Nate H.
Knoxville , TN
Joined April 2019
Colorado born and raised. Living in the Smokies missing the Rockies! Chasing what's in season, catching what's biting and exploring God's amazing creations as often as possible.
Free and Secluded

This place is freaking awesome!!! This campground is specifically for use during hunting season but was a perfect place for a free stay on our way down to the beach at Dauphin Island. This is a dispersed campground with absolutely zero facilities. What you bring in is what you have. There was literally not a single soul in this campground other than us. I would imagine you don’t get many people camping back in here unless it is hunting season or the occasional camper trying to sneak away for a quiet weekend getaway. I hesitated to even post this campground because it is such a hidden gem. It is a bit off the beaten path in some WMA ground but well worth the drive if you want the privacy. You will drive past a very large Christmas tree farm as well on your way into it. Signage for the campground is minimal so be sure to use your GPS and enjoy!

One of the best beaches I’ve ever been to

This campground is a hidden gem for those looking for a beach campground. There were less than 10 people at anytime on the beach the 4 days we were down here. The beach is a 5 minute walk or 2 minute bike ride from the tent sights and extremely secluded. You can walk to the beach or directly into an enormous bird sanctuary that has literally hundreds of species of birds. Bathrooms and facilities were clean, well kept and plentiful. I would like to come back to this campground with our pop-up instead of roof top tent just to have some AC at night. There is also a historical battle sight/fort and aquarium all within walking or bike riding distance. There are also numerous outstanding seafood restaurants nearby. Had arguably the best crab legs I’ve ever had in my entire life down here.

I would have given this campground 5 stars except we had an experience with a creepy homeless dude that wouldn’t leave us alone. The campground did have him arrested and taken off sight. And my only other complaint would be the check-in/departure process being super slow due to paper files and no technology to expedite the process. I would most certainly recommend checking this place out if you are looking for an affordable beach getaway!

I would have given this

Awesome Campground on the water

This is an awesome campground on a large lake with fairly secluded sights. Cell phone service was pretty spotty which became an issue while trying to do some hiking. Their are a number of activities available including, hiking, biking, fishing and boating. This campground is extremely family friendly, almost too much for our liking as there were kids EVERYWHERE. There is a large beach area and an event center where they hold daily shows and classes. They even have a put-put course on sight. Bathrooms and facilities were well maintained, clean and plentiful. This is an extremely large campground! My biggest complaint would be the lack of markings on hiking trails. We had a hard time finding some of the trailheads even with the maps provided at the main office. I would like to make a trip back here during the week to avoid some of the crowds but outside of that this is an outstanding place to camp. Even with the weekend crowd we very much enjoyed ourselves!

Free and Secluded

This place is freaking awesome!!! This campground is specifically for use during hunting season but was a perfect place for a free stay on our way down to the beach at Dauphin Island. This is a dispersed campground with absolutely zero facilities. What you bring in is what you have. There was literally not a single soul in this campground other than us. I would imagine you don’t get many people camping back in here unless it is hunting season or the occasional camper trying to sneak away for a quiet weekend getaway. I hesitated to even post this campground because it is such a hidden gem. It is a bit off the beaten path in some WMA ground but well worth the drive if you want the privacy. You will drive past a very large Christmas tree farm as well on your way into it. Signage for the campground is minimal so be sure to use your GPS and enjoy!

Awesome Campground on the Hiwassee River

This is a quaint little campground right on the Hiwassee River. A number of the sites are less than 15 yards from the river through some thickets. Each site has a cut out with access to the river. My favorite part of this campground is the ability to hear the river from pretty much anywhere in the campground. If you are looking for activities this Campground/Park is awesome for hiking, horseback riding, kayaking/tubing, fishing or just flat out relaxing to the sounds of the Hiwassee River. The restrooms are clean and sites fairly spacious. There is an awesome playground for those wanting to bring their children and the campground overall is extremely family friendly.

Ranger Review : Morsel Sporks at Holston River Bank

My wife and I decided to do an overnight float trip on the Holston River with one of our good friends. The river was absolutely rolling with 2 generators running for the entire week so the islands we normally try to stay on were few and far between so we had to camp on the bank in our hammocks. This is an absolute blast of a trip and if you want world class small mouth fishing, look no further! Try to hit it when they are rolling 0 or 1 generators only and the fishing will blow your mind; you’re welcome!!!!! This trip can be done with tents just as easy if not easier than hammocks if you prefer to pack in your tent camping gear. We chose hammocks for space saving reasons only.


Product review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt we get to test out new products on occasion and because we were floating in our kayaks had to pack light including food and utensils. We packed our travel stove and 3 freeze dried dinners to cook Saturday evening. Morsel Spork and the Dyrt were kind enough to send us a Morsel Spork, 2 Morsel XL’s and a Morsel XL Spoon. We used the Morsel Sporks to eat and the spoon to cook/serve with. We typically camp on a weekly basis and one of the things we fight on a regular basis cooking freeze dried meals is the issue of stirring the meals and trying to eat out of the bags without getting food all over our hands. The regular size Morsel Spork is great for eating off of a plate as it’s light weight and has a built in spoon, fork and knife. However the Morsel XL’s are great for eating directly out of the bag as they are long enough to reach to the bottom of the bag to stir, serve or eat. The Morsel XL Spoon is perfect for stirring, serving or eating if you don’t need a fork or knife. The XL Spoon also has a spatula built in to help get the last bit of that delicious meal stuck to the bottom or the bag or pot/pan. These utensils are super lightweight, easy to clean and extremely handy for overnight camping, cooking and eating! Do yourselves a favor and go pick you up a set for your next adventure!

Quite Simply My Favorite Place I Have EVER stayed!!!

This is literally my favorite place I have ever stayed anywhere in the world! I’ve done my fair share of camping and traveling and I have yet to find anywhere I would rather stay! The attention to detail in the cabin/treehouse and greenhouse bathroom is like nothing I’ve ever seen! Everything from the books/games on the shelves, artwork on the wall to the Jack Daniels barrel vanity in the bathroom is thought out and perfect for this place. The owners/builders Mitch and Lori were absolutely amazing to work with and made sure we had everything we could ever want and more available to us on the property. This is such a peaceful place to get away and perfect for those who aren’t a big fan of your typical camping experience of “roughing it.” My wife and I already have our next visit scheduled! Do yourselves a favor and book your trip to this property ASAP! I promise you will not be disappointed!

Secluded and on the water

My wife and I were looking for somewhere close to Knoxville with some privacy on the water for a Sunday night camping spot. This TVA ground did not disappoint. We were the only two on the entire island camping and or fishing. There are obviously people out there Fri and Sat nights but if you want a private island camping experience with your campsite on waters edge, this spot is amazing. There is even another little tip of the island you can kayak, swim or even wade to depending on depth of the water. There are fire rings in multiple locations and plenty of places to tuck back in for some privacy if anyone else is camping out there. It would be a great place for Kayak or bank fishing as well. About a 45min to an hour drive from Knoxville. There are no restrooms and or amenities so plan accordingly. Roads to get back there are dirt and steep/rutted out slightly in some places. You don’t necessarily need 4 wheel drive or an off-road vehicle but if you are worried about your vehicle running up against branches then this place isn’t for you. We absolutely loved this spot and can’t wait to go back!

Stargazing with privacy

My wife and I happened upon this state park when looking for a last minute substitute for another campsite. We were late arrivals, had no problem finding an open site on a Saturday night in the summer. Plenty of open spots with privacy. This campground offers sites with open space for stargazing and/or sites closer to the timber with canopy cover. The campground was less than 20% occupied, so plenty of great spots available. Great for hammock camping, electric hookups or tent. Bathhouses were clean. Bathhouse also included laundry. Campground offers a large amount of cabins, some can accommodate larger groups. You can access the lake from This campground including kayak, canoe, and boat rentals. You can also find a swimming beach area next to the rental boats. There are a plethora of trails to hike including a suspension bridge over the river, and a number of geological landmark sites to hike to. We enjoyed our stay.

Awesome Private Lake Campground with plenty of lakefront spots available

We stayed at this campground to celebrate one of our family birthdays. We were able to book lakefront sites less than a week in advance and still had empty sites on the lake on both sides of us. The bathrooms were clean and showers plenty warm. They have electric as well as tent sites on the water. The fishing is supposed to be awesome although I didn’t have much luck. I would imagine it is much better before the hotter months of the summer. We were able to paddle all over the lake in our Kayaks as well as float/swim in the water without worrying about much wake. They do run motor boats on it but there are so few on it and lake large enough that it doesn’t affect much. They ran an 11 boat fishing tourney on it the Saturday night we stayed there so maybe the fishing is a bit better after dark in the warmer months. I’ve heard the lake held and or holds the state record bluegill but haven’t been able to verify that yet. Regardless this is an awesome private lake with quality fishing and the ability to spend lazy lake days without much boat, car or foot traffic. The owners are awesome and super helpful! The campground store has almost anything you will need including ice, firewood and of course ice cream. They serve burgers, pizza and much more. This place is a bit of a hidden gem in my opinion! Do yourself a favor and book yourself a relaxing lake getaway!

Great Campground for Kayaking and Fishing

My wife and I stayed at this campground while coaching a softball tournament in Chattanooga. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fish as much as I would like due to our tourney schedule. I did have an opportunity to explore the campground and state park and can’t wait to get back down there. We had to pull our pop-up camper so we stayed in an electric site. The site was an extremely level pull through site. It was a little closer to some other campers than I would typically like but the layout allowed for plenty of privacy. I was a bit frustrated when we had to move from one site to another from Fri-Sat because they supposedly only had our site open for 1 night. We looked on the website and it showed our site open Sat night as well but when we asked at the desk they said it was booked and we had to move. Outside of this inconvenience I have no complaints as far as customer service. The bathrooms were clean and well kept, amenities abundant and plenty to do in this state park. The tent sites were far more private with easy access to the lake. I would recommend this campground but if you would like a waterfront site make sure you book well in advance. They also have an extremely nice, giant swimming pool. This is also a great campground for group camping and be sure to check out renting the Patton Hill sites!

Like no place I have ever been

This is one of the most eclectic places I’ve ever been. Almost felt like I was a traveling gypsy staying in this campground. Such a cool group of people and setup. It’s hard to even put this place into words. The campground is dispersed where you can choose anywhere you like to stay. You can find group sites or individual private sights tucked way back in the timber. The brewery on sight is a short walk from the campground and absolutely amazing. They grow their own hops on sight and have a food truck daily. The live music was awesome on Sat night. We had some added entertainment from one of the guys staying at the campground who shot flames out of his mouth while spinning a baton with flames on either end (I can’t make this stuff up)! You simply have to check this spot out because words can’t explain what you will experience. It’s only $5 per person per night and available 365 days a year and 24/7. Fires are not permitted during the summer.

Great place to stay for bike riding the loop

My wife and I thoroughly enjoy riding the Cade’s Cove Loop on Sat and Wed morning before they open it up for vehicles at 10am. You can ride right from the campground to the loop. The sights were much larger than expected and fairly spacious/private. There are no showers but adequate not special restrooms. Scenery is absolutely beautiful. Expect it to be busy at all times Fri and Sat night so book in advance. There is a camp store that has ice cream, firewood and ice. There are a number of park rangers on site most of the day with the ranger station being located at the front of the campground. I highly recommend this campground if you are wanting to ride the loop or just explore Smoky Mountain National Park.

Lakeside Camping

We stayed at this campground on the lake while coaching a tournament in Atlanta. The spaces were spread out with plenty of shade and canopy cover. The bathrooms were clean and fairly up to date. I arrived late after coaching a game so had to park and walk into our pop up camper which was pretty annoying. I would love to see them add a gate with a code for late entry/arrival. And to be completely honest the gentleman working the front gate was an absolute prick to my wife when she was pulling the pop up in on her own. It’s unfortunate a campground can be so nice but hire people who are arrogant, egotistical, unsociable and frankly disrespectful. I still give this campground a 4 star rating in hopes they will maybe do some PR training or hire some people who actually help their guests enjoy their stay!

Awesome Park and Campground but a bit crowded

This is an amazing State Park with plenty to do and much to explore. The campground provides many beautiful views and offers a ton of sights. Upon arrival the front gate/check in area was a bit congested but staff was friendly. The bathrooms were sufficient and clean. My biggest complaint about our particular site was the fact I felt like we were right on top of our neighbors. This campground is a bit too condensed for my liking. When I go camping I don’t want to be able to hear my neighbors every word. It was also a bit difficult maneuvering in and out of the sites as every site seems to be right on top of the next. Loved the park and the views, did not love the lack of privacy in the campground.

Plenty of options in this State Park Campground

If you are looking for options this State Park has a little bit of everything. This is an extremely large campground spread out all over the park. We stayed in the west rim campground and the sites were giant and secluded. Bathrooms were nothing special but clean and accessible. There is plenty of canopy cover in this west rim whereas the east rim was far more wide open, without much cover. They have Pioneer/walk-in sites, a Yurt loop as well as cottages. The sight seeing and hiking is awesome in this area. There is a day use area for those who just want to checkout the main overlook and or waterfall. We are most certainly looking forward to coming back to this campground and state park to explore. If needing a campsite near Chattanooga it is close enough even though it’s located in north Georgia. Be sure to do some exploring and at least check out the overlook!

Plenty of Waterfront View Options

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Red Top Mountain State Park. The campground itself is spread out with large sites. There are plenty of options for waterfront sites and most all sites are shaded with canopy cover. Our site specifically that we chose 56, was perfect for our roof top tent. We parked on a flat pad below a small staircase up to a tent pad surrounded by large boulders and equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. Firewood laying around was abundant. My only complaint about this campground were the comfort station showers. If you don’t need or desire to shower I would have zero hesitation sending anyone to this campground. However if you desire or need to shower as my wife and I do, be warned they are disgusting. They are probably the worst I have experienced anywhere as far as cleanliness. They serve their purpose as far as sufficient water pressure and hot water but outside of that, they are far from pleasant.

Private camping at it’s finest

Absolutely loved this campground! It has open acreage as well as timber and water front options. It has a comfort station for an outdoor shower and an emergency #2. Hosts were incredibly nice and the property is gorgeous. Woke up to 2 jakes walking through our campsite below our rooftop tent. Property is back away from any houses and extremely peaceful. Would be an awesome place for a group to camp and still have their own privacy as well. There is a waterfall on the property and a small stream you can wade up through. It was easy to find and just a couple hours from Knoxville and 1 hour from Nashville!

Lighting Bug Display was on another level

This campground is absolutely amazing. Everything was well kept and clean, sights far enough apart, plenty of shade, plenty of restrooms and just flat out beautiful. We went up and stayed here to see the synchronized lightning bugs and it did not disappoint. I would 100% recommend staying here even if it wasn’t the time of year to see the lighting bugs. Plenty of trails to hike, rivers to fish and things to see. There is an amazing abandoned summer retreat community just outside the campground that is a must see. I will say you WILL NOT HAVE ANY CELL SERVICE! But for me that is far from a negative. Just prepare accordingly.

Adequate but not special

We booked the very last sight open in this campground for a thur-sun tourney in Chattanooga. It was about a 20 minute drive to the fields from the campground even though it was in Georgia. There are very few campgrounds around this area so if you need to stay near Chattanooga book ahead of time. Campground had everything you need and showers and bathrooms were clean and always available. Most people staying in this campground looked to be staying long term. Sights were too close to eachother for my liking but a few sights back in the timber were spread out more. Nothing special about the campground at all but nothing to really complain about other than lack of privacy.