Shari  G.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2020

Creekside Camping

At the intersection of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia state lines, sits this national forest which offers multiple dispersed camping areas along Bear Creek. Opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, and paddling are abundant.  The Appalachian Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail are just minutes away, as well as some easy whitewater paddling fun on the White Top Laurel Creek.

Most of campsites are large, very shaded, along a beautiful treelined road, and surrounded by mountains. There is no drinking water, picnic tables, or even pit toilet, so come prepared. The only major problem is that folks tend to leave a ton of trash around, so we often spend about 20-30 minutes cleaning these sites upon arrival. Please Leave No Trace! 

Our site had a good fire ring, and was on the edge of a creek that we could filter water from with ease. We stayed at this camp for 3 weeks during the pandemic shutdown and it was a perfect place to ride out this crazy storm and decompress from some anxiety. 

The closest town is Damascus, VA, about 12 miles away. The town is small, but draws thousands of tourists each year who are either hiking the Appalachian Trail or cycling the famous Virginia Creeper bike path. It is equipped with a decent sized grocery store, gas, and couple of restaurants, and a cute downtown area. There is absolutely no cell service at this camp, you have to go into town or hike a local mountain to get service up high.

  • With our solar panel, a clean creek, and our bathroom tent, we had all we needed to ride out the pandemic in style.
  • Hiking on the Appalachian Trail is always a treat.
  • Appalachian Trail shelter on a nearby hike.
  • Along the Virginia Creeper Trail.
  • This time, we cycled UP to White Top station then coasted down!
  • Creek surfing to pass the time.
  • Along the Virginia Creeper Trail
  • Along the Virginia Creeper Trail.
  • View from our front door.
  • Creekside Easter brunch!

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