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pronounced may-duh
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planing a family camping trip to the smokies for the end of july. Our prefered method is to drive the minivan up to the camp site and camp in a tent and have the van very close by for all our gear. We prefer state campgrounds because most have showers and they tent to have more trees and look more like the forest than the private campgrounds with all the trailers. Only negeative with state campgrounds is no acohol allowed but as long as your not howling at the moon or making a mess with your empties nobody will bother you. Only there no state campgrounds that I know of in the smokies :mad:

Federal campgrounds are also nice and look like a forest but almost never have showers :mad: Were planing on staying for 4 days so showers are a must. If there was a coin operated showers near by then the federal campgrounds would be an option.

SO the criteria is
Drive up to the campsite (a must)
Showers (or a plce to shower near by)
Looks like a forest with trees to provide shade and leaves on the ground so it's not a dusty pit.
A reasonable drive to Dollywood or some other place with roller coasters.
Alcohol tolerated
Trail riding (not completely necesary:eek: )
Swiming pool or pond or hole in a river would be nice

What do you suggest? Anything like that out in the Smokies? TIA
 

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pronounced may-duh
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No campground at dollywood. I've never even considered camping at a theme park. Always figured it would be kinda gross. I guess I have a bad opinion of theme parks in general. See them as fun but also cheasy tourists traps.
 

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Appalachian Singletrack'n
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I live near the area and can throw out a couple of thoughts. There are several camp grounds in the GSMNP but that alcohol part will rule them out unless you are discrete. The only camp ground in the park with any semblance of off-road riding nearby would be the Cades Cove campground where you have 2 great fire roads to ride on (Parsons Branch and Rich Mountain Road) (BTW.. don’t ask rangers about riding on Parsons Branch just do it, its officially not poaching). If you want to stay in the park, call ahead and get reservations you can’t just pull in and find a spot. They could already be booked the time you want to come. Outside of park campgrounds it’s pretty much privately owned opportunities most of which are geared toward the RV sect. There are no nearby state forest areas. Get ready for tourism like you have never seen, fudge, XXXL airbrushed T-Shirts, Go-karts and Goofy Golf.
 

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Have you checked out Fontana village? We stayed there once. They mostly have cabin that used to be dam worker housing. They fixed it up nice.It would be great for a family event.When we went in 2000 it was only $89 a night. I think they have a camping area in FV but if I remember right it's not to glamorous. They have great bike trails and the GSMNP is right there and they have trails and back country camping.
http://www.fontanavillage.com/ check it out we loved it
 

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pronounced may-duh
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Endo:

I though the cmapgrounds inside the GSMNP were all federal and had NO SHOWERS. Federal rarelly have showers. But most Federal campgrounds are totally fine with responcible use of alcohol on your camps site. I've even been to a few that sell booze at the camp store. You can drink in a national forest or wilderness area but you can't be drunk. Thats my understanding but I could be wrong.

Anyway, If they had Showers I would be all over it. Trails are not important. My family does not share my passion for riding. If I really want I could ditch the fam and hop over Tsali for an afternoon.

How bout tubing? Or a Swimming hole? Anybody know a good spot in the smokies for kid friendly tubing/swiming?
 

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just a thought. I've only been to FV in that area and as I said before I thought it was great.I found it on a google search. You could try that I'm sure there is more.Someone sugested Dollywood to each his own but I hate those kind of places.I'm sure there are plenty of family activties to do there.

because you posted this on a mountainbikers forum I would think you want to get some riding in, if so FV is the place. There are plenty of things right there for the wife and kids.You can ride ,hike or drive to the GSMNP.My wife and I rented a canoe and paddled to a campsite in GSMNP.You can rent a speed boat if you want.You can white water raft less than an hours drive. We did and it was great too.There is camping at FV $35 a night I would think they have showers. You could do a 2 days and a night in GSMNP and the rest at FV and the trails are right there http://trails.mtbr.com/cat/united-states-trails/trails-north-carolina/trail/PRD_169487_4567crx.aspx what more could you ask for
 

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Appalachian Singletrack'n
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Maida7 said:
Endo:

I though the cmapgrounds inside the GSMNP were all federal and had NO SHOWERS.... How bout tubing? Or a Swimming hole? Anybody know a good spot in the smokies for kid friendly tubing/swiming?
Yep your right they don’t have showers, I haven’t ever camped in the park campgrounds although I have filled up water bottles on road rides at a couple of them. I forgot about the shower thing. Tubing o’plenty near almost all the GSMNP campgrounds. They rent tubes just outside the park in Townsend and you can float on the Little River.
 

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pronounced may-duh
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fontana village is under consideration but 35 per night for camping is way steep. I have checked there site and they have lots of amenities like swimming pools and bike trails and all kinds of recreational stuff. But what holds me back is that you said the camping area was "not to glamorous". I'm not sure what that means but I'm thinking it's not a good thing?

After many yahoo searches (i don't goggle), I have found a campground that will let anybody use their showers for $3. So in theory I could stay in one of the wonderful, cheap and scenic Federal camps and shower for $3 at the nearby private camp. The showers place is in Townsend. I would prefer to stay in a great place that had showers on premises. But so far I haven't gotten any overwhelming endorsements. I guess the MTBR crowd doesn't camp in the smokies.
 
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