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Old 12-22-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Great Smoky Mt. FYI (Construction)

A little FYI here about all the construction that is going on in and around the Smoky Mountain NP. area. Here is a link as to what will be affected into next spring and early summer next year. Smoky Mt. NP. Road construction update Was thinking about a trip there either this year or next year. Was deciding between the Smoky Mts. or a return visit to Shenandoah NP. on our way to Myrtle Beach this year.

We have never been to the Smoky's. As far as camping in the park I see they have 10 areas with-in the park to camp. I notice 4 take reservations. Do I assume they don't have shower facilities? If someone was coming for 7 days which one or two campgrounds would be suitable for a trailer. Are reservations needed for a July or Aug. stay?

With the construction, we'll play it safe and stop at Shenandoah this year on our way to Myrtle beach. They went on to say most of the construction should be done by early June, but who meets deadlines....
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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Hi Superslif,
I can not help you with the SMNP question. However, consider staying in the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville Tenn area. It is a short drive to SMNP. In addition, one can take advantage of what the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area has to offer. It is a mini Branson.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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I used to live near the park. Take jackets as it get cold at those elevations at night, especially when it rains. Watch out for the bears. All the campgounds in the Smokies are no hook-ups with limited gen use. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Frontcountry Camping (U.S. National Park Service) will list the campgrounds.
Quote:
"Each campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets, but there are no showers or electrical or water hookups in the park. Shower facilities are available in the communities surrounding the national park. Please inquire about the nearest facilities when you check-in at the campground. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table."
MAKE RESERVATIONS!!!
Quote:
"Family campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first–served basis, except that family sites at Cades Cove, Cosby, Elkmont and Smokemont can be reserved in advance for the period May 15 – October 31. Group sites require a reservation. Reservations can be made be calling 1-877-444-6777 or by visiting http://www.recreation.gov "
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Campground Regulations (U.S. National Park Service) read the campground regs and pay attention to the part about food.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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Yes, we know about bears, Our last visit to Shenandoah NP. we stayed at Big Meadow CG. on Skyline drive and saw 5 bears during the week. Funny story:
The ranger said if you encounter a bear do the following: Start talking to the bear like Yo bear, Hi bear, watz ya doing bear... your voice should scare it away. Well, we were hiking in the Big Meadow (500 acres) near the edge of the woods looking for berries. A bear fell out of the tree just inside of the woods about 50 -75 ft. from us. I went right to plan "A" Yo bear Hey bear,....... Well my wife and son Skipped plan "A" and went straight to plan "B". RUN........ run run .... I never seen my wife run that fast. Fact, I have never seen her ever run..... Here I'm back by the woods doing my Yo bear, Hey bear, Watz ya doing bear thing like the ranger said. Well the bear just wandered back deep into the woods.....

Quote:
consider staying in the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville Tenn area. It is a short drive to SMNP
We kind of like to get back to the nature thing. I live in the suburbs and kind of like to get away from the hussle & bussle of city life. We usually camp about 80% of the time at state parks. Was just wondering if anyone has stayed at Cades Cove, Cosby, Elkmont or Smokemont. These 4 seem to be the ones geared towards RV's......
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
Was just wondering if anyone has stayed at Cades Cove........
Jim,

We checked out Cades Cove CG when we were in the area for the 06 iRV2 Rally. It's fairly good size, many sites had great shade we & saw several MH's there (although not the really big ones like Joe's, most looked to be under 40ft), so I know you'd fit. Sites were electric only. However, unless they've upgraded facilities since - only restrooms, no showers - you might wanna consider the other parks on your list.

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Old 12-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #6
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I'm assuming the 06' IRV2 Rally was in June. Do you remember when you did your "drive thru" to Cades Cove CG. if it appeared "full"? You would think if a place offered electric sites, they would also have showers. Especially for all the hiking done in the area. Do you remember any bugs. I know in some areas May and June is "Bug" season in the mountains. We would look at either July of Aug. for such a trip.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #7
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It was pretty well full, I'd say at least 90%. The week we were at the Rally (July), it was hotter than you-know-where & quite humid so I'm sure the skeeterz were out. Rarely stepped outside the a/c'd rig (except to drive somewhere in a/c'd Jeep) until after sunset. By the time we were out in the evening, we were back at the private campground so I couldn't say how the bugs were in the SP, but there were the usual skeeterz at the CG.

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Old 12-31-2009, 04:21 PM   #8
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GSM

Superslif none of the GSM campgrounds have hookups. However I believe all you mentioned do have dumpstations. Also Lookrock has a dump and possibly some others but have not been to all of them. We were in Cades Cove just before it snowed 2 weeks ago and you could dump but there was no running water outside of the bathrooms.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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Cades Cove Loop

PS The loop may be closed now but while there we counted 131 deer and about 50 turkeys on one loop. In previous visits we have seen bears,foxes skunks and otters. If you decide on Shenandoah also consider Mathews Arm campgroud. Last year while hosting there we saw a bear in the campground several times And it is not quite as busy as Big Meadows. It does have a dump.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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Cades Cove Campground
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:15 PM   #11
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I think we will settle on Shenandoah with all the construction going on at the Smoky's. At Shenandoah my wife and me like the Big Meadow CG because we like to wonder into the Big Meadow after dinner time. We will be coming in from the north, so I will check out Shenandoah's Mathews Arm CG for future trips. We have to wait till early Feb to make our reservation to Big Meadow. We'll do either 4-5 nights before we head down to Myrtle Beach for 8-9 nights....

Hitchhiker, can you confirm that Cades Cove doesn't have showerhouses? If not, we can plan accordingly as to the length of stay.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:47 PM   #12
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I understand that Cades Cove loop rd will be closed next year for a while due to repaving. Best ck it out. It is absolutely beautiful. Had my wish I'd live back in those "hills" Ed
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:26 PM   #13
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Yes, with all the construction going on this off-season it was better to play it safe and delay a trip to the Smoky's till 11'. The construction update for the Smoky's says all construction "should" be done in late May. If the weather holds up. I'm glad the work is being done. From the old pictures of the roads it was past due for a facelift....It will just make it all that much better for a visit in '11.

In the end I might make it a 2 week visit. Since I'm assuming all the NP campgrounds do not have electric service. I'll do 4-5 nights at a NP campground such as Cades Cove. Then move to a private CG for a few days to charge the batteries. Then select another NP CG for a few more nights stay. Sounds like a plan...
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
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Construction on 77 in April?

We'll be headed down to Huntington Beach State Park, SC, Easter week from Michigan - via 77. What should we look out for or avoid?
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