Our big trip of this past summer (2016) took us to the Smoky Mountains and then to Myrtle Beach. Since the National Parks Service was celebrating their 100th birthday this year we wanted to make sure we visited at least one big national park and the Smoky Mountains was it.
We choose to stay at a Yogi Bear Campground, there are several other options in the area but I think we made a good choice. We stayed at Yogi Bear’s Cherokee, NC Campground for 6 nights from June 29th to July 5th. It was a good amount of time, that allowed us to relax in the campground, enjoy the surrounding area and celebrate the 4th of July while we were there.
One of the reasons we choose a Jellystone Campground, besides getting to see Yogi, was because they have SO MANY activities the kids can do, which sometimes can be overwhelming (if you do them all) but if you read thru the schedule and pick out the ones you think your kiddo will like the best it can be a really nice way to break up the day and keep them entertained.
Our Campsite (Site #23) for the week, we had a very lived in look going on:
This is a pretty big campground 138 RV and Tent Sites and 38 Air-conditioned Cabins (9 Cabins are Pet Friendly). They have a pool, game room, craft center, movie theater, snack bar, two playgrounds, bikes rentals, laundry room, stocked trout fishing, camp store, 3 comfort bathhouses and “Free Wi-Fi” – which out of all of those I say Yes, except the Wi-Fi, don’t plan on getting a single bar of wifi while you’re there. Most if not all campsites here include a picnic table and fire ring for your use. They offer 50-amp and 30-amp sites. We stayed in a pull-thru “buddy site”. (Site #23) for most of our visit there was not a camper in the other campsite of the other “buddy site”, but when they did arrive it was still nice. They were a friendly family. A buddy site is when you park your camper so that your front doors are facing, which is awesome when you are camping with friends and for the most part I think is fine either way. I rather come out and look at their front door than their sewer hose any day. 🙂 The sites are dirt and gravel. We were pretty close to the river, which was SO NICE to hear the river “sounds” in the background especially a night. We had a campfire pretty much every day here at this campground which was fun. We were here in July but it did not get up past the mid 80’s the whole time so it was very comfortable weather.
I think one of the best sites if you can get it is Site #113, it’s a large pull-thru right along the river – of course if you have little kids this might not be the site for you because it’s a bit of a slope straight down to the river and I can see with little kids you’d always be saying… don’t get to close, etc. etc. yada yada yada – you know the drill.
Yogi in the Smokies is about 15/20 minutes from the first visitor center of the Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina Side – so you’re not far at all from the National Park.
Side Note: (that could make your visit more enjoyable) Cherokee, NC is a dry county so if you’d like a glass of wine with your meal, plan ahead you’re not going to find any to buy in Cherokee AND do not plan on accessing the internet while at the campground. We both work remotely and that caused a bit of a problem in the beginning. We had to go into town and get as much work done as we could while having lunch or coffee or sitting in a parking lot. Neither are detrimental to ruining your trip, but plan accordingly, for a more enjoyable one.
That would have to lead me into the only thing we really didn’t like was the lack of Wi-Fi and not just the campground but campgrounds in general need to solve this problem for their patrons. I know we are supposed to be out in nature and loving every minute of it and not need our computers, smart phones or tvs, BUT we do need those things whether you work on the road, need to look up directions or find out what there is to do in the area you need some connectivity.
What we loved about Yogi in the Smokies: The Staff was very friendly, all the campers were very friendly, they offered a lot of great activities, Liam had a blast and the RIVER!
Raven Fork River runs along side the campground, you can get a site right up along side the river which would be nice, there’s another plan ahead tip, those sites are booked pretty far in advance. From what we saw comparing the Yogi Bear Campground to other campgrounds in the area – the river does run by or through most of the campgrounds, but it seemed to me that the KOA nearby the river went by mostly the cabins not the RV sites, I liked it better that the river was near the RV sites at the Yogi Bear Campground. You can access the river from several spots in the Yogi Bear Campground to fish, swim or go tubing. We went “tubing” a few times and it was a lot of fun.
Here’s some pictures of one of the activities Liam participated in:
From the Campground you can access a hiking trail to Mingo Falls. It’s a two mile walk from the campground and was a nice outing. You can also drive to the falls and view them that way. You do still no matter what have to walk up .4 miles of stairs and mountain to see the falls though.
We had a great time and would definitely stay at this campground if we ever go back to the Smoky Mountains. It’s always good catching up with Yogi and Boo Boo Bear.
Here’s some pictures from around the campground:
So what do you think? Have you stayed at one of Yogi Bear’s Campgrounds? How was it? Have you been to The Smokey Mountains?
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