Sunday, April 12, 2015

North Mills River Campground

Andy, Carole and I stayed at the North Mills River Campground in western North Carolina for a couple of days. It's a National Forest facility that's administered by the Cradle of Forestry concessionaire. I've never been completely happy with how Cradle of Forestry runs our National Forest campgrounds and this trip was no different. When we arrived the campground host wasn't even present, and we had to remove garbage from our campsite (left by the previous camper). And we never did more than see the host as he was always busy staying in his mobile home or entertaining his friends.

Oh, well.

North Mills River campground is a beautiful place. The campground is situated five miles down North Mills River Road from NC 280. There's a nice Ingles Grocery if you need supplies (located at the intersection). Half of the campground is on one side of North Mills River and half is on the other side. I would recommend the half accessible by bridge as that is where the showers and nicer bathrooms are located. On the side we used there are only smelly pit toilets and a bathroom that has only urinals and no toilet! So we had to trek across the bridge and uphill to use the showers and better bathrooms.

There are no hookups so you need to fill your onboard water tanks and bring your generator. We like to boondock, so this was fine for us. We filled our 24-gallon tank and took our Honda 2000 generator. There are water spigots located throughout the campground if you need extra water.

If you like to fly-fish, this is the place for you. We saw many people who had arrived just for that. Apparently North Mills River is known for excellent trout fishing. Lots of opportunities for horeseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. We saw many doing all of these, and I took the opportunity to hit the trails, of which there are many, many miles convenient to the campground.

Also, Asheville is less than 20 miles away, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is just up the nearest Forest Service Road (albeit via a 30-minute rocky ride).

Despite a lukewarm judgment on the campground host, we can recommend North Mills River Campground. There's plenty to offer for any camper and just about any kind of outdoorsman.

Our campsite (#4) at North Mills River.

Who doesn't like a roaring campfire?!

The view from an overlook on one of my hikes.

My son at Looking Glass Falls, a short drive from the campground.

Looking Glass Rock, from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also not too far to drive as part of a day-time jaunt from the campground!

The bathhouse/showerhouse at the campground. Two bathrooms and two showers on either side of the building for a total of four of each.

No comments: