Jonathan N.
Fletcher, NC
Joined November 2018
B.S. Parks, Recreation & Ecotourism from Unity College in Maine, 11 years working for county/municipal parks departments, and a lifetime of camping with friends and family, from tents to pop ups to travel trailers. I’m a photographer with a five-year-old Blue Heeler for my partner-in-crime. I’ve lived and camped in Maine, Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina, and can’t wait to shed light on new areas of the map!

Went to scope out this little section of Pisgah this weekend; the weather had been a deterrent for most and we didn’t run into a single other person on the trail. The road that runs along the South Toe River is flat and well maintained; it was closed so we hoofed it a ways. We stumbled upon what appeared to be an abandoned ranger station, and spent most of the afternoon lazily lounging along the river. The roadside campsites are a little overgrown but certainly enticing, and most are close enough to the water that one could cast a line from their tent. The only downfall was that the parking lot is still under construction, and the road is currently closed, making for limited access from Burnsville. I can’t wait to go back.

The Little Gem Where the Blacktop Ends

Just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Asheville, yet secluded enough to forget it all, this little gem is conveniently located at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.

I went camping here on November 2nd, just after half of the campground closes for the off season. Usually starting at $22 per night, after November 1st the prices get cut in half, so I stayed for $11 (hard to beat)! To pay you fill out a permit envelope, tear off the receipt, include your payment and insert it into a mailbox of sorts. Make sure to bring a writing utensil (I forgot one, but luckily my neighbors let me borrow theirs). You then simply place the receipt portion in the provided zip-lock bag on the number post in front of your site. Check-out time is noon.

Each site comes with a gravel platform for your tent, picnic table, bear box, and a fire pit with a grill top. I opted to set up my backpacking tent in the bed of my pickup, but the site was very clean and well maintained. The host made rounds in the evening and the following morning, and was very approachable and informative, and even gave out weather predictions for the coming days to those who asked. The bathroom facilities may be limited in the off-season due to being unheated, but they were open during my stay, and shower facilities are available during the regular season.

I had a blast enjoying the peace and serenity of the woods, smelling the autumn spice of decaying leaves and campfires, and listening to the babbling river that runs through the center of campground. The other occupants were quite mellow, with no unwanted noise or partying (not that it would be a deal breaker, everyone camps a little differently). In the morning I took a stroll through the recreation area and got to see the group sites; everything was pristine and gorgeous in the gleaming yellow sunlight. My pooch also enjoyed the area, and I was grateful for the free bags to pick up after her.

I would recommend this little spot to anyone looking for a quick getaway from the traffic and humdrum of the nearby townships, as well as visitors to the park. Hiking trails, fishing and hunting opportunities, and scenic waterfalls are all nearby, making the location prime. A big chain grocer is also just a 10 minute drive up the road, making it easy to grab last minute items you may have forgotten. I look forward to returning!