I went there for a high school band competition in 87 or so and it was a blast then. It's like the Myrtle Beach of the mountains. Just spoke to a very nice manager at Bear Cove. They are renovating all the sites with level concrete pads. They just finished spots 22,24, and 26. They also have a basketball goal and will have a pizza rest soon. It's a 10 minute walk to the trolley, so about the same as River Plantation I guess. It's on a hillside surrounded by trees, so it looks pretty doggone nice too.$275 for the week.
2011 Dutchmen Kodiak 280bhsl
2013 F150 Ecoboost Max tow crewcab 4x4 6.5 bed
14 yo son Nathan, 10 yo son Andrew
My two options would be the PF KOA or Gatlinburg Jellystone.
KOA is the closest to Dollywood I believe & once parked you will never have to drive anywhere else. A short walk across the adjoining city park and you are at the trolley terminal. Short on amenities though for kids. Just a simple playground.
Gatlinburg Jellystone is probably furthest but the BEST family campground in the area. The owners are all family and on site. Plenty of organized activities like candy bar bingo and scavenger hunts. 30 minutes to Dollywood but feels like real camping instead of being stuffed in a parking lot. We can spend a week here and keep the kids busy with maybe a day or two doing the touristy stuff.
You might find the Dollywood season pass to be cheaper than 3 day passes. Worth checking on. You could also save one day by arriving after 3pm because the next day will be free. We are season pass holders and I would have a hard time not seeing everything there in a day or two. Three might be too much.
We would be glad to have you on this side of the mountains.
2012 Koala 25DS
2011 F150 Ecoboost SuperCrew with Max Tow Package
I have stayed at the KOA in Pigeon Forge. Next door to Patriot Park which has the main hub for the trolley system and very close to Dollywood. The trolley goes by a lot of the campgrounds but takes you to the hub to change to the Dollywood line.
It's funny, Bear Cove claims to be the closest to Dollywood. They're one mile from DW. I kind of would like being close to where everything is so we can take the boys to experience as much as we can afford. I was impressed with the Jellystone. They're aren't thrilled by the typical planned CG activities though. We even discussed picking one without an arcade as we'll be spending plenty in GB, PF, and DW...... I think we priced the 3 day pass at $371 and must go within one week, which is fine. We are gonna stay Sat Aug 18th to Sat the 25th.
Twin Creek is a nice park. The sites on the creek are the largest and closest to the road, but noiser. Some of the sites are tight. Our site was so close, we were not able to open our awning. Also, the traffic from Gatlinburg to Dollywood can be very heavy. If Dollywood was my main interest, I would choose a campground in the Pigeon Forge area.
I would have to put a vote in for River Plantation. We have stayed in many parks in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Have never heard the concrete plant when we have stayed at River Plantation. Very nice park. The sites are some of the largest in the area. We stayed on one of the signature sites last time we were there, and the site was huge. Most of the cgs pack you in like sardines, and I didn't feel packed in at River Plantation. They have a very nice pool for the kids. Plus, with kids, it is very near the Nascar Park and a huge outlet mall. The traffic can get really bad in Pigeon Forge, there are some back roads you can take. If you are going to be there for a whole week, you really have to go into the National Park, and experience all that it has to offer. Cades cove is beautiful, and there are lots of nice hiking trails. I have some pics of River Plantation and Tremont Hills. Tremont is in Townsend on the National Park side of the Smokeys, alot more laid back.
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We love to hike in the mountains, so we'll check it out. Thanks again for all the info. Did you ever use the trolley when you were there? There are a few reviews saying the security at River Plantation were after kids quite often. Hopefully that's not the case. Mine are well behaved and are not profane, unlike tons of kids I've encountered at CG's.
* This post was
edited 05/24/12 08:46am by Stclairm *