This is a place you really need to experience! The campground is multi acres of woods, it’s first come first served, but it’s so large, I can imagine it ever being too crowded. The cost is $5 per person, paid via honor system in the mailbox when you enter. It’s perfect for tents. We were limited on site selection with our rooftop tent, and I saw a couple teardrop campers, but you can’t take anything larger. There are several structures on the property for gathering around a fire pit, if you want to be social, or just walk up to the brewery! The campground did offer a family/group camp site on the other side of the brewery, but I don’t know that this is a place for kids. It was pretty wild at night! A live band playing until the early morning hours, and drinks flowing among the thru hikers and rock climbers, bachelorette party group, and gypsies staying in the campground!
Two portable toilets were in the campground, they could use a good cleaning, but depending on the site you choose, you probably would be better off just using nature anyway.
The brewery serves beer that’s brewed on site, with hops also grown on site! Super cool! They have a food truck there too, where they serve pulled pork sandwiches, nachos, hot dogs and sausages, etc.
We will return to the Lilly Pad, but will take a tent and seek out a more secluded site, and will take advantage of the swimming hole, and the Obed River nearby!
Campground Review- Cades Cove is one of the most scenic areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 11 mile loop through Cades Cove is beautiful and full of wildlife. The road is paved, and is closed to car traffic on Saturday’s and Wednesday’s until 10am, so it is great to take a bike, or go on foot and explore! We always see lots of deer, turkeys, and sometimes bears and coyotes. Abrams Falls is a popular hike, it’s roughly 5 miles round trip, is moderately difficult, and has a beautiful waterfall at the end, but beware of swimming there, several deaths have occurred at Abrams Falls, even from strong swimmers.
The Campground at Cades Cove is heavily wooded, with lots of sites, none of them have electricity hook ups, but the B loop allows generators, the C loop does not allow them. The sites are fairly close, but each site has plenty of room to not feel cramped.
The restrooms do not have showers, but do have flush toilets, and were well maintained and clean. The campground has a nice store that has the approved heat treated firewood, ice, souvenirs, ice cream, and other things you might need. I believe you can rent bikes there too. This area is extremely crowded during summer and peak seasons, so plan accordingly!
Product Review- *Ranger Review- Wenzel Moonshine Shade As a ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes get cool gear to test and review, so today I’m reviewing the Moonshine Shade from Wenzel. The Shade arrived on Friday morning, the day I was heading to Cades Cove, with rain in the forecast I was so pumped I got it in time to take! I have been looking for a lightweight canopy to replace the big, bulky ez up we’ve been using, the Moonshine Shade weighs in at 14lbs, and fits in a small carrying case! The first time setting it up, it was in the rain, and I should have actually read the Instructions, instead of skimming over them! Lol. But I figured it out, and in hindsight, i made it way harder than it actually is. It is really a quick 5 minute set up, and the 9x12 area actually provides more shade than the 10x10 canopy, especially with the movable side wall.
The Moonshine Shade from Wenzel is a fantastic product, and excellent for camping, or any outdoor event! Find it here- Wenzelco.com
Red Top Mountain is a nice place, situated right on the lake, with lots of hiking trails, there’s plenty to do, and the scenery is beautiful. The campground is gated, so if you will be arriving late, you’ll need to call and get a code. Also, they require a two night minimum on the weekends when you book online, however if a site is only open for one night, you can call the park directly and they will book it for you.
The campground is mountainous and wooded, and the sites are very spacious. Many of the sites have lake views, and several are lake front, some you can even drop in a kayak. The campground has lots of large rocks throughout, just like the terrain of the area. We stayed on site #56, and had a great view of the lake. The tent pad in that one was huge, so we had way more space than we even needed.
My only complaint was the bathhouse was in desperate need of a major renovation. Cracked tiles, broken door handles, rotting wood on the stall doors, etc.
Cloudland Canyon State Park is located in North Georgia at the end of Lookout Mountain. The views there are breathtaking! There are trails to a waterfall and several overlook spots, perfect for pics! The campground is divided into two sections- east rim and west rim, plus there are backcountry sites, pioneer sites, and a yurt village. There’s so much to explore here, I can’t imagine getting bored, but if you do, Chattanooga is just a short 20 min drive.
The campgrounds are gated, so if you will be arriving late, you’ll need to call and get a gate code. Also, there’s a two night minimum on the weekends, however if a site is only open for one night, you can call the park directly and they will book it for you.
We stayed in the west rim loop on site #47, it was a 50amp pull through. All the sites were very spacious, and I love how the fire rings were off the picnic area, and there was a charcoal grill as well. The west rim loop is heavily wooded, so there’s lots of privacy and also lots of good hammock space. The restrooms were ok, nothing special.
The east rim loop looked to be much more open, not in the woods, but it is very close to the main overlook, so there could be some really nice views there.
The yurt village looked really cool, I’m hoping to stay there sometime. The bathhouse in that area looked really nice too.
I really love this area, and the camping is great!
King’s Holly Haven is a true RV park. While there are some tent sites, I’ve stayed here a few times and have only seen a tent set up once. The park is next to Wear Farm Park, so if baseball/softball tournaments are going on the campground will be full of ball players. It is very convenient to Pigeon Forge entertainment and the mountains. The pool is nice and bathhouses are great.
I always try to get site #69, or one on either side, it’s at the end of the park, right on the creek, and it’s near the grassy, open tent area. It is also the shortest walk to the ballfields. The sites are pretty close together, so I would recommend arriving early before it gets crowded so you can have more room to back in.
Harrison Bay State Park is a nice park, in a great location, with lots to do. I don’t give this a 5 star rating only because it’s a little cramped in there. The campground was fully booked when we stayed in June, so might not be as bad if you don’t go in the peak season.
The park is right on Lake Chickamauga, so you can fish, kayak, swim, paddle board, etc. There’s a marina with a good restaurant. There’s an aviary, and walking trail. A pool, kayak and paddle board rentals, playground, lots of picnic tables, etc. lots to do! And it’s just a short drive to Chattanooga!
Every loop of the campground has some waterfront sites, we were in B13, and were not waterfront, I believe in the B loop they were around site 29. D loop is only tent sites, A loop has the best waterfront sites in my opinion. The restrooms were large and private in A loop also. Most of the sites appeared to be pull through in all the loops (except D, tent sites)
There’s deer roaming everywhere, so don’t speed! Also, the park closes at 10 so be aware of that. The gate was only half closed the night we were out late, but I’m not sure if that was intentional or not. I would return to Harrison Bay, but possibly will try to go out of peak season!
This place is so much better than I ever imagined! The pictures truly do not do it justice! First of all, the camp hosts, Mitch and Lori, are so friendly and gracious, they go above and beyond to make your stay incredible. They put so much thought into every little detail, from the s’mores scented citronella candle next to the fire, to the coffee station, and everything in between.
The property is extremely quiet and peaceful. You feel like you are in the deep woods far away from civilization. The treehouse is perfectly placed for privacy.
The treehouse is just magical. It is so beautifully decorated, with a rustic feel, but everything you need to be comfortable is there. There is air conditioning, but you can also just open all the windows and turn on the fan and it’s pretty nice, even in late June. There’s only room for two, creating a perfect romantic retreat. The outdoor cooking area is so cool and functional. We made coffee with the percolator in the morning, but when we return we will plan on a full breakfast!
THAT BATHROOM! Hands down, best shower I’ve ever used! Again, the whole bathroom design is just remarkable. Unlimited hot water with clear paneling and windows, you feel like you are showering outside! The floor is like pavers with pea gravel and the water drains through. I’ve never seen anything cooler!
I wish I could give this more stars because this property deserves extra credit! We will certainly return soon, and stay longer than just one night!
Ragland Bottoms is such a fun place to camp! The campground is right on Center Hill lake, and the lake is really nice and clean! We stayed on site 10, and had the perfect lake front spot! I know that sites 1-15 are all lakefront sites with electricity and water, and they book up fast, so if you want one of those you need to plan to book well in advance. They have walk in tent sites, as well as lake view electric sites.
There is a playground and sand volleyball court, boat ramp, and a hiking trail. Fishing is allowed in the lake, as well as swimming, kayaking, boating. Really great spot to spend a few days!
Belle and Beau Acres is the perfect spot for a private getaway. The camp host, Christine, is super friendly and gracious! The property is just a couple miles from I-75, so is very convenient to get to, but not so close that you hear any road noise.
You have your choice of sites, either in the heavily wooded timber, in the field, or by the creek. We stayed in the timber and it was glorious! Lots of downed wood to burn, several level sites, lighting bugs for entertainment at night, waking to the sound of birds chirping and even some wild turkeys passing through.
There was another group camping by the creek, so we didn’t go down there and disturb them, but I’m told there are some waterfalls, and pools in the creek to cool off in. You can’t drive directly to the creek, it is a short hike.
They have a nice little comfort station located by the trailhead to the creek. You will need to bring your own waste bags and shower bag to use it.
If you like seclusion and privacy, you’ll love this place!
First of all, the drive to Elkmont is just beautiful! Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the scenery is second to none! If you have never heard of Synchronized Fireflies, look it up! This is a natural phenomenon that can only be seen in one place in the world, with peak times around the beginning of June, and that’s Elkmont! You don’t actually need to win a lottery spot to see this, you just have to stay at the campground and walk up to the little river trail around 9pm! We were in M002, and it was a short walk. The campground is scenic with a river running through, that you can actually tube in. Just about all sites are wooded, so plenty of space and privacy. Restrooms were clean, however there are no showers! Also, there’s no electricity at any of the sites, so if you need power, better take a generator. The campground is huge too. You can only use firewood that has the state or government seal, and there is a store there to purchase if u need. I absolutely love this campground! So many great hiking trails, and the sounds from the river and nature are so soothing. This place is a “must visit” campground!!!
Battlefield Campground & RV park is locates right off the exit in Ringgold, Ga, right behind the Georgia Winery, so it is very close to Chattanooga. The campground seems to have a lot of long term guests, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking for a relaxing retreat to the woods. The sites are very close to each other, and most of them were full when we stayed. We were on site #69, right across from the pool. The Campground does have some nice amenities like the pool, and playground, dog park, and the pavilion, which I’m not sure what this space is used for, but it was nicely furnished and could be used to host a party or something. The restrooms were exceptionally clean! The bathhouse located in the pavilion was very nice. The staff here is very friendly and accommodating. The location was convenient for us to get back and forth from Chattanooga, but I would only return out of necessity, as I prefer to be a little more secluded when I’m camping.
Horseshoe Bend Marina is truly a hidden gem! The campground is under new management, and they are the most gracious and friendly people ever!
The campground has rv sites, tent sites, and glamping tents, which are large canvas tents with beds and swanky furniture in them. We stayed in glamping tent #17, and let me tell ya, the bed in there was so comfortable, I’m purchasing that mattress for my home! The view from every campsite is amazing, but we had a front rower seats! Every campsite has a nice fire pit too. They only allow one car per site, so plan accordingly.
The bathhouse was functional, but really only one person can be in there at a time, even with two toilets, as one is not enclosed. There’s only one shower in there. There were restrooms at the marina, which was close by.
They have a game room tent with ping pong, cornhole, jenga, etc. and they host a movie night sometimes! They also had an inflatable water slide during the day. The property sits right on the water, and it’s perfect for kayaking! You can paddle both directions with ease, and there are several waterfalls nearby, also Rock Island State Park is about 1.5 miles by water. The boat traffic is minimal so paddling is easy.
The store at the marina is stocked with everything you need, ice, beer, snacks, and they will even deliver them to your site! However, the campground is off the beaten path, so stock up before you get there!
We LOVE Horseshoe Bend Marina, and can’t wait to return!
Prentice Cooper WMA is a great place if you’re looking to be in the wilderness. Keep in mind, this is a wildlife management area, so If you are not hunting, might want to avoid it during hunting season, you can find season dates on TWRA website.
There are only two campground areas in PC, but it looks like you can backcountry camp on the map. Davis Pond and Hunters Check Station Campground and the two campground areas. There aren’t any hookups at either site. Hunters Check is a heavily wooded area, near the big game check building. Davis Pond is more of an open field by the pond, and that’s where we stayed. Only one other then there while we were there! There’s plenty of room for multiple tents and great hammock spots. There’s a trailhead that goes to blowing wind falls from the campground too. My husband caught several large mouth bass in the pond too (catch and release). There a lot of ATV, UTV, dirt bikes, jeeps, etc. riding the area, but there’s no riding after dusk, so at Davis Pond it’s very quiet and peaceful with only the sounds of nature! DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT even think of entering the “restroom” at Davis Pond. They really should demolish it. Completely disgusting. And creepy. So be advised, there is no USABLE restroom, you are truly roughing it! Great area for peace and quiet!
The Goose Pond Colony is a great area, right on Lake Guntersville, with lots to do, and beautiful scenery. If you plan to camp here, be advised that they don’t take reservations!!! I have no idea how, or why they do business this way, but that’s how it is. So you show up and hope for the best! We lucked out and got a primitive site on the lake. The primitive area is really cool, you can choose any are you like, and just go to the office and pay. The electric sites were nice and spacious, most have a lake view, and several on the water. There’s plenty of lake access for boats, kayaks, swimmers, etc, but the cove around the primitive area is not good to swim in, it’s nothing but high grass and seaweed in the water. The showers not very clean, and the bathrooms were mediocre.
I believe this place is the best campground I’ve stayed! They have tons of sites, and all are spacious and secluded. They do have some with electric hookups, but we didn’t have that, as we were in the rooftop tent. You can’t hardly see your neighbor with all the trees. We were in D loop #36, which was right across from the restrooms and bathhouse, and still we weren’t bothered with noise from a completely sold out campground on Memorial Day weekend. There is a nice little lake area for swimming and/or fishing, picnic areas, hiking trails, beautiful, scenic views, a group site and dispersed primitive area. Getting to the campground is a little tricky. There isn’t much signage to lead you to the campground, and the directions on the website aren’t very clear, we used the Waze app and it took us right to it. I absolutely can’t wait to return!
We only stayed one night, but will return to take advantage of the prime lake front tent spots! On the map it shows individual sites, but it’s more of a disbursed area. You can see in my pics how close you are to the water, you could easily launch a kayak, swim, fish, etc. and the frogs and crickets sing so loud at night! It’s wonderful! However, in the morning there’s some road noise, we stayed on a weeknight, so weekends could be better, but I’m not sure. There is a portable restroom in the tent area, it was extremely clean, I didn’t go in the bathhouse. The rest of the campground is rv sites and is heavily wooded, so there’s lots of shade and privacy despite being close together. They also have a nice pool! The campground is very close to downtown knoxville too. We really enjoyed it and would recommend.
I’ll start by saying the park is beautiful! Views of the lake and dam are breathtaking! Just don’t plan to swim, as there is no lake access point for swimming. You can rent kayaks, boats, paddleboards, etc at the marina, but if you were planning to bring a float and get in the lake, you’ll be disappointed. There’s lots of hiking trails, and the Clinch River Brewing Co is very close too. The east campground is pretty small, and sites are close together. The primitive sites looked better and the cabins looked great. The restrooms were very outdated, and barely any water pressure in the shower. We drove by the west campground and it looked nicer, if we return we will stay on that side.
Victoria campground is awesome! Two negatives- 1-could have more restrooms, depending on the site you choose, you could have quite a commute to them. 2.-The gate worker was super intense! Wanted to know every detail of everyone in our party, and my husband came late and I have to give notice for him to join us ( the campground is gated) Now the positives- It’s right on beautiful lake Allatoona! And you have access to the lake everywhere! The sites are very large, and everyone I saw had lots of privacy! Restrooms are large and clean! I hope to have a chance to return to Victoria!
The park is amazing! The campground is ok, the spaces are good sized with plenty of space between, If tent camping, I would try to get one along the wooded sides, you’ll have more privacy that way. We stayed on site 99, across from a small creek, but right in the middle of the campground. The bathrooms are just ok, there’s no changing room in the shower stalls, so be prepared.
The primitive tent sites are amazing, I didn’t give it 5 stars only because you can hear a little bit of road noise, as the campground is near the interstate. If you visit in spring, the lake water may not have risen yet, so summer would be better if you want to enjoy lake front camping! We took our rooftop tent and had a perfect corner spot next to the creek. Plenty of room on each site for tent camping. The bath house is pretty far away too. Overall, we love this campground, and the tent sites are the best, can’t wait to camp here this summer!