Great Smoky Mountains suggestions?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by SLOTerp, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. SLOTerp

    SLOTerp Member

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    May 25, 2015
    Ashburn, VA
    I'm planning our next summer's big trip which includes Great Smoky Mountains N.P. (Acadia/Montreal this past summer & Badlands/Rushmore the previous). I went to RV Park Reviews but there are like a kajillion campgrounds in that area. Help!

    We need at least electric for AC and water preferred. We try to avoid the KOA's and such unless they are competitive on pricing (The South Montreal KOA was actually such a case).

    Any suggestions are appreciated. We'll be traveling next July.
     
  2. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    Just keep in mind that NONE of the camping sites inside the Natl Park have hookups... Water is available at the several bath room bldgs and thats it...

    You will have to find camp grounds around Gatlingburg, Pigeon Forge, or Townsend areas if you want hookups...

    Roy Ken
     
  3. SLOTerp

    SLOTerp Member

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    May 25, 2015
    Ashburn, VA
    Outside the park is fine with us. I know most N.P. campgrounds don't have hookups so didn't have my hopes high on that.
     
  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    We are pretty much all setup for OFF-GRID Camping and love the ELKMONT SITE inside the Natl Park... We like to stay in Townsend if we want to have Electric sites. It isn't as crowded as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge camp sites are.

    It isn't all that far from any of the camp grounds in the area to gain access to the Natl Park,

    We always like to get on the CADES COVE trail drive just before dusk to watch all of the animals coming out. If you see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the Natl Park roads it is most likely a BEAR sighting...

    Lots of water falls and hiking trails to see and do...

    It seems nobody goes to sleep in the Gatlingburg area haha... People are still walking around at 2AM in the mornings haha...

    also note the Synchronous Fireflies EVENT in the Great Smoky Mountains is usually in JUNE and everything fills up during this time all over the local area. I think this is the only place in the USA where this happens...

    It is truly a sight to see of all of the fire flies blinking at the same time...

    [​IMG]
    Google image

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  5. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    We also like elkmount. We stayed in the no generator loop. Since there is no hook-up. You end up with many people with generators in the generator allowed sections. I think they can run them from 8a to 8p . When we walk through the sections that allow generators you hear nothen but generators. We stayed during mid October when snow was falling at night. Never been there in the summer when people are running AC with their generators.
     
  6. SLOTerp

    SLOTerp Member

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    May 25, 2015
    Ashburn, VA
    I would love to see those fireflies - beautiful! Unfortunately, the timing won't allow it.

    Thanks for the tips. I haven't been to Gatlinburg in about 30 years (living in Huntsville, AL at the time) but I do recall going there to ski & party, not necessarily in that order. [CB]
     
  7. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Kentucky
    I was a little nervous on our trip to Elkmont last month since I was in a generator loop (riverside site was too good to pass up) but it was a non issue. There were a couple mornings where I could barely hear a generator, but the river did a great job of covering up most noise. I think the recent influx of cheap inverter generators has to have really helped with this. But, since the OP wants hookups, that’s all tangential anyway.

    It should be pointed out though that A/C most likely isn’t needed much if you stay at Elkmont. We were there in mid August and never felt hot. The tree canopy is so dense no sun gets in and the cool mountain river acts as a natural air conditioner.

    I haven’t stayed in any of the private campgrounds yet, but in other groups there are a few that always get mentioned. Clabough’s in Pigeon Forge is always recommended and it has reasonable prices ($40 in the summer). The KOAs in the area are pretty expensive, though I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Townsend KOA. Just keep in mind that most of the private campgrounds are going to be crowded and our little pups are going to be towered over by the huge 5th wheels. That doesn’t bother me too much on that kind of trip. If I want more privacy, I’ll just rough it at Elkmont.
     
  8. Natureangel

    Natureangel Everythings better outdoors...

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    Feb 28, 2016
    Illinois
    I prefer Townsend, less traffic but great access to the park.
     

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