Meridith M.
Asheville has , NC
Joined July 2018
Striking geological formations, Comfortable, pretty,

The Natural Chimneys are awesome. The park is flat with nice campsites and a stream that varies from year- it runs underground some years.

Pretty, well-maintained, hiking & water sports

Great spot for all kinds of boating and water sports.

Close to other parks with waterfalls and hiking trails.

Muggy & Buggy

Stay on the beach side, not in Live Oaks.

Backpacking only, gorgeous scenery, primitive

There are trails of wide variety in length and difficulty from nearly flat to very difficult. This state park opened in 2015 and is still under construction. Currently there are connecting trails into Cherokee National Forest as well as excellent trout fishing in streams that are stocked weekly during summer.

There is an interpretive area where guides offer presentations in the summer. Portable toilet is maintained at the parking lot.

The Fork River Trail offers one of the the most picturesque locations in the Blue Ridge and is accessible (with assistance) for some jogging strollers and some wheelchairs. The trail is composed of very coarse gravel for the first .1-.3 miles before turning to dirt.

The website is helpful.

Pretty campground, but you are here to see Linville Gorge and Falls

Easy access to the trails around and over Linville Gorge. You can easily spend 2 days exploring trails along both sides of Linville Gorge and staring at the Falls. There is a less strenuous walk along one side of the gorge and a trail that allows views from the top of the waterfall that is accessible for most people.

On the other side of the Gorge are more challenging hikes. Maps are available at the visitor’s center. I highly recommend researching the geology of the Gorge to add to your appreciation & understanding.

Warning: This is a very popular tourist area and it’s crowded in summer. Get there early if you want to park without a wait.

As you would expect, there are restaurants and shops in the area to serve visitors.

Nature and History; hiking, fishing, birding, photography,horse trails,elk

So much to see. It’s easy to spend a couple of days exploring the historical sites, walking trails, watching the elk herd (especially during the fall rut period) and admiring the natural beauty of the Great Smokey Mountains with less than the usual crowds. This is because access to the campground requires a challenging drive down a one lane dirt road. Believe me, you don’t want to try this in wet conditions.

But the trip is well worth the challenge. The campsite is a loop in the pines along a creek. It’s a 15 minute walk to the pastures where you can see the elk herd in the early morning or at dusk. Get up before dawn to watch the sun rise over the mountain and streak across the meadow.

Great hiking, very scenic, best from May-October

Campsites vary from primitive to group sites with restrooms and pavilions. No showers or services in Pisgah National Forest.

Known for trout fishing and hiking trails for all levels. Mountain streams offer fun for kids and kid-wannabes. There are equestrian trails and a riding stable nearby. Horse camping is popular.

Varied activities, well-maintained,family-friendly,lake front

We have camped here twice for several days each time. There are 2 main areas, both are close to a large reservoir good for fishing, kayaking, SUPs, rudderless sailing. There are playgrounds, ball fields, picnic areas, short hikes, and cabins for rent. Birdwatching hikes are available nearby at the Swamp Fox Nature Preserve that also offers historical and natural history information.The washrooms/showers are older, but cleaned daily. A camp store and information center are onsite.

My favorite activity was a guided kayak tour into an adjacent swamp. Birds, small mammals and alligators watch as the boats glide by. But make sure to go with a guide, especially if children will be on board.

Weather is changeable. The park is busy 3 seasons a year so make reservations early. Midsummer is hot, humid, and buggy. Spring and fall are lovely times to visit.