Make sure to look at the pictures of the campground below to illustrate this review and the stunning views! We held our family reunion here for 4 days in late May 2014 and were pleased overall. Every campground has their pros and cons for sure, but Campfire Lodgings has more pros for the retired crowd or couples traveling without kids. My husband and 3 young kids had site P5 (premium site with excellent views), my sister and her husband had D9 (not premium but still had great views), my other sister, her husband and 3 young kids had a primitive tent site (no water, electric or mountain views) and my parents had Yurt 3 (completely wooded without mountain views).
Site P5 was one of the best for the views overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, but lacked in space on the patio, parking and yard area. The decorative fence is clearly marked as "decoration only" and to stay off, but I feared for the safety of not just our kids and dogs, but for the adults as well. We have a 32' travel trailer that fit well on the concrete pad, but we had to readjust our Chevy Suburban so it could be parked out of the way of traffic on the main road and to allow seating area around the patio and campfire. Site P5 is on the main 'road' through the campground and other campers have to drive right next to it to access their own sites further down. Since the road is traveled on often or used as a dog walk, it was a little bit loud throughout the day and in the early morning from vehicles and walkers. This site is fabulous for less than 2-3 people with a smaller camper due to the layout of the site and lack of space for parking. Our neighbors in P4 parked their large pickup truck right along the back side of our RV, so if we opened our shades, our view was of the hood of his truck; less than pretty for sure. I would recommend the owners spruce up the fence to something taller (maybe waist level instead of knee level) and more sturdy that protects people from plunging over the edge of the cliff. I know the fence is supposed to look rustic, natural and be for decoration only, but that is the only thing in place to prevent someone from literally careening off the side of the mountain, and it is less than 3 feet from the picnic table on the patio area. Scary! Also, the patio concrete is NOT safe to navigate. there are several places along the patio that have severe drops to the dirt along the boarder of it (6-10 inches deep). The owners need to fill in those ankle breaking holes with gravel to prevent injuries. This site also gets full afternoon sun and was pretty hot even under the awning. The sunsets were lovely, but warm for sure. We definitely enjoyed this site for the views, but as far as safety was concerned, it severely lacked in our opinion.
Site D9 had a lot more room for people to navigate around the site and had way more parking and yard room for the kids and dogs. There was still the risk of falling down the mountain at the back of the site, but it was not as bad as the P sites. The D sites are cooler in the afternoon and evening since they are more wooded, so bring a sweater. The tent site was in a very grassy and wooded area. It was pretty and peaceful, but lacked in availability of water or electricity (as to be expected with primitive sites). The bath house is close by up the steep hill, so it was a non-issue for my sister and her family, but it did pose a slight inconvenience for her to have to haul water everyday up and down the hill. Yurt 3 was the only yurt with a bathroom. It was very clean and well maintained. It too is in a wooded area and very peaceful. It had running water and electricity and was very nice in and out. The bath house was older, but very clean and well maintained. There were no bugs or mold that I could see inside this building. I felt safe using it and allowing my kids to use it as well. There is a laundry facility attached to the bath house that was also very clean and well maintained. I didn't do laundry myself, but I saw that it was standard coin operated at an affordable price (bring quarters and your own soap!)
Aside from the 5+ miles of nature trails, a horseshoes playing area, the communal overlook next to site P5 and P6, and a large grassy area behind the office, there were no other amenities like a pool or a playground. What lacked for me was a playground area for the kids. They brought their bikes, but were restricted (by me for safety reasons) to the gravel road circling the office area due to the steep hills elsewhere in the campground. There are several speed bumps made of gravel throughout the campground, which is good to keep people from speeding, but dangerous for bikes, so make sure your kids wear helmets, elbow and knee pads. I don't expect to have planned activities for the kids or anything like that, but a playground or swing set would have been nice.
Other reviewers have stated that the office staff is hateful and rude. We never encountered this problem once during our stay. Jason is the grounds keeper and went out of his way multiple times to make sure we were well taken care of. At check in, Cindy was very pleasant and cordial, answering all my questions appropriately. I never met any of the other people mentioned in previous reviews, so I can't attest to their behaviors. We traveled with 2 large breed dogs (German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois), and kept them leashed except when letting them back inside the camper. Some of the other campers were less than accepting of our big dogs, so if you are traveling with big dogs, keep them out of the little dogs' site is my best advice. Also, if you want cable TV (we did not), you have to rent a remote from the office. They take your credit card imprint so if you forget to turn it back in they can charge $50+. We started out wanting it, then changed our minds on day one and returned the remote.
Due to other reviews, we were nervous about having kids with us. We did feel nervous about noise levels during the evening (quiet hour is 10pm-8am) since we had a large group of people meeting every afternoon and evening at one site or another. The typical clientele are retired people that probably don't like noise to begin with. I appreciate that though since this campground is very tranquil and relaxing. Our kids and my nephews did well I suppose and stayed quiet in the evenings for the most part.
Some reviews suggested a problem with bugs. We saw only about 5 or so stink bugs and they were not a problem. There are other bugs that are obviously going to be at any campground since it is very wooded in areas. We did have one wood roach hitch a ride back home with us on a camping chair. We did pull several ticks off the dogs and the kids since they were in the brush along the trails. The mosquitoes were not an issue for us either. My advice is to use bug spray and know that you are camping, so there will be bugs no matter what! We did have an issue with sap dripping on our car and camper. We had a thick layer of sap that collected all over everything since we had to park directly under a spruce pine tree. It will take a lot of scrubbing to get it off, but that is only to be expected when camping in a wooded area.
Overall we had a great time. It was just a bit nerve wracking with young kids. We will book another trip without the kids next time for a romantic get away. Maybe in the fall for the colorful trees?
Pros: Amazing views all along the premium sites and some D sites. Beautiful sunsets. Quiet and peaceful wooded setting. Near Asheville and grocery stores/Walmart. Pleasant staff that was very helpful. Clean and well maintained buildings, bathrooms and laundry facility.
Cons: Small premium sites with very little parking area for large trucks or vehicles. Dangerous drop off that butts up against the patios on premium sites with virtually no protection from falls. Dangerous patio area due to uneven concrete. No playground or any 'kid focused' activities or areas.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Serenity in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains with panoramic views, 4-5 miles of hiking trails and a "catch and release" fishing pond. Come experience the peacefulness and calm of nature on top of Goldview Knob while being in such close proximity to downtown Asheville, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, waterfalls, and the Biltmore Estates. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Campfire Lodgings Asheville