Our site was HUGE, private and right near the bathroom with hot showers and large basin sinks for doing dishes. But the best part was that right behind the site was a trail and stream where I relaxed and had my coffee in the mornings while my dog cooled off in the water. There was no one at any of the sites near us, it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. I do not drink but the friends I went with do and we did not see anything posted on the website about alcohol not being allowed until we arrived at the campground, kind of misleading but I prefer it as the campgrounds are usually quieter if they are dry. There are trails right around the campsite but so many greats spots nearby not to be missed; Lower Cascades, Hanging Rock Trail (yes that looming rain cloud got us), Upper Cascades, Rock Garden, Tory’s Den Waterfall & Cave. All easy hikes, only the Hanging Rock Trail was a bit long for my 12 year old dog but he rocked it and the view at the top was amazing. All of these places get crowded so definitely go, but go early!
I really wanted to love Lake Powhatan, it’s so close to Asheville and I thought it would be my go to place to stay when I wanted to visit friends there but the staff was rude and there were so many loud groups at night. I had a prime site with lots of space between myself and my neighbors and an easy walk to the bathrooms with hot showers. Dogs aren’t allowed in the small lake but there are tons of streams along the trails they are allowed in so that was perfect for my senior dog to cool off. The trails were crowded with people and mountain bikers but conveniently located to the campground. Along the streams there were tons of these tiny blue butterflies and I saw a young bear stroll past my campsite one morning, just magical really. At night people showed up late slamming car doors and partying at several sites, some that I could hear weren’t even on my loop and it was a bit frustrating. I also had a very uncomfortable interaction with one of the men working their (who didn’t make it clear he even worked there) who basically restricted my movement for several minutes and then accused me of trying to steal from the glamping sites because I was driving around checking out where I might stay the next time. I was so uncomfortable I packed up to leave right after and the people at the site next to me said they had issues the previous year with the staff, really unfortunate when you are trying to relax in nature. They and I emailed the campground about the incidents with no response from management, I will not be going back.
Davidson River is a large campsite that still provides a decent amount of distance between sites. I booked this trip kind of late and did not get a prime spot but luckily all of my neighbors were quiet and respectful. This place is great for families I saw tons of kids riding bikes and tubing in the river. The beach is small and crowded, it was not good for me to have my dog swimming since they have people fly fishing right next to everyone swimming. It didn’t matter though because there is so much to do in the area away from the campsite! I drove to several beautiful look out spots, did an easy hike down to Graveyard Fields and Looking Glass Falls for some time playing in waterfalls and then hiked Andy Cove Nature Trail which had a cool suspension bridge. All doable with my 12 yr old dog and beautiful. At night there were more fireflies than I’ve seen in my whole life out together. All in all a great campsite for solo travelers or families, be aware you will not have cell service until you leave the campground.
Montreat is a hidden gem. It is a small campground but any of the sites on the stream are worth it, spacious and private with the sound of rushing water. I stayed here twice and both times the hosts were so kind and attentive if needed but not intrusive at all. The bathrooms were clean and the showers were hot. I had WiFi which is helpful if I want to get away but still need to check in with work and both trips I ended up booking an extra night because I just did not want to leave! There is also great hiking close by, the first trip I brought my 12yr old dog and we did the Rainbow Road hike and then took a trip to meet friends on Lake Norman and spent our days wading in the cool stream by our site. The 2nd trip I did alone and decided to do a more strenuous hike up Lookout Mountain which had some continuous steep step ups and worth the mountain range view at the top. This is an alcohol free campsite so no loud groups, 100% recommend staying here.
We stayed at site 4 and had a nice view of the pond with perfect weather in July. The campsite was flat, shaded and distanced well enough from our neighbors for privacy but still an easy walk to the bathhouse or camp store for extra firewood or ice. I have an older dog and the Bear Paw trail was perfect for him to still get a hike in and for me to see some waterfalls. He even got to make some friends with the kids who were swimming in the pond. We also took a short drive over to Price Lake and rented a canoe which is great if you want to add in another quick adventure and bring a picnic to have near by (it’s a small lake and you cannot swim in it). Overall a nice relaxing weekend.