TN: Warrior's Path State Park

Discussion in 'Tennessee' started by carolinacampers, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. carolinacampers

    carolinacampers Nights camped: 2008-10, 2009-25, 2010-6.

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    We decided to combine a camping vacation with a trip to Bristol, TN to see our oldest son. We were nervous about the fact that Warrior's Path SP (and most Tennessee State Parks) does not take advanced reservations. I called the day before we planned to leave and the lady I spoke with said we shouldn't have a problem getting a site if we were coming on a Sunday, as there were some campers scheduled to check out. She said we could check-in at 3 pm.
    So we left on Sunday, June 4, and arrived right at 3. We chose a nice site on Loop D. We got the PUP parked and the outside (incl. awning, chairs, rug, dog kennel, etc.) set up just in time. My DH sat down with an adult beverage to get some R&R, and I began the inside set-up. Within minutes, the sky turned dark and stormy with high winds, thunder, lightning, rain, and HAIL! So DH and I rushed to get everything under the cover of the awning. That put a damper on the Dutch Oven meal we had planned that night, so out came the luncheon meat, bread, cheese, and chips. Oh, well!
    The next day we were able to scope out the rest of the main campground. It is divided into four sections, A-D. Most of the sites were small and close. In section D there was a boat ramp for use by campers only. There were only two restroom (toilet) areas in the main campground--one was located in section B, and one in section D. Then there was one main bath house--not much for a large campground of 94 sites. The bath house had two sides-men's and ladies- with three toilet stalls each. (Well, one in the ladies was out-of-order.) There was also an area on each side with three shower stalls that shared one shower curtain (not very private!).

    We also checked out the rest of the park. There is a very nice Olympic-sized pool, an equestrian area, a marina with another boat ramp for day-use visitors, lots of trails, picnic shelters, a fishing dock, a boundless playground for children of all abilities, and golf and disc golf courses. There was also an overflow campground of 40 sites, but they did not have electric hook-ups, and I don't know about water. The park offered many events and programs throughout the day and into the evening for both children and adults. The park staff was very nice and attentive to the campers.

    Now for the downside...the comfort facilites were NOT very clean! Every morning someone went into the restrooms and put blue stuff in the toilets and refilled the soap and paper dispensers. That was the only "cleaning" that was done. The floors WERE NOT mopped and the sinks and toilets WERE NOT sanitized. As for the main bath house, it was only "cleaned" on Wednesday, if that is what you would call it. On our last day there was still the same dirty tissues in the corners, a panty protector from a new swimsuit was still stuck to the toilet stall door, etc. I regret now not taking pictures. It was really gross. But I am going to submit a letter about the comfort stations to the parks system.
    The other issues we had: the park does not clean the fire pits-we had to clean our own when we arrived, as there was garbage in it. Also, so many campers around us burned garbage! The people next to us were even burning their grandson's diapers! [:(O]

    On the way home we had a tire blowout on the camper. Just as we finished swapping out the spare and were getting back in the car again, the sky turned dark and we had the same weather as we had on Sunday. We had to get off at the next exit and wait it out for about fifteen minutes. Then we ran into traffic from an accident on I-95, which delayed our arrival home another hour and a half. Thus, a seven hour trip turned into almost a ten hour trip.

    Overall, we liked WPSP and we would go back if we had a camper with bathroom facilities. [;)]
     
  2. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    What was the charge to camp there?
     
  3. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    Terrible report, but not entirely surprising. Warrior's Path is part of the state system but it's basically an urban park due to its proximity to Kingsport and Bristol. In fact, it's pretty much in the suburbs. If you get into the "real" state parks out in the wild areas, you don't tend to encounter such problems. At least, that's not been our experience. We avoid the few urban parks and concentrate on the ones in the wild.

    Please do send that letter to the parks system. Director of state parks is Mike Carlton, and Commission of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (his boss) is Robert Martineau. You can get the address at tn.gov/environment.
     
  4. carolinacampers

    carolinacampers Nights camped: 2008-10, 2009-25, 2010-6.

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    Ut, I think the fee is $20/night. My DH is retired Navy, so he got a discount. I believe he said he paid $16/night. The park has a lot to offer so I would gladly be willing to pay more if the facilities were cleaner. I didn't want to go into much detail but trust me, the comfort areas were not acceptable. My husband even said "I hope I don't catch anything here." He said this as I was thinking the same thing! [:O]

    Travelhoveler you are correct, this park mainly serves the local population. Everyone camping around us lived in the area. That was why they didn't complain about the facilities--they went home daily to shower! Had my son lived closer, I probably would have gone to his place too.
    Thank you for the contact information.
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Take kids camping. It's great for you and them.

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    The county owned "observation knob" park would be closer to Bristol and they take reservations, but their bathhouses wouldn't impress you either. They need to be replaced, rather than cleaned. We live in the area, and we do camp at Warrior's Path, but mostly use it for day-park activities. We haven't had the trash-burning and filth problems you had, but I can see how it could happen.
     
  6. CHM

    CHM New Member

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    I have to comment here. Warrior's Path is hardly "suburban" and I wouldn't consider Kingsport the "big city" either. The park is convenient to Kingpsort if you want that, but is otherwise surrounded by Sullivan County's rolling hills and Fort Patrick Henry Lake. The worst part of it for me is the train which passes through in close proximity, but otherwise it's a nice place. The facilities could be cleaner, but you can't beat the price if there are sites available. The overflow campground is geared to tent camping and open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The regular campground caters to RVs. The sites are first come, first serve. Basically, drive-in, find an empty site, park and go to the office to pay. Some folks prefer a formal reservation system, but there are other nearby private campgrounds who offer that service. Most of the year, there is no problem securing a site, but long holiday weekends and race week (with Bristol nearby) are very busy.
     
  7. morrell2

    morrell2 New Member

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    Warriors has always been a rather dumpy park for as long as I can remember. They spend very little on the campground for upkeep everthing goes to the golf course. Roane mtn state park is one the best state parks around and you can noe reserve spots .
     
  8. SherriB

    SherriB New Member

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    We have camped at Warriors for the past couple years and really like it. We enjoy the lake and all the walking/hiking trails. The bathrooms may not be the cleanest in the world but they will do. A bottle of spray bleach will help. We also live about 20 minutes away and can go home and shower if we want to. The grandkids love the playground and swimming pool and the summer activities with the camp rangers.

    And just a FYI, one of the fanciest hotels in the area is no where near as clean as you might think. Trust me, I worked in house keeping for two weeks and was totally disgusted at their so-called cleaning.
     
  9. Boroviewfarm

    Boroviewfarm Farmer marries veterinarian; now raises kids.

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    My son and I are heading to WPSP next week for a little father-son camping over Thanksgiving break. I will post an updated review when we return, or maybe while we are there :)
     

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