Monday, May 16, 2016

Campground Review: Hickory Nut Falls Family Campground - Chimney Rock, NC

For a while now I've been meaning to document each campground we visit because unlike with hotels, the reviews and pictures and sometimes even a website for the campground are really hard to come by. Sometimes I even search for blog posts about a certain campground we are considering, but with blogging being a dying sport and those of us that enjoy camping being a smaller percentage also, those are really hard to come by. So, maybe there are one or two others that will stumble upon this in their searches and find it helpful. If so, hi! Welcome! Here's what we thought about...

Now, let me just start out by saying that we don't often go to the same place twice. There are so many different campgrounds to explore near us so rarely do we choose to go back to the same place twice. Given all of that, let me also tell you that we just recently returned from our second trip to this lovely campground.

We visited this campground from April 14-17, 2016. The weather during this time of year was chillier than I expected, but still beautiful! April is a tricky month in the North Carolina mountains...winter is still trying to hang on but spring is doing its darnedest to push winter out. Just the weekend prior to our visit there was a little snow shower, but luckily we had only clear skies and crisp cool mountain air during our visit. The highs were in the upper 60's, lows in the 40's which meant jeans/tees during the day, and dragging out blankets and jackets around the campfire at night.

Our family has a thing for water - so first we usually only choose campgrounds that have some sort of water in the campground or park. And then, if the water is in the actual campground, we are doing our best to reserve a spot that backs right up to the water. Luckily both times we've stayed in this campground we have had no problems getting a spot next to their body of water - this beautiful (SERIOUSLY - SO BEAUTIFUL!) rocky mountain river.


That is THE ultimate as far as 'body of water we'd like to camp beside' as far as my family is concerned. It is pretty hard to top that. The river is LOUD and muffles out the volume of any possible louder neighbors and (who am I kidding) it muffles out the volume of MY loud family too. Nature's white noise.


We chose the exact same campsite for our second trip as we did for our first trip also - site 67. We stayed in my parent's camper on this trip and this site accommodates a 35' camper very well. One or our favorite parts about this site, though, is that there is a tiny sandy beach right by the rocky stream which was the perfect place for Charley to play. The walk down to the beachy part is over some larger rocks, but Charley is 4 and had no problem getting down there on her own. The water isn't rushing right by that spot so she was even able to put on her rain boots and wade out into the river herself.


Another favorite with any campsite on this river is that you can jump from rock to rock to rock in this river. Of course, this is at your own risk because there will be slippery rocks and the water is rushing downstream, but minus a couple of wet shoes and socks, we all enjoyed this too. There was one large flat(ter) rock in front of our campsite that was very easy to get to which provided a great spot for a family photo. It was also a great spot to lay down and read a book or catch a nap. No napping for me though while watching a 4 year old and an almost one year old, but it was a nice thought of something I may do on a future FUTURE trip. Ha.


The campsites are spacious and flat and are mostly gravel and grass. They do have a nice, large picnic table at every site, and many sites had a ring that helped contain the campfire as well. All sites had a spot for a campfire, but only some had the ring. They have campsites that have water, electric and sewer and also some with just water and electric where most of the tenters stay. They also have some sites that are not near the river if that is what you'd prefer. They are scattered among (what I assume are) permanent sites.

The campground has a playground with swings (two big kid swings, one baby swing) and a big kid slide and a baby slide. There is also a balance beam and a bench swing for parents to sit on while the kids play. Although we did not utilize them this second trip, we did utilize the horseshoe pits the first time we visited. I don't remember who won but I'm sure it was me.


There is a bathhouse too and although we didn't use it often, it was very clean and an easy walk from our campsite. We didn't use the showers though, so can't comment on those. I can't imagine they'd be bad though - the family that runs the campground are very sweet and keep the place in tip top shape! They can be found running the camp store which is in an adorable A-Frame building. The camp store has ice cream in the warmer months, but it wasn't quite warm enough when we were there so we settled for candy bars. Other than the treats, they also have some groceries and other basic camping items you may have forgotten. Next to that is a spot to do laundry if needed (we did use that to dry a wet shoe or two from a misstep in the rocky river) and also a game area that we haven't used yet. There's also a secret staircase behind the store that goes down to the same river, but around the bend from where the campsites are. Just another little spot to explore!


As far as location goes - if you want to go to Chimney Rock Park and hike - you truly can't get much closer. The little downtown area and Chimney Rock Park itself are about a half a mile away. This trip we didn't go to hike at Chimney Rock Park, but found another hike to do at Chimney Rock State Park which was only 2.6 miles away from the campground. On our other trip here that was during fall, there were plenty of orchards close by to visit also. There's tons to do in the area though if hiking isn't your thing.

What else can I say? We really love this campground and I know we will be back in the future. We've done an early spring and a late fall trip, so now we need to find a way to get there in the summer when the ice cold mountain river would feel refreshing and not like we may lose a couple of toes to frostbite.

I doubt I'll ever need to comment on campground rates as they are all very reasonable and this place is no exception. A bargain if you ask me! (For those that aren't campers, most campgrounds seem to range from $20-$40 a night.) Pretty amazing considering this view!


I hope someone found this helpful, and if you aren't campers or aren't in this area, then I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Thanks for the great review. We have a tent-site reservation scheduled for June 22nd - June 25th on the river. So looking forward to it.