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Old 04-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #1
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Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge

Anyone know a place to camp around April 16-20 near Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge thats not a "resort"? We like to camp with some or all of the amenities W/S/E (30amp) but Id rather not be on top of each other while doing it. We have kids, and kids can be noisy, and noisy kids can keep others from enjoying their camping. Aside from that we got into this for the outdoor experience and travel and it seems like every spot near those areas is set up like an attraction. Is it just the area? We want to visit the attractions and the waterfalls/national park, but we want to get away from things by nightfall and enjoy the kids laughing and playing while we sit by the fire... Anyone know what we mean?
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:25 AM   #2
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I was researching this same area last week and found "Up the Creek" campground which looked like a good spot and got pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor. We've never been there though. We decided to take a shorter trip and will be staying closer to home. It sounds like it's between two creeks so not sure about flooding. Pictures looked pretty! Hopefully someone on here has been there!
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:38 AM   #3
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Thats funny because I was thinking the same thing. Ive been looking into some of the boondocking places, but as per usual, they are all walk up type ones and I always get a bit nervous just showing up last minute. Im a bit of a planner on a scheduled time off (spring break for the kiddos)... Up the creek looked nice however if i remember correctly, looking at the map it was a bit of clever photography as it had a sub development off to one side and the road on the other side of the creeks that surround it. not the worst place we stayed for sure (Roswell). I think I will give it another look...
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:43 AM   #4
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While some of the sites are a bit close together, we stayed at Smoky Bear Campground. Super clean, family oriented, pool, hot tub, all sites full hookups, free showers, about 20 minutes west of Gatlinburg and definitely a "woodsy" feeling, and not sardine style like the stuff around Pigeon Forge. Also less than 10 minutes from a full grocery store, easy in, easy out with light traffic.

We hated the Pigeon Forge/Sieverville area and loved Gatlinburg. Lots of unique shops and restaurants in Gatlinburg right along side cheesy attractions. Lots of fun.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
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what time of year did you stay DocBrown? Im concerned that every place will be over crowded but Im not certain as I don't know the usual tourist season for the area. I figured Pigeon forge would be a bit cheesy/touristy. Ive been told that its become a tourist nightmare in fact. Any advice on what to do, what to see while there?
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:28 AM   #6
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I was there last summer and agree Sevierville/PF area is just a giant strip mall with no character. Much like International drive in Orlando or Myrtle Beach. We did River Plantation and I was not overly impressed. Sure it was clean, but tight and right on the strip.

The closer to Gatlinburg the more mountain feel you get. Sure it's got it's traps, but with kids you can walk the street for hours and see some unique shops every 10 or so that are worth going into. I especially like the Distilleries along the street. The old mill area is good for a few hours as well.

PF and Sevierville are dry counties and you can only buy beer so bring in what you need or you can head to Gatlinburg for it.

Traffic from I40 can be brutal and consume an hour to Gatlinburg during peak periods.

If I do it again I will be in the "woods" for sure.

Make sure you ask the locals for the back routes as they can save time getting around.

As for timing I think you will be okay for that week as most kids in the south are in school. It will be nothing like June-Oct as those are peak periods.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
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Facility Details - CADES COVE CAMPGROUND, TN - Recreation.gov

This is a great place if you like it. Sure quiet and spacious. No hookups though!
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerRob View Post
what time of year did you stay DocBrown? Im concerned that every place will be over crowded but Im not certain as I don't know the usual tourist season for the area. I figured Pigeon forge would be a bit cheesy/touristy. Ive been told that its become a tourist nightmare in fact. Any advice on what to do, what to see while there?
We were there the first week of Sept. Kids were back in school, mostly adults everywhere we went, its a short "between" time that's not as crazy as the rest of tourist season. Tourist season is the usual Memorial Day to Labor day, and the fall for the colors, much of Oct. We were told that everything is just jam packed during the weekends of peak times.

We have a cheesy tourist area in WI call the Wisconsin Dells that my wife and I generally avoid. Pigeon Forge make the Dells look classy. That's my view of it.

Yes, the park most definitely is where you'll want to spend most of your time. For the waterfalls be prepared to hike, most are at least a mile from the roads. More often than not, the views on the trails are as good as or better than the waterfalls you are hiking to. Wear good shoes, and I mean real hiking shoes. Sneakers will kill your feet on back country trails. And get to the trail heads early. Parking is at a premium even on the less busy days. Get a trail guide before hand to get familiar with the park. And you will almost certainly see black bears.

As said walk around Gatilinburg. We didn't think we were going to spend much time there but we found ourselves there every night. Restaurants we loved, Crocketts Breakfast Camp, Smoky Mountain Brewery, No Way Jose's, Tom & Earl's Back Alley Grill, and Geno's Pizza.

There's a really cool shop that's all hiking called The Day Hiker. They have the best T-shirts in the area at very reasonable prices. There's a couple of pricey but fun mini-golf places built into the mountain sides. Several good candy stores, at least one toy store, and lots of specialty shops.

Have fun!
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:04 AM   #9
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Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge

We just stayed at the KOA in Pigeon Forge TN. I know it's not the kind of campground your looking for but it was pretty dead the whole week we were there. We had 1 neighbor for two nights. The rest of the week no one was on either side of us and the campground was only about 1/3 occupied.

You don't mention when you plan to go but now isn't the busy season. Atleast we were told that by locals and seemed to hold true...
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:30 PM   #10
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For years we rented a cabin in Townsend, TN...and drove thru TREMONT CAMPGROUNDS. It looked like a nice place I'd like to camp at someday....and a short drive to PF/Gatlinberg.
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