Alicia B.
Elkmont, AL
Joined June 2016
Ranger Review: Leatherman Signal at Davy Crockett State Park

Campground Review

Camping

Davy Crockett State Park is a Tennessee State Park. This is our go to park when we just need to get out in the woods for a few days. There are two separate campgrounds in the park, campground 1 and campground 2. All of the sites have water and electricity but no sewer. Campground 1 is next to the creek and many of the sites back up to the creek. Most of the sites next to the water are not very deep which means you are squeezed in between the road and the creek. They do seem to be plenty wide enough that you don’t feel you are on top of anyone. There also isn’t very much shade next to the water. The sites in campground 1 that are not next to the water are a little better. Deeper with more shade and privacy.  For various reasons, we always choose campground 2. The sites here are deeper and very shaded and private. We prefer site 71, 72 or 73. This trip we were at 74 and our friends were at 73. If you are camping with friends and have kids you can get sites 102 and 104 which are in the center of the campground loop and next to the playground and pavilion. Some of the sites here are elevated a bit and the fire ring and picnic table are down a small hill. We liked that because it keeps the campfire smoke out of the tent or camper. Another reason we choose campground 2 is the bath houses. They have been recently renovated and are super clean. There are two in this small campground so they are never crowded. 

Park Amenities

There are several different hiking trails to choose from, one leads down to Crockett Falls, which is a great place to play in the water during summer months. For those with children, there are two HUGE playgrounds your kids will love. There are also tennis courts and basketball courts near one of the playgrounds. Fishing and boating are available on the lake. You can rent both boats and fishing poles at the pier shop. There is a small museum that highlights details of Davy Crockett’s life. Near the museum are several rescued animals that the park rangers care for that you can see up close. On our visit there were hawks and owls. There is an Olympic sized swimming pool that is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. We didn’t try it our but it looked very nice. We did try the restaurant and it was great. They offer an all you can eat buffet with country style food but we ordered off the menu. Salads, sandwiches and chicken and fish plates are available. 

Product Review

As a Dyrt Ranger occasionally I am given products to try and review. This camping trip we are trying out a product from www.leatherman.com . The product is the Leatherman Signal. This is Leatherman’s gift to campers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. It has 19 different tools on it. My husband has been carrying this multi-tool for about 2 weeks prior to this camping trip so he could get a feel for its everyday usefulness. We also used it quite a bit on this trip while setting up camp and getting our fire going. There is a lot of usefulness in this tool but the ones that we found most handy were as follows:

·         hammer – we used it to secure the stakes for our camper awning

·         saw – we cut medium to small sized branches for fire wood

·        awl – a grommet on the canvas of our pop up broke and we punched a new hole

·        fire starter – we only did this because it was cool and it worked with my dryer lint starters

·        can opener – worked great

·        screw driver - has phillips and flat head

·        

My husband is a machinist so he knows quality metal products. He thinks this is a tool with longevity. It has a plethora of uses and can be used at work or at play. It comes with a belt pouch, but he liked the clip that allows it to clip on your pocket for ease of access. The different tools are well made and sturdy. They will stand up to heavy use and are a great option to replace numerous, more bulky tools in your pack or tool box.   Here is a link to his video review.

Part of the Elkmont Campground

The Applachian clubhouse is part of the Old town of Elkmont,Tn which was a vacation destination for wealthy Knoxvillians many, many years ago. Once the National Park was formed the Park Service allowed the me member to keep their homes for several years before finally taking possession of them. The homes are now falling in and have been horribly neglected, with the exception of a few which have been restored or will be restored. The Appalachian Clubhouse is one that has already been completely restored. Do a little research in the old homes along Jakes Creek and millionaires row as well as the Wonderland Hotel. It's fascinating but sad that they are being let go so badly!! Also Google "Avent Cabin".

Awesome place to spend the day..

Play in the creek, grill some lunch, hike to the old school house and the Walker Sisters cabin all without moving your car. The river is so peaceful here most of the time that it is easy to play in.

Huge Park

We visited here with a church group because it is the founding place of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It is beautiful, peaceful and serene. We only visited for a day trip but I will definitely be going back soon to camp for a few nights.

Forgot this part..

Be sure to visit the nature center. There is a lot of info to glean there. And just above there is the playground as well as the cable trail which is difficult but worth it!!

Pretty cool!

This is a pretty cool place if you like history and waterfalls. It isn't very big and the hike around the stone fort isn't very long but it is interesting and the waterfall is very pretty. The campground itself is nice with water and electric hook ups. The bath house was very clean. You are right in Manchester so supplies are convenient. Buy your firewood before you arrive because they don't sell it.

Beautiful!!!

Love this place. We were there during a dry spell so the falls weren't as spectacular as normal but it is still a great place to go. 5 different campgrounds. We em were in C but won't pick it again. Probably go with B because it's newer.

Things to see and do..George Hole swimming. Olympic pool swimming, kayak and paddle boat rentals, zip lines, hiking to the bottom of the falls( slippery and tedious), visit the restaurant and shops, nature center, and gem mining..my sons favorite!

Really great place to play in the creek

If you just want to get away from the crowds and the heat this is an awesome place to go. Big round rocks to climb on and the water is always cold!!

What an awesome place.

If you have never been here you should!! Like now!! So beautiful. The campground is nice, just average I'd say, but convenient to enjoy all the beauty that the park has to offer. There is a playground for kids and day use areas as well. Hiking aplenty!! And close to Huntsville if you don't want to cook. The cabins are cute but we didn't get a peek inside.

Ehh.. It was ok.

This campground is totally for those who want to get on the Tennessee River for fishing or boating. We are neither of those things but we do like to have places to explore and things to do. We were rather disappointed as a result. Joe Wheeler Resort is a beautiful place and the lodge is on the river but only a small part of the campground is on the river. I was surprised at our disappointment because so many of our friends love to camp here. We found the sites to be too close together and it was quite noisy. On a positive note, the staff was very friendly and helpful. Also, the bathrooms and showers were pretty nice. The nicest part of the campground was the primitive area. It was gorgeous!! If you do stay here, go to the resort and have a meal. They have a buffet most nights and we have always found the food to be good. If I were on my was somewhere else and would only be here for one night, I would give it a go again, but this will not be our place for an extended stay.

Best Place to Stay in the GSMNP

We have camped here twice and absolutely love it. I don't think there are any bad sites here. We have camped in B8 and and J5 and loved both.

A few things to note about Elkmont… There are no hookups and there are no showers. There are flush toilets and an area at the bathrooms to wash dishes and get fresh water. I think all of the sites have a picnic table and a fire ring and all seem to be pretty shaded. Be aware that generator use is allowed from 8am to 8 pm only on certain loops of the campground.

Many of the sites are on the small creek ( they call it a river, but it's a creek) and the sound of the water carries a long way so it is very peaceful at night. You will definitely will want to do your research on recreation.gov before you book. You can look at pictures of the individual sites and read about the sites attributes. There is also a youtube video that walks through all of the sites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwLGUH1qAEs Very cool!

It is quite a drive to any sort of grocery. Like 30 miles either way. The camp store has basics such as wood and minimal staples. You really need to plan ahead and not have to buy anything except wood and ice.

There are some awesome things to see here. There was once a thriving vacation community here and most of the homes remain although they have fallen into disrepair. We were very fortunate to found info about the Avent Cabin and hiked to it one day. It's a long hike but well worth it. Again..do your research.

Elkmont is a great place to relax and use as a jumping off point for your exploration of the GSMNP. We hiked all day and then came back to rest and play in the creek. PERFECT! We will be back next year.

Beautiful view as long as you are looking at the water

Mot that the campground is terrible, it just isn't much to look at. Our site was on the water and the view was awesome. I worried that there would be a lot of noise because it's so close to I-24 but there wasn't. The sites are well spaced. Ours was extra long. There are electric and water hookups. The price was $20 so it was a great value. The camp host was very nice and responded to my Facebook messages quickly.

The bath houses were horrible. The one near us had one toilet and one shower with little curtains across them. The toilet was clean but no way would I use the shower. We were only here one night on our way to the GSMMP.

Pick Fairview..

Because it is the best of the 2 Tim's Ford choices. It is 8 miles from the state park but it is right on the lake and the other one is not. There is a boat launch right next to the campground too.

This campground has mostly shady sites. You can view the individual sites when booking online to see if it is shaded or not. We were in 41 and it was fantastic. Beautiful view of the lake and we could fish from the bank. Most of the sites are on water but some are on little inlets which make it easy to pull your boat right up to your site. Sites 45-49 and 25-28 are good for boaters.

The bath houses have been redone and are clean but a little sterile looking. Think prison toilets. The shower rooms (4 of them) were nice and there was plenty of hot water. The lights in the shower rooms are motion sensing which was a little weird.

This is a great family campground. No alcohol is allowed and pets are welcome. Children were riding bikes and scooters and swimming in the lake.