You really can’t pass this one up. If you are road tripping from Great Smokey to Shenandoah this is the perfect one or two night way point. We opted for two nights and were stunned with the views from the hemlock loop. We booked before the site filled up and got the best site of the loop — site 006. I don’t know if we’ll ever be back because it was a bit out of the way for us.
It is primarily a boat/fishing recreation area in Cherokee National Forest, but it works as a perfect get away. Similar to other NF campgrounds the sites are huge and offering full or partial shade. We lucked out and got there during peak autumn colors. Being that we booked a month out we didn’t realize the campground would close the other loops our weekend causing our loop to be full the whole weekend. The atmosphere was respectful.
We did a day trip to Asheville, NC since we are not boat ppl and got to experience a great day in the city.
These are largely primitive sites, but offer some great amenities regardless. Very big picnic tables, shared water, bathrooms, and a boat ramp.
Alcohol isn’t permitted but it seemed like everyone ignores that rule. Bring your own firewood as what they were offering needed to be chopped. We didn’t bring our axe so we had to run out for some wood at a gas station.
Also the road into the campsite has several switchbacks and blind turns. Locals breeze through it, but if you are hauling an very large trailer/RV be prepared. It would be tough to make some of these turns in a vehicle the size of a greyhound.
Sunset is worth it. If we can come back, we will.