the dyrt
Steve V.
Huntsville , AL
Joined October 2018
Relaxing Waterfront

We had a 3 night stay on site 55 on the Hoot Owl loop at Clear Creek Recreational Area in the William B Bankhead National Forest. Campground has 4 loops. 2 loops are on the water and first come first serve (non-reservable), and 2 loops are off the water and can be reserved by calling or online. Lake front sites are $26 a night and non-lake sites are $24 a night. Please note, the non-reservable loops are cash or check only, so this caught us off guard, but the staff was nice enough to let us in and find an ATM in the morning to settle up. All sites have a paved vehicle and trailer area that is relatively level and a gravel area with a fire pit and table. Site numbers that end with a “D” on the map below are double sites, so double the parking area, double the hook ups, 2 picnic tables, and double the price. Those sites were large but not sure how two big rigs would fit on those site. In my opinion, they would work good for 2 teardrops or smaller trailers though. This campground is seasonal and closed from the end of October until the first week of March.

Cellphone coverage with Verizon was good throughout the park. No WiFi available.

Multiple bathhouse around the campground so you are never more than ~500 feet from one. Bathhouse’s are clean, but showers are push button style that only run about 10-15 seconds with each push. Plus, the water starts warm, but cools down with each push. Also, because this is a seasonal campground, there are no heaters, so be aware of some chilly showers in the early or late seasons when temps are low.

There is no camp store, but the park office has limited supplies (fire wood, ice, bug spray, batteries, and hand soap). Closest convenient store is about 15 minutes away and real grocery store is about 25-30 minutes from the park.

Lots of downed trees on this visit, so there is a lot of free wood for the taking if you want to put in a little work to cut it up.

Some hiking from the campground with a few amazing rock caves and small water falls. There is also a paved bike/walking trail.

Group camping, swimming beach, and boat ramp also available in the park. Water sites have easy access to put in kayaks or canoes right from your site.

2 nice breweries (one that also makes wine) not far away in Jasper, AL.

We highly recommend sites 5, 17, 47, 55, 79, 81, and 82. Sites that are also nice and would work are 8, 18, 38, 42, 45, 49, 57, 77, 87, 89, and 99.

Quiet and Relaxing

Two night stay on site 39. Love the large sites that are nicely separated from neighboring sites and overlook the water. Friendly staff and clean bathhouse. Only one bathhouse that is centrally located and is a decent walk from some sites. Only limited, easy hiking available in the park. No WiFi, but good cell signal with Verizon throughout the park. No camp store, but convenient and grocery stores about 15 minutes away.

Cold and Windy, but Quiet & Relaxing

3 night stay at the upper improved campground (lower improved was closed for winter maintenance). Sites are large but some are not very level, so have leveling gear ready. More pull thru sites here than I’ve seen at any other campground. Cellphone coverage with Verizon is spotty for the most part and nonexistent in some areas. No WiFi available. Bathhouse is very clean. When making your online reservation, the red boxes on the campground map are not the bathhouses. The single bathhouse is more centrally located in the Upper Improved Campground if you are one to choose a site based on its distance to the bathhouse. The park recently cut down many trees from storm damage, so there is a lot of free wood for the taking if you want to put in a little work to cut it up. Camp store has very basic, convenient store type, selection. Closest real grocery store is about 25 minutes from the park. Lots of hiking in the park and surrounding National Forest. And they have a dog park to let you furry friends run loose for a little bit. Primitive camping, cabins, and hotel also available in the park.

Quiet

RV sites are concrete pads with full hook up (power, water, sewer, WiFi, and cable). Most sites are a little closer together than we are used to. No fire rings at the RV sites. Tent sites do have fire rings, but no power or water. Bathhouse is large and very clean. Laundry facilities available. There is a community center building with TV, tables, and fire ring that hosted a dirty Santa and nightly BYOB happy hours while we were there, as well as a NYE Party planned. Staff and camp hosts are very friendly and helpful. Walking distance to the Pensacola Lighthouse and National Naval Aviation Museum. Dog friendly beach right at the campground. They do not allow swimming at this beach, but still fun for letting the dog run, fishing, and hanging out. Swimming beach and pool are located at other areas of the base. Reservations are site type, not site specific, but after talking with the staff they said they’d try to accommodate site requests the best they could when making reservation.

Fall Colors

Our weekend started and ended rainy with cold/sunny days in the middle, but still always love going to FCF. Lots of hiking and views to take in. B loop is our favorite for camping (large sites that provide some separation/privacy and lots of shade). Broke down camp in heavy rain so it was nice to find hot coffee and a biscuit at the snack bar on the way out. Snack bar also has local craft beer on tap and does growler fills. The park has a General Store with basic grocery and camping/hiking supplies as well as a decent sized gift shop. Bundles of wood for sale but if you talk with the park staff there is always free, cut up wood somewhere in the park for the taking from them clearing downed trees.

Upper Cumberland Visit

Just getting in from a fun weekend at Old Mill Camp in Cookeville, TN. Old Mill is a private campground directly across the street from the entrance to Cummins Falls State Park (the park is a day Park only and has no camping on site). Wide open sites with plenty of well established trees to provide shade. New, modern bathhouse. Hiking to the falls is adventurous requiring two creek crossings (that can be up to knee deep or more depending on where you cross) and some bouldering, but once you get to the falls it’s amazing. The area is right on the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail so lots of impressive wineries nearby. There is also 4 breweries (a fifth opens the end of Oct 2018) in the area. Oh, and you have to visit Ralph’s Donut Shop in downtown Cookeville! We’d really like to go back in warmer weather to take advantage of the many swimming holes on the hike to the falls and be able to play in the falls.

Weekend Getaway

2 night stay. Most sites are close together, but there are a few that are a little more private. Most sites have a slight to moderate slope to them. Lots of shade. Close to DeSoto State Park that has lots of hiking and site-seeing. Good alternative when DeSoto campground has no availability.

Passing through

1 night stay while traveling up the east coast. Lots of seasonals so you kind of feel out of place. Plenty of shade but sites are right on top of each other. Nice pool. Bathhouse is large and clean.

Amazing Views

3 night stay on the west rim. Large, level sites with lots of shade and privacy. Staff was friendly and helpful. Bathhouse is smaller than other campgrounds we’ve been to, but clean and functional. Lots of hiking (we only covered about 9 miles over the weekend so there’s lots more for other trips). Really enjoyed this State Park and will definitely be back.

Overnight Stop

1 night stop while traveling the east coast. Friendly staff that provided lots of assistance when making reservation and giving directions to the campground. Large sites, shaded, and semi private (some trees between sites and sites not right on top of each other). Close to beach (dog friendly beach!) and lots of sightseeing and restaurants nearby. Bathhouse was clean and modern. Will visit again.

Quick Overnight

1 night stay while traveling the east coast. Sites are on top of each other with no privacy and limited shade. Only bathroom is at the main entrance so if you’re not equipped with your own bathroom you’re doing a lot of walking. Campground is right next to the interstate so you definitely could hear road traffic all night long. Convenient stop for traveling but would not want to spend multiple days here.

Close to Town

2 night stay while traveling the east coast. Campground is very close to town so makes it very convenient to see the sites or run to the store for something. Friendly and helpful staff. Coffee bar on premises. Some sites seemed small and close together. Others were larger and more private so pick wisely. Bathhouse is a little dated but clean and functional. Will visit again.