Anchor Downs vs River Plantation, Tn.
We had a trip planned to Anchor Downs outside of Pigeon Forge Tennessee but due to family staying right in Pigeon Forge for part of the trip we decided to split our time between two resorts. This gave us a unique opportunity to compare them head to head.
River Plantation was great in that it was only minutes outside of the tourist area and provided us comfortable access to the family staying in nearby hotels. We had a concrete pad so easy levelling and easy hook ups. One nice feature at many sites is two sewer connections so those of you with big rigs don't need to run tons of hose to get to your Y connector. The campground was fairly relaxed, the rules they did have were only enforced when neccassary which again was nice as family was able to visit us without any hassle. They claim there are four pools. It is really one pool, one kids area, a lazy river and a hot tub all located in the same space. The washrooms and laundry areas were serviceable but not spectacular. The campground itself was in a valley which created a real heat sink and meant frequent dips in the pool were required. They claim to be dog friendly, but one big thing they lacked was a leash free area.
Anchor Downs is about 40 minutes outside of Pigeon Forge's tourist area. Here all of the sites are on concrete pads with nice easy hook ups. The landscaping and fire places are great features. Ths location was far less relaxed. Their list of rules, which you must sign for on arrival, is extensive. There is a kids pool and a regular pool with a pretty good watersilde as well as the lake. It should be noted that the lake is controlled by a dam and drops as much as 54 feet. By the time we arrived the water levels were down over 20 feet and they had removed the water toys that they advertise as a feature here. The camp sites are layered into three tiers. We were on the middle tier which gave us a gorgeous view and fantastic breezes off the lake, it was easily 6 degrees cooler here then at RP. The bath house here was simply stunning. They are uptight about dogs here, you are only supposed to have them on 6 foot leashes even at your site. That being said they do have a fenced leash free area and are actually in the process of building a much nicer one which includes a shade structure to relax beneath while your K-9 runs free.
In the end we enjoyed the easy access to Pigeon Forge from River Plantation but my favourite was definetly Anchor Downs. The stunning landscape, incredible views and fresh lake breeze all made for a great stop over. The Bathouse was the big winner for my bride. We are the type who have a yellow tank instead of a black tank and we use the shower as a laundry hamper, so the quality of the facilities is important to us. Prior to this trip, we thought of Fort Wilderness as the Bath House Gold Standard. WDW is now a poor second to Anchor Downs. Each washroom was individual and easily 12x12 ft. There was a toilet, sink, large change area and huge shower in each of the 8 available rooms.
We would happily recommend both locations in the future, but I will be returning to Anchor Downs.
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