Shelly S.

The Dyrt Pro

Kingston, TN

Joined June 2016

Camping is my Zen! My Mom started the obsession, the military warped it ;) and now I do it for me! Exploring the US with my entourage and loving it!

Summer in December

Camped here to ring out the old and ring in 2022 with a group of Sisters. The staff was professional and quick at check in, even inquired if I was aware of the forecasted incoming weather during my stay and explained emergency procedures. HUGE campground. All the sites are nice sized, though an update is needed on pavement, pads and amenities. They keep what they have well maintained. Tree top, mini golf and archery activities are present. Of course you are on the at one time largest man made lake so all those water activities. There are nice trails that are adequately marked. Once again updates would be nice. There is an Equine campground and a contractor for trail rides nearby if you don’t have your own horse. The area offers many small towns with antiquing and interesting local businesses/restaurants. Worth a visit for a weekend or week of your summer if you can get a reservation.

Horrible Customer Service

I haven’t even made it to the campground! When I made my reservation it was an ordeal, getting charged incorrectly and the wrong dates. Then when we had to adjust the dates I couldn’t get through to anyone, left two voicemails and still no reply. When I finally got to talk to a person she was very helpful. My suggestion, if your phones are that busy maybe get some more people in there to help out?!

Community Effort

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best when we stayed here. I want to go back in the summer and hike the long trail. When we arrived there was obviously an event going on. The small town along the front of Indian Springs State Park seems to be very in tune with the park. There is an event center, excellent restaurant and small gas/grocery right by the entrance. The campground was full even though it was February, which once again speaks to the community and residents. Not the most private sites but they are roomy. I was way to close to the playground. Screaming children are annoying… I’m not referring to yelling and cavorting. These were squalling, screeching hellions with no regard to others around them. One even made a rush at my dogs as I was walking by :( Not much view but you are above some water. No trail near the campground unfortunately. I did not use the showerhouse, it was conveniently located, but was the only one so I’m sure it gets busy.

We enjoyed the nature trail but skipped the longer more difficult trail due to incoming weather. Saw some deer, not much else. Not a well marked trail but we figured it out. I saw people headed to the spring with empty containers and the falls or cascades, were very beautiful.

Changed Owners

Stayed a 4 Paws numerous times now and have always had a good time. There are options as to how you want to camp. This year I had one site with a fence all the way around and most recently my site had a small fenced in yard for the dogs to use. Ownership has changed as of Thanksgiving week, we will see what the new owners do. There is a laundry, dog wash and shower building that is well maintained and very modern. We visited several EXCELLENT hiking trails that had the views! Then there’s sampling of local cuisine and shopping. Asheville, Hendersonville and Greenville are all nearby. Or you could easily sit at the campground and just hangout at the dog parks. For Thanksgiving they served a meal and had other events. They also have other event weekends that are a lot of fun.


Wide open spaces, however this allows for some Major wind at times. Spike down those tents!
No shade, lol, no trees, but a lot of dirt/sand. The view is great, day or night. Well maintained area and awesome staff. Hiking through the area, take your camera and water.

Bringing the kids

Definitely bringing the daughter and granddaughter next year! Beautiful area, awesome drive with scenery and WILDLIFE! I thought more about Teddy Roosevelt then Custer while here. Roosevelt was all about wildlife , etc. the park has the animals you relate to “the West”. The park had the feel of cowboys/covered wagon era. I enjoyed my visit so much, a surprise around every curve. Wind Cave National Park and the Badlands are an easy drive from here so you can continue the experience. Nice campground , well maintained and nice staff.

Fishing anyoneu

Horsethief Lake Campground in Black Hills National Forest was surprisingly peaceful and serene though it is close to Mount Rushmore. The traffic to and from the monument doesn’t disturb the “atmosphere”.

There’s a trailhead “Black Elk Wilderness” nearby that takes you into the woods. The lake below is a popular fishing spot.

Primitive sites with shade and good size area to set up in. Requisite picnic table and fire pit.

A lot to do in the area or just sit back and enjoy the scenery. There’s an ADA parking pad with cement walk/roll way to enjoy the lake.

Excellent Primitive Camping

Stayed here with a group and had an awesome time. So many hiking trails in this area, the river, then there’s “The Snake” US 421 motorcycle route and the Virginia Creeper hike/bike trail nearby. Basic campground, picnic tables, huge fire rings and a pit toilet. The river runs the back of the campground. There’s a cool rock formation falls that you can sit at or wade. Then there’s the natural arch that’s right over the road. Dark and quiet at night, so relaxing with the water. There’s a big pavilion and picnic area at the end of the campground. Loved camping here.

Almost the coast

I think the train issue is worse in the lower campground. We were in the section of the campground that had a hill between us and the train tracks so it wasn’t bad. I didn’t much care for my site and everything in the campground seems scaled for smaller vehicles and campers. The dump site was a tight squeeze. I ended up parking across the front of my site due to the lay of the land. The group next to me was teenage girls “Oh my gosh!!”, who never shut up! And stayed up late, though I didn’t notice them except when I took the dogs out. The woods are AWESOME, deep woods motif. Ferns and moss and the trails were nice. The walk to the beach was under the train track and down the hill. Water shoes suggested. Awesome views , but a lot of “stuff” on the shore. There was a showerhouse but I didn’t use it. Only one for the whole area.

Not first choice

Plus, this park is right across the street from the beach. Minus, this park is right by a tourist area road and beach. The campground is down a lane and in the woods so it’s private but open to people wandering through. This is what I call primordial forest, ferns and cedars and you wouldn’t be totally surprised to see a dinosaur meandering through…..well maybe you would , lol Basic camping, secure your valuables and pay attention to your surroundings. All of that said it was a nice, maintained park.

Needs some work

This campground is okay however it needs some maintenance. It’s seems like several of the sites need to be cleaned up and re-leveled. They were working on the volleyball site when we visited so maybe they are in the middle of renovations? The cabins in the back had some nice views and for the most part the sites were shaded. I was glad my site was near the office/shower house/laundry due to the fact the WiFi worked only in that immediate area. Big park, nature trail out the back that was interesting and some animals like in the old style KOA’s. I really liked the tent area and shelters on the far side, they looked brand new and the camp kitchen was nice. Good base camp for the area.

Good stop off

Riverside Park Campground, Irwin, Idaho

In Caribou-Targhee NF/Palisades Wilderness near Bridger- Teton NF. This is a first come , no reservation campground, at the foot of Palisades Dam on Snake River. We arrived around 2 pm and the sites were mostly empty. Several others arrived around 6 pm. This is a good campground for fishermen/women, the lower sites are right on the river. There is a boat ramp right across the road. There is paddle information near the boat ramp also. The only electric sites are on the upper half. The rest are basic sites. All have fire pits, picnic tables and a multi purpose metal platform. Gravel/dirt pads that are level. There are several pit toilets and dumpsters throughout . No trails , but there are several trailheads nearby. Other then fishing there is not much else to do at this campground, however it would be a good starting off point for hiking adventures. You can not leave your camper/tent overnight, unattended.

Use of space

Bonner County Fairgrounds, Sandpoint, ID

Nice little campground on the side of the fairgrounds. There’s a block showerhouse , that I did not go into and a nice picnic pavilion in the middle of the campground. Basic sites, sorta seems like an afterthought or good use of space. Grass and a few trees, but otherwise wide open. Close to Sandpoint , ID which has some awesome shopping and hiking trails, plus water sports.

Smaller large KOA

Considering the actual square footage of this KOA, there was a lot of unused space. Which for a KOA was strange. There were two open fields so maybe they plan to expand. There was a trail that meandered through the park which was nice, though steep and slippery in a few places, be careful.

This is a very “strategically” located KOA. SO much to do in this area. Bring your mountain bike, hiking boots and drinking cup. Bakeries, Orchards, breweries, mountains, waterfalls and bike trails just to name a few things ;)

The campground is near I-40 but I didn’t even notice it when I was in my van, sorta white noise. I was in the back loop so maybe the front area gets more noise from the interstate.

There is a dog park and maybe I’m dog fickle but it’s a smaller park in a huge grass field….why not make the dog park bigger??

The sites in a straight line are close, the ones in the curve have more room. There’s a shower house in the back loop which is new and well maintained. Strange too was the dump site in the back loop, I didn’t see one in the front area.

Small and quiet

Family Campground

One nice thing is the size and separation of the sites. One bad thing is the road is busy.

This campground is one way and exits into a trailhead parking area. There was one site that was in the parking area, would not be my first choice. Shaded sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Nice shower house , well maintained.

Easy access to several trails and not far from the falls. The river runs the back of the campground.

Wild Ponies.....

Grayson Highlands State Park is just one of those places you love! The views are awesome, the trails excellent and then there’s wild ponies ! I brought my daughter and granddaughter with me this time and we all had a very good visit. My granddaughter got such a thrill out of meeting wild ponies and there were so many babies, it was so much fun ;) The campground is quiet and the sites are mostly shaded. There’s good separation between sites, though some are a little more open then others. There are a few sites where you are literally sitting on the edge of a very steep drop off, I avoid these ! There are Trailhead’s within the campground and several other very unique and challenging trails. The shower house was a short walk through the trees. The camp Host was across the road from the shower house and next to the dump site. He had firewood on site and was very helpful and informative. No water sports here , but lotsa hiking and stars.

Water Adventure

Buffalo Point State Park

Spent some excellent quality family time at Buffalo Point State Park. I think I lucked into my site, because I’ve tried to make reservations since then and it’s always full. Our site was not great, it was long and “thin”, between two roads. From the gravel pad there was a 10 foot area and then the picnic table and grill area. Very strange set up! Right across the road was the River/beach access though! LOVE the river, so clear! Awesome “beach” area with plenty of room to walk, play and set up your chair. The Showerhouse was in good shape and maintained. The tent area had some nice site above the river and was packed as well. We hiked, canoed and relaxed!


Cross Ranch State Park, ND

This campground was CROWDED. Every spot was full. That being said it was not loud, just a low mumble :) of fellow campers. The spots, well they were close but situated in a way that you weren’t sitting staring at your neighbor. There were trees and foliage between the rows so it was comfortable. The showers were in the front office so like a half mile walk from my site. They were clean and well maintained. The trails were close by though. A scenic walk along the River where Lewis and Clark traveled. Cool stuff. Up the road was a extremely interesting, National Historic Site we visited. I didn’t but I imagine fishing was good and of course water travel. The staff was friendly and Informative. Good campground to visit.

This place is so cool!

It seems like I’ve said every campground on my trip was awesome. However it was my first time to the west AND The Dyrt helped me plan my trip so I found some AWESOME campgrounds.

Makoshika Stare Park has a Triceratops on the sign, how can you not get excited about checking it out! Kids would love this park.

The campground I stayed at has a reservable TP , a pit toilet and good sized sites but not much shade. My site ran right up to the edge of a drop off. My Pomeranian , being the bonehead he is jumped right in ! Luckily it was only about 6 or 7 feet.

The hiking was …well… Awesome! Lol You can actually walk through the hills and on top and around. There were rabbits appearing and disappearing. There were benches in interesting places. Informational markers and interesting spots.

Excellent place to bring the kids.

This is camping

Compared to South, Colonial Creek North Campground seems even more “in” the woods!

You are not as close to Diablo Lake which is probably a good thing considering the traffic. The boat ramp is on the South side and the main traffic that travels through the North side is foot heading up the Thunder Creek Trail.

It is very easy to feel like you are alone in the woods due to the placement of the multiple sites. Bear lockers, picnic tables and nice size sites to set up in. The reservation system is whack! Some sites are reservable , good luck. Then there’s the walk in sites, once again good luck, plan on spending a day getting it done. I’m sure time of year/day if week makes a difference.

Loved the lake! Loved the trails! Loved the drive! I am coming back !