Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kumbrabow State Forest

Our original plans for this trip were to stay first at Holly River State Park. When we called to get reservations there, we were told that they don't take reservations after Labor Day, but that "the park campground NEVER fills up after Labor Day". We were further told that if we came up we were guaranteed a campsite.

As soon as we pulled in to the park we realized that the woman in the park office was full of shit. The park was packed to the gills with humans. Every campsite had at least one trailer and multiple tent/trailer combinations on it. The park roads were crammed with people. It was like being in a crowded city. Apparently the park was having a festival, which had been in the planning stages for over a year, and which the park personnel were all aware of, knowing that there would be no room for overflow in the campgrounds.

Fortunately, we were prepared for this. Ignoring the advice of the Holly River State Park Moron, we had brought our generator along and had filled our fresh water tank back in Charlotte. So we didn't need a site with hookups and headed over to Kumbrabow State Forest where there were rustic sites available. We only hoped we weren't too late to snag a good campsite.

As it turned out, the locals all wanted campsites with power hookups, and so we found Kumbrabow pretty much vacant. Which is exactly what we were searching for. Isolation, peace, and quiet. In addition, the park ranger at Kumbrabow turned out to be the nicest, friendliest, most helpful park ranger we've ever met. I've misplaced his name, but if you stay there, you're going to be well taken care of because of this fellow.

As everything turned out, the best part of our trip was our stay at Kumbrabow. We'll go back, for sure. The park is really large, and has a good system of trails and is close to other areas for outdoor activities.

This was our campsite at Kumbrabow State Forest. We didn't set up our other canopy because the weather was so nice.

The playground in the center of the campground. One other family arrived to stay a couple of nights and their kids loved the playground.

The trail right behind our trailer leading down to the creek.

The creek which lulled us to sleep every night.

Looking down stream.

This brilliantly colored tree was growing in a field which is all that remains of the CCC camp that housed the workers who built the infrastructure of the park which is all still in use today. The camp is now only this field and a few rusting bits of girders that were once part of the barracks and other housing for the workers.

Mill Creek Falls. This is one of the most photogenic waterfalls I've ever seen, and I love to visit it. Both times I've been I haven't bee able to swim there because it's always been too cold. You can rent the cabin visible through the trees. The cabins here are rather rustic. Lighting and refrigeration and heating are by gas. There are no showers in them. There are central vault toilets and for hot showers you have to drive to the park office complex up the road. Built by the CCC boys back when socialism wasn't a dirty word.

A little forest of mushrooms growing on a dead tree beside Mill Creek Falls.

This was as close as we came to seeing a raccoon on this trip. Just some fresh tracks near the waterfall.

The cabin just beside Mill Creek Falls. There are, I think, six cabins in this complex. All built by the CCC.

Mill Creek Falls.

A picnic shelter in the park.

Inside the shelter. We could put unemployed engineers, architects, and laborers to work today constructing park infrastructure if we weren't ruled over by filthy corporations and their lackeys.

Behind the shelter. I took this one because I liked the patterns and colors of the fallen leaves against the angles of the building.

Carole, peeking out of the shelter window.

This culvert bridge cuts the campground in half. Sites on either side of the creek.

Another shot of the creek. I took this one the night before we left.

And one of the more tent-friendly campsites at Kumbrabow. Ours did not have the little fireplace.


Bonnie Hoffman said...

Hello there and thank you for sharing the info about this campground. One question. I am looking to camp alone for a meditative weekend and wondered if you noticed any private areas for camping. Site 11, the last one on the road look a little further away from the others. Any thoughts?
Thank again,

James Robert Smith said...

The one in the photo is rather isolated, as I recall. Not sure which one that is, but it's on the opposite side of the creek from most of the others (it might be #5). #11 is the one we used. It is off by itself, which is why we chose it.

James Robert Smith said...

To be clear...the photo with our truck and our Casita travel trailer is site #11. The photo of the site with the fireplace and surrounded by vegetation is (I think) #5. With #11 you can look across the field at the playground, but you have a lot of space all to yourself.