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We camp in either a vintage VW Bus pop-top camper or an A-frame pop-up. We don't do a lot of modern amenities when camping (no cell phones, TV, Internet, etc.), preferring to ride bicycles, hike, canoe, or just relax in the peace and quiet. Campfires and s'mores not optional!
Date of Stay:
September, 2016 -
The campground overall was small, but well laid out with lots of space in each spot for equipment and larger campers. That said, getting into the spaces was a little interesting as many people when we were here, had more than one vehicle in their space, so the access road (one-way) was that much narrower.
Our spot (#1) was easy to get into, although the width of the driveway into the space made getting in the dark a little interesting. During daylight it would be a snap to back into. There were spaces that could accommodate larger campers (5th wheels, etc.) but getting backed in could be an issue if your rig was longer than about 30' Our spot was mostly level (only a little off side-to-side) but some of the other spots were not particularly level. Check the descriptions on the reservation site as they seem to be accurate.
The bathrooms were kept spotless while we were here, and they were in good condition. There was a nice laundry room as well (washer and dryer, coin op.), with a three-well sink for washing dishes. The electrical service was a little older, but in good condition, and the water pressure was good. The locations of the services was right at the edge of the pad so getting to them was a snap.
Dump station located at the exit: one hole only. Good condition, and very clean. Lots of space to maneuver, easy-in, easy-out.
Park staff were very friendly and accommodating: some of the best service on a holiday weekend that I've ever had. (Tenn. parks always seem to have great park staff.) The park had lots to do as well (SUP, kayak, canoe, and fishing boat rentals on the lake, sand volleyball, horseshoes, ping pong, etc.) as well as a large swimming pool.
Be advised that there is no wireless and no camp store, although there is a small gift shop at the park office. Check in was easy, as were reservations, and the park roads were in good shape with no local traffic to speak of. Firewood is available outside the park, but not inside. We camped at Standing Stone State Park in a Motorhome.
No close grocery source, so bring plenty of food, snacks, etc. Vending machines only.
Date of Stay:
July, 2015 -
The park itself is quite amazing, and worth the visit, but the campground is hit and miss, unfortunately. While we were there (4th of July weekend, 2015) it had rained heavily and many of the sites were flooded, some so much so that they were barely usable. Our spot (15) was so steep that it took over 2 feet of elevation in the nose to get level, and due to the muddy condition of the spot, our chocks kept slipping, causing the trailer to slowly creep toward the road.
The water hookup required a long extension (it was approx. 30 feet from our camper) but was in good condition. Water is connected to a 4x4 post and has 2 to 4 spigots to serve multiple campsites (each with their own spigot.) The electrical post was in good order and very close to the site. The picnic table was in good condition, but unusable due to the slope of the site. The 'site' was mostly mud, with some straw from previous campers, and the only gravel was at the bottom of the slope. We did have some slippage issue backing up the slope, pushing the camper, but that was primarily due to the wet conditions. Still, more gravel and a better grade would have been most welcome.
The bathrooms were regularly maintained during the holiday weekend, and were acceptable considering how much mud there was. Inconsiderate campers were far more of an issue than park staff, who were diligently trying to keep up, and staying polite and friendly while they were doing it. Be advised that parking can be atrocious. There is apparently no effort to enforce the vehicle limit any longer, and we saw many spots with three vehicles stuffed in, encroaching on the narrow road and making larger campers really work to avoid a problem. Overflow parking is available, but so unused that moss and lichens cover much of the paved surface, so this seems to be a chronic issue.
If you go, be sure to do as much research on your spot as you can - many are challenging (poorly situated, poor drainage, tight turns, steep slopes, etc.) We camped at Spring Mill State Park in a Tent Trailer.
Camp only when it's going to be dry, or at least when it has not recently been rainy, and visit in advance if possible to scope out a good sight. Visit the historic village, take a cave tour (go as early as possible to get a reservation!), eat at the lodge, have fun!
Date of Stay:
June, 2015 -
We stayed on a holiday weekend and found the campground to be crowded and noisy, but still a great place to stay. Entering the park, the registration station features a long lane, so finding a place to stop to register was easy. The check-in process was simple (we reserved our spot online) and the staff were friendly and efficient. We were told that we would want to fill our water tank at the dump station (kind of off-putting, to be honest) but found the potable water area clean and at a reasonable distance from the dump station. Filling was simple and there was plenty of room to make the turn back to the entrance so that we could get to our loop.
The roads inside the campground are narrow and one-way in many places, so if you have a long rig you may have to be very careful getting lined up to back into your spot. Concrete 'logs' and large rocks make this a bit more complicated as well. It may be advantageous to look at the satellite view of your spot to see if you'll have room to back larger campers. That said, we say many larger rigs in there so it can be done - just be prepared to a test of your skills.
The camp store is fantastic, featuring coffee, hot food, dry goods of all sorts, firewood, ice, and even rental bicycles. Check the hours of the store - they tend to be open early and close at 5 PM.
Lastly, be aware that there are NO utilities at any of the sites (except low voltage for the few ADA spots, but these require evidence of need before you can reserve them.) All spots have a large tent pad, fire ring, and short driveway. The surface of our spot was wildly out of level and composed of decaying asphalt and gravel. It took some work to get leveled out, and we still were leaning quite a bit. There are water fountains at the rest rooms if you need more water (take your jugs, not your camper.)
All things considered though, I would stay here again in a heartbeat - it's a great place! We camped at Cades Cove Campground (NPS Campground) in a Motorhome.
Make sure that you have room to maneuver your rig - some of the spots are tight. Also, if you go on Wednesday or Saturday ride the Cades Cove loop on a bicycle or walk part of it as they close the road to vehicles and you can really see so much more that way. Have fun!
Date of Stay:
May, 2015 -
The park is not overly easy to find due to lack of signage outside the park, but once you get there it's a real beauty. The park and grounds, including the campground, are well kept up and clean. The camper check-in building is right on the way in so it's easy to get to, but the road is one-way, so very long rigs may have some difficulty making the right turn to get back on the road that leads to the campground after check-in. Also be advised that once the check-in closes the park gate is locked, so be sure to check the closing time and get there in advance of that time.
The campground is very clean and easy to navigate. Bathrooms have all been recently remodeled and are clean and well maintained. All the spots are in great shape and should not require a great deal of leveling. Electrical and water service are close in all spots that I looked at, and all were in excellent shape. Park staff are helpful and friendly and signage inside the park is well done. Garbage dumpsters and dump station are located at the entrance of the park, but should not impede traffic flow unless there are a large number of vehicles waiting. Firewood can be purchased at check-in or in the campground during certain times. The wood was $5 a bundle and was excellent quality when we visited. We stayed in a spot right on the stream that runs through the campground and it was very, very scenic. The campground accommodates large rigs without a lot of trouble, but not all spots are sized for larger units.
The park itself is amazing with lots to do (hiking, bird watching, historical buildings, and visitors center.) The mountain hike is well worth the effort and there are multiple waterfalls to see as well. We camped at Stone Mountain State Park in a Motorhome.
Double check arrival time to be sure that you get there before the gate closes, and hike to the summit of the mountain.
Date of Stay:
April, 2015 -
The campground area is fairly small and pads are close together, much like many older KY state parks that were originally built by the CCC. The access roads are narrow and have some tight turns and steep grades, but we saw a number of mid-length travel trailers in the campground (30-35' long.) Be advised that there is a hairpin turn just past the Welcome Center with a very steep grade just as the turn ends - underpowered vehicles will have difficulty here and backing (if required) will be a challenge. Bring your own firewood as we did not see any for sale inside the park. Double-check your utility distances unless you have extensions handy.
Our spot, B-48, was near the rear restrooms, but unfortunately many KY state parks do not fully open all facilities until Memorial Day weekend, so we had to use the restrooms at the check-in station at the campground entrance. These restrooms were quite old and worn, but were cleaned regularly. Most posts were in great shape, but a few of the pull-throughs looked a bit worn. Utilities were in good order and looked well maintained, although in some spots they are a long distance from the pad and will require extensions. Distances for utilities are provided on the reservation website and are accurate, so check the description first to be sure you will be able to reach.
Many of the spots are fairly level (ours required only minor front-rear leveling) but some of the pull-throughs will require substantial effort to achieve level. Check-in was easy, park staff were very courteous and helpful, and the campground host was easy to find at all times and quite friendly.
The park itself is really beautiful, clean, and well maintained. It offers much to do (mini-golf, 'gem mining', horseback stables, cave tours, boating, hiking, bird watching, wildflowers, etc.) There are a number of planned activities as well that are posted all over the park. We will definitely camp here again. We camped at Carter Caves State Resort Park in a Tent Trailer.
Take a cave tour if you can - they are worth doing. Have fun!
Date of Stay:
May, 2014 -
We camped here last weekend and found the campground to be quite nice other than the lack of water hookups at each site. The park staff at check-in were very friendly and helpful. We were able to get checked in quickly (pre-registered online) and were provided lots of reading material about both the park and the Indiana State parks system. The camp store was selling wood for $5 a bundle (a pretty standard rate these days) and had numerous useful items for those who forgot something (extension cords, power adapters, charcoal, lighter fluid, food, drinks, etc.) The store staff were also very friendly. If you can't find what you need in the camp store there is a convenience store just across the road within easy walking distance. The site we got (230) was mostly level and totally shaded all day. If you are interested in an unobstructed view, be sure to read the descriptions as the shaded spots are all well shaded and the open spots are full sun. The electrical service was in good condition but was shared between two spots and was located a good distance away. The distance to power is clearly marked in the online description, so you may want to check it for the spot you choose to be sure that you can reach. Our spot was generally clean and free of debris, and quite large. Water is found all over the campground, just not in the individual spots, so you may want to fill your tanks upon entry so that you have plenty of water on board. This is easily accomplished, but be advised that if your spot is near the water, it is a public water source and not designated for you spot. Someone may disconnect your hose to fill their tank if you hookup to the hose bib. We used a RhinoPak to keep the tank filled and didn't have to walk far to fill it. There is a great deal to do in the park itself. It has a fantastic nature center, a large pool with lots of slides, etc., absolutely glorious hiking trails, lots of bird species, etc. There are also a couple of places to put in and take out your canoe, a fantastic river, and two historic covered bridges, one at either end of the park grounds. The lodge at the park is also historic and has great food if you are so inclined. Leaving was a snap. There are two dump lines going out at the main entrance, both of which were in good shape when we were there, and plenty of dumpsters to dump trash. The park was mostly full when we were there (about 3/4 capacity) and the dumpsters were getting full but not overflowing (no issues with mess or odor.) We will stay here again for sure, just in the off-season like this time due to the popularity of the park. We camped at Turkey Run State Park in a Tent Trailer.
Date of Stay:
April, 2014 -
This is a nice little park that is suitable for tents up to small travel trailers. The entry road is narrow and winding and has some significant grades, but unless your tow vehicle/RV is way under-powered you should be able to handle the grades. Note the narrow description - this is important. Long vehicles will have some difficulty getting around the turns unless the road is empty (which is often the case.) The road inside the campground is also somewhat narrow, and wide vehicles may encounter difficulty making the tight loop at the end of the camp road. All of the spots in this park are short, but plenty wide (for slides, EZUp, etc.), have fire rings and are asphalt with gravel in the non-parking section of the spot. Hookups are shared, so you may need to move to an adjacent spot to get them on the proper side. Also, they are at varying distances from each spot, some being close enough for a standard 25' hose/power cord, others will require additional length to reach (no more than 50', if that, but longer than a 25' cord.) The park is located on some of the only flat land around, so there is not much the State Parks system could do to improve the size of the spots even if they were given the money by the State (which they have not for some years.) Check-in was simple and the park staff were very helpful and friendly. They let us check the spot before we finished check-in to be sure that it would work for us, and were happy to help us move to an adjacent spot with closer hookups. They also came by each day to make sure that we knew the camp store would be closing in 30 minutes, which I thought was very courteous. We stayed in spot #25, which had plenty of room for our 18' A-frame pop-up, but we had to park the truck across the front as the pad was too short to park both on the pad. This was not a problem and the park staff can assist with alternate parking if needed. There are large concrete wheel stops to prevent you from backing too far, but you will want to note the location of your rear stabilizers as backing too far in may leave your jacks hanging in mid-air. The campground is old, but well cared for, and quite nice once you get used to it's size. The bathrooms were clean (twice a day when we were there), but old. There were two showers in the mens facilities and both were clean and fully functional, but showing their age. The rangers passed through regularly and everything was clean and free of debris, trash, etc. This is probably the quietest campground we've ever stayed in. There is a lot to do at the park, which is a short drive (probably 5 minutes at most) from the campground. There are three waterfalls: Cumberland Falls, Eagle Falls, and Dog Slaughter Falls. The main attraction does not require hiking, but the other two do. There is also a playground in the campground for children, as well as a nature center, gift shop, and 'gem mining'. There is also a lodge at the park which has a restaurant in case you don't want to cook in camp (we did not go, but it looked nice.) Lastly, there is one dump site located at the entrance next to the check in station. It was well maintained and clean when we were there, and there was no line to use so emptying our grey water tote was a snap. Despite the small size of the spots and the narrow, winding entrance road, we would certainly camp here again - it was quiet, pretty, and there was plenty to see and do. We camped at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in a Tent Trailer.
Date of Stay:
September, 2013 -
We camped here this past weekend (Labor Day 2013) and had the best time. The park itself has a great deal to do, with a hiking trails, nature center, biking, birdwatching, history, cave tours, and more. They have the best camp store we've ever encountered: fully stocked with just about everything you can imagine (fresh foods of all kinds, RV supplies, activities, snacks of all stripe, a wide variety of cold drinks, even camp cookbooks! Our site (#16) had a steep grade, they called it 'extreme' but we could not level out. The entire spot, except one small patch, was hard packed dirt and the vehicle area was gravel. (A bit dusty since it had not rained in some time.) Water was easily reachable, located between out site and the site just next door, and the electric hookup was immediately next to the parking area. Our electric tested out and worked perfectly, (not often the case) and the water was clean and fully functional. The sites appear to be kept very clean and in good shape all over the park. We saw park staff in repair vehicles working on the bathroom once and repairing a faulty pedestal in another spot. Housekeeping cleaned the bathrooms twice a day when we were here: very impressive! Although the facilities were not new, they were very well kept up with and in great shape. Firewood was $4.25 per bundle at the camp store, and although we didn't buy any, they have plenty of ice on hand at reasonable prices. I'm not sure if the bicycle rentals were reasonable or not, but given the prices for everything else I'd say that they were completely fair. The bikes themselves were in good shape and there were a good number to rent. For those interested in activities, the pool is huge, clean, and very inviting, the nature center is very well laid out with a good deal of literature and signage, in addition to very friendly staff. The hiking trails are well marked and offer great variety (waterfront, old growth forest, Karst topography features, etc.). The short cave tour is by flat bottom boat and is well worth the $3 fee (arrive at 9am to book whatever time you want, they sell out early and you can only book for that day.) The historic village is in amazing shape, had plenty of staff on hand when we were here, and is truly beautiful. If you like CCC history (as I do) this is a great place to visit: the CCC did quite a bit here and it shows. Park staff were extremely friendly and helpful and we were very positively impressed with them given the extreme load on the park during the holiday weekend. They have two dump stations (located at the camper check-in as they often are) to speed exiting, but the line was quite long given that the park was at full capacity for the holiday. We don't use them so I can's speak to their condition, but at a glance they appeared to be clean and well maintained as far as I could tell from 5 feet away. We have added this park to our top parks list and plan to return regularly. It's a fantastic park with so much to do, great staff, and great camping! We camped at Spring Mill State Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay:
May, 2013 -
We stayed for two nights and despite the large number of reservations, there were not that many other campers in the park. The facilities were well used and showing their age, but mostly clean. Our electrical hookup had some issue – one half of the 15amp duplex outlet was damaged (not uncommon I suppose) but the other worked just fine. In the past, the park has had issues with power supply, especially during the hotter months of the year, but they recently removed electrical service from a number of sites and improved the wiring – we had no issues at all with it while we were there. The grass around our spot was well maintained (not too tall, etc.) and there was a decent amount of space between us and our neighbors, although there was nothing to block the view between spots (not that big of a deal to us, but some people don’t like that.) There was also plenty of room to setup equipment on either side of the space, play games, etc. The fire pit was in good shape and was not overly filled with trash or ashes from previous campers. The parking space, as well as the park roads, well paved, but were showing a good deal of use (and abuse), although nothing that would cause an issue – no potholes, etc., just a lot of cracks and rough edges. Ours was completely level, which was nice, and from what I could see all the others were like this as well. All of the spots where we were were were pull in – back out, but there could be pull-through spots elsewhere in another loop. We did not have an issue with this since our camper is a van conversion and fairly easy to maneuver. The bathrooms were clean and in reasonably good condition, although the showers looked fairly old and were showing a lot of rust in places. The bathroom nearest us had a fair number of facilities (showers, toilets, sinks, etc.) but I can see people queuing up if the park were full. The park sold wood, but we did not buy any so I’m not certain how much they charged. There were numerous locations to get water (but no hook-ups in our loop), to manually dump waste water (buckets, etc.) and trash. The staff were all friendly and courteous at all times and we never saw any trash or litter of any kind on the ground while we were there, in any part of the park, but we never saw more than two park employees the whole time (and no camp host.) There were some small trails between the loops and a short trail that led to a large lake (the main attraction in this area), but little else to do in the park itself. We did visit a nearby park to do some hiking (Caesar Creek Gorge) and there is a very quaint little town just down the road from the park that is well worth a visit. If you like to bicycle there is a rails-to-trails path just outside the park that is also very, very nice. We enjoyed our stay, but I’m not sure if this is a park that we would go back to unless it was along our path on a longer trip and we just needed to stay overnight. We camped at Caesar Creek State Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay:
May, 2013 -
We stayed here over Memorial Day Weekend and even with the packed park and numerous once-a-year campers the park staff were exceptionally polite and all facilities we used were clean and well cared for. We were unable to get an electric spot due to making late reservations, so I can't comment on the electric hookups, but our spot had no issues at all. The grass had been recently cut, but with a wide space of tall grass between the spots on either side of us, which was nice. There was also plenty of room to setup a 10’x10’ screen room on one side of our camper, and lots of room on the other side to play bocce. The fire pit was in great shape and was not overly filled with trash or ashes from previous campers. The parking areas in the non-electric loop lots were all gravel, but not overly dusty. Ours had a slight slope, especially toward the road end, but this was easily dealt with and the slope did not cause any issues. Most of the other lots in the park appeared to be mostly level to completely level, as far as we could see anyway. There are a few pull-through spots in the non-electric loop, but most were pull in – back out, and at a slight angle to the road, for easier backing in. We did not have an issue with this since our camper is a van conversion and fairly easy to maneuver. The bathrooms were clean and in great condition (we only used the non-electric loop restrooms), had a good number of facilities (showers, toilets, sinks, etc.) so that even with the full park we never had to wait for anything. The park sold wood ($5.50 a bundle), there were numerous locations to get water (but no hook-ups in the non-electric loop), and trash containers were both large and well monitored. The park roads were all well maintained, and the staff were all friendly and courteous at all times and we never saw any trash or litter of any kind on the ground while we were there, in any part of the park. The nature center was small, but well laid out with lots of interesting information to see and decent literature (checklists, info about the area, history, etc.) The trails were all well marked and there was plenty to do in the park. We were there for three nights and were able to hike all the trails, see four waterfalls, play games in camp, and do a lot of wildlife viewing. Many people rode bicycles around the campground area, and a few rode on the park roads. Speed limits were 30 on park roads and 15 in camp. We put this park on our “must visit again” list and would recommend it to anyone. We camped at Clifty Falls State Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay:
April, 2013 -
We stayed for two nights and had an excellent time! The park is obviously popular, and we found most all of the sites were booked once we arrived (we made reservations and about 65% of the spots were booked one month ahead of our visit.) The park staff were very courteous and all facilities we used were clean and well cared for. The power pedestal was a standard type, in good condition, and our’s had no issues at all. There was heavy tree cover over the entire loop where we stayed (Loop E – 222) and the parking pad (gravel and grass) was completely level despite the rolling terrain in the campground area. There was a great deal of open space around our site, which would have allowed for just about any sized awning or temporary structure to be setup. We had a standard picnic-type charcoal grill, which was nice, that was in good shape, even if it was a bit full of ashes. The bathrooms were very clean and in older, but perfectly good condition, had a good number of facilities so that even with the loop fully populated there was no waiting. An especially nice thing that they had in our loop was a dish-washing sink that the camp host maintained (he was located in our loop and was a very kindly older gentleman.) He took great care to make sure that people did not wash their dishes in the lavatories and clog them up, even going so far as to provide a scouring pad for those without their own (we passed, but it was nice of him to keep one handy.) The park office sold wood but we did not purchase any so I’m not sure how much they charged per bundle. The park roads were all well maintained, but somewhat heavily traveled at all hours, and the staff were all friendly and courteous at all times. We only saw trash on the ground on one of the more obscure trails while we were there – the rest of the park was pristine as far as that goes. There were deer - everywhere - in the park the whole time we were there. There is a large conference center on site, which hosts a nice gift shop and a buffet (all three meals!) if you want a break from camp cooking. We ate at the dinner buffet and enjoyed it greatly. The trails were fairly well marked and there was plenty to do in the park. We were there for two nights and were able to hike all the trails, see four huge waterfalls and do a lot of wildlife viewing. There is also an exceptionally nice nature center that has a good selection of books, pamphlets, exhibits, etc. that is worth a visit. We put this park on our “must visit again” list and would recommend it to anyone. We camped at Fall Creek Falls State Park in a Motorhome.