campsites. As the trail follows Thompson’s Creek, it is next to all of the campsites. Water levels tend to be higher during the winter. The water is a beautiful turquoise. Most of the campsites have giant moss covered boulders all around, and cliffs in the background opposite the river. Most of the campsites have fire pits, and a few have some hand-made benches, usually from woven branches. So much to see.

Firey Gizzard Trail

Small Wild Campsite on Fiery Gizzard Trail - South Cumberland State Park. Hike from Foster Falls to the campsite was 2.5 miles so pretty easy. Full of great overlooks, some waterfalls. Campsite was really spacious, some degree of privacy from the other campsites in the area. It had an outhouse but there wasn't any water access because the stream was dry. It wasn't a big deal since we were only 2.5 miles down the trailhead we began at. If we would have been coming from the other end of the 12 mile one way trail it probably would've been a different story. Great proximity to the waterfall, and there was a fire pit with a grill option.

I liked my time here

It was a great place. There was a nice playground and a great disc golf course! I liked the campsites. However, it is obviously very flat and does not have a lot of nature trails.