There are several dispersed camping sites at South mountain+ a car camping location (with,what appears to be 2 rv sites. We really like camping here with my dad. The car camping sites are REALLY difficult to get availability for on weekends since this is such a popular location with limited space. The dispersed sites are easier to find availability for and they all have areas near them where you can process water. The dispersed sites have put toilets, picnic tables,and fire ring amenities.
Be sure to check the trail rating as a lot of the hikes to camping sites are considered strenuous.
The campsites are fine. The bathrooms are clean and everything is well maintained… The sites just don't feel very private or well spaced. But the park itself… And being able to stay IN the park…. That is what makes the difference. The hiking trails are incredible, great waterfalls. Some difficult hikes… Some easy. We ended up on a trail that must have had 800million stairs and it still was well worth it.
This KOA is RIGHT off of the interstate. If you are in midtravel and need a place to overnight this is a nice KOA for that. The camping cabins are cozy, we stayed in a single which has 1 dbl bed and twin sized bunk bed. Staff was very friendly. I wouldn't consider this a camping destination.
Considering how close this is to the city, this is just a really excellent escape. The hiking trails are extremely well kept, the campsites are relatively private and everything here is very clean. This is a great place and right next to the lake.
Really nice park with nice trails that aren't too challenging but also with just enough going on to keep them fun and interesting. We camped at Dispersed Hike to Site 1. The dispersed sites are really nicely spread out. Nice clean firepits. Standard pit toilets, just nice overall. This is a really well maintained park!
In 2016 we stayed here for the first time in one of the camping cabins and I LOVE how rustic the cabins are here. Typically, the campsite would have been closed but that February it was really warm, so they opened earlier in the year. That weekend was super cold. The warm spell had ended. We bundled under 10 blankets, enjoyed a sweet campfire and basically had the entire campsite to ourselves and it was pretty.dang.cool. Then, this past October (2020) we went back to tent camp here with two of our best friends and although it rained all weekend, we still had the most amazing stay. The sites are well spaced and other campers are always super respectful here. They also have a really good Sunday breakfast brunch that is FANTASTIC and relatively cheap. The folks that run the place are really nice.
This is a pretty cool, laid back place.
It is imperative to purchase a decent map for these trails and I highly recommend using the one available via the Friends of Panthertown website. This is a beautiful area with tons of dispersed camping. You will really need to pack a bear safe food container and absolutely store food using a bear line well away from camp as there are most certainly bears out and about. The hikes are amazing.
The only complaint is that the volunteers need to practice some more restraint when they are cutting the trails. They completely destroyed a beautiful canopy of trees. Panthertown is beautiful because it is free and natural. When we cut trails, we should put nature first and human needs second.
It is also important to note that there are no bathrooms, so a good cathole shovel is a nice tool to have.
We stayed here while visiting friends who lived in the Salisbury area and stayed in Cabin 1. The cabins are REALLY nice, I was very impressed. We walked the RV sites and spotted several that were also very nice as well. They each seemed to offer a decent bit of privacy, which is nice. The pool was well located but busy, which was okay all the families and kids were having a great time and that was so nice to see. I enjoyed sitting near the pond and just watching the ducks swim. The best part was getting fresh eggs from the check-in store each morning… And I mean… Fresh Eggs. Really cool place.
New Bern is a really wonderful little town on the coast of NC and this KOA is close to all the action. I really enjoyed our stay and the local town. We stayed in a camping cabin that overlooked the little pond area. The bathrooms were nice and clean and cabins were nicely appointed.
The staff here is INCREDIBLY friendly and the check-in building/store is small but mighty, offering items like local honey, local preserves and camping/swimming/tubing accessories.
We stayed in the camping cabins located on the hill behind the store. It was so quiet & offered a beautiful view of the river from the picnic table. We took part in one of the offered tubing experiences and it was so cool. You can rent a tube to place a cooler inside of so you can tube down the river with beverages and snacks in tow. The end of the rafting experience puts you right there back at the campsite.
This is a great place.
The sites all throughout Grandfather are pretty awesome but you have to really look into the details for each site as many do not allow for a campfire, so you will want to ensure you have an alternate (approved) cooking system. We enjoy the trails out here. I will say, these are no joke especially with added pack weight so definitely advise only bringing the absolute essentials.
We stayed in July 2019. For a NC state park, some of the sites are a little close to each other. It is well known that NC parks do not allow alcohol, so we did not bring any.
The camp host was a little insulting with how they kept on checking on us over and over and over and reminding us that we can't drink. We weren't even playing music or making noise. And we weren't drinking. It was just the two of us, and we are experienced campers, so… We know better.
I'd go back and give it another try,but having to insist that we weren't breaking rules… I felt like a kid in Catholic school all over again and frankly, I do not go camping with the goal of re-living that.
There are so many amenities at this campsite for the whole family. A nice pool, games, paths, pet play areas, etc. Once you get set up here, there really is no reason to go off-site,it is a really nice KOA. We did venture out for several hikes and enjoyed seeing all of the Elk in the smokies. A super cool area!
We stayed with family and reserved a cabin. Our two family members reserved two RV sites.
The cabins were wonderful and I would highly recommend them BUT… there is no late check in, and we were not warned of that at all, so when we got in at 10pm no key was left for us to get into our cabin. We had to spend the night in my dad's RV on one of the foldouts- if he wasnt there; who knows where we would have stayed.
I do not really recommend the RV sites, I didnt like the way they had the waste lines set up, and i kept smelling raw sewage.
Once we were IN our cabin, I must say- it was one of the nicest cabins out there and the whole family hung out with is at our cabin site since it had more privacy, didnt have a sewage smell and then was right next to the lake/pond. We also rented a canoe and had fun canoeing around the pond/lake
We stayed deeper in the woods at the site named "big pine peninsula". The hike in from the parking spot was very easy so we packed in some extra water. The site was so quiet. I slept like a rock, just the cooing of an owl to lull us to sleep. There were plenty of cut paths to wander on and we also were able to find really great downed wood to process. We had fun, we relaxed, and we were able to really feel isolated.
I enjoyed the drive out to this site, it is far enough off of the beaten path but still close to town. The site is a very easy drive to Boone and Tweetsie Railroad. We stayed at a camping cabin and it was really nice. The RVs are close to each other in proximity and RV sites are not separated by any brush or trees. We walked the country road for a nice walk each day. Overall it was a really nice KOA if you are in the area and wanting to explore Boone.
I like this campsite. You have to be careful to book the correct kind of tent site if you want to be in a more wooded area. The camping cabins are really nice and spacious. It's a good site with some really good breakfast spots located just right next to the campsite itself
Get ready. You are about to hike up a LOT of sleep stairs. The sites are really well laid out. Site 3&4 are my favorites because they are close to water access (bring a good filter). Plenty of trees to choose from for a hammock setup.
Stayed here in Feb 2021. Love how spread out the campsites are and how quiet this entire resort is. Can't wait for everything to open back up fully because the Trails End brunch is the best breakfast food buffet in all of Disney World. Nice walking paths. Definitely suggest bringing a bike along since there are so many trails to explore.
This is a pretty nice KOA but it is not one that really is a destination KOA. You moreso camp here because you want to visit the local area, not because you plan to spend a ton of time AT the campsite. It was a great location. There is a decent bit of noise from the traffic.