So we have wanted to get over to Transylvania county NC (yes, really) for awhile. It is supposed to have 250 waterfalls in one county alone and we love hiking to waterfalls. Sounds like the Oregon of the east, stradling the NC/Georgia line south of Asheville NC. Our plan was to leave home and plan to be out 3 nights/3.5 days and just explore. This time of the year no big deal if we didn't find a campground, we would just boondock somewhere. With it being Memorial Day weekend with no reservations we figured that was a given. The copilot was all in.
We headed south from Knoxville and had a picnic on our first day out along the Hiwasee River. On the river by an old schoolhouse in this pic.
We headed on down from there to the Ocoee River, a happenin' whitewater spot which was pretty busy given the holiday weekend. You can drive Hwy 64 out of Cleveland Tn. (just north of Chattanooga) and go right along the river with lots of pull-offs to watch rafters and kayakers. No pics of this unfortunately but I wish I had stopped. The area was really busy and no parking along the road. We checked out several new campgrounds near here but all were full. Always good to have my wife on a scouting mission and get her approval of some new spots. The Ultimate CG Finder app proved useful as always.
From there we continued east on 64 to Chatuge Lake near Hayesville and Murphy NC. It was getting to be happy hour so we started looking harder for a campsite or camp spot. We lucked up on some dispersed camping on a nice manicured lakeside lawn with only about 10 other folks, right on the water. $10 to the marina up the road and we couldn't have been happier. We got settled right at dusk and this pic captures the peace and quiet of sunset, drinks, kids and great weather for a lakeside sunset.
The next morning. I couldn't quite frame the SMB and the lake in a good pic, so I took the next best pic. Just the SMB.
The next morning we headed east towards Standing Indian CG, which I've always heard is a beautiful place. It was, and we lucked out on some open spots. Great hiking, waterfalls, and beauty surround this place. I'll be back, with a reservation for a few days.
Playing with a fisheye camera lens. Nice to frame the whole van from 10 feet away.
This guy looks totally goofy with the fisheye lens too.
This is Big Laurel Creek, I think, which runs through the campground.
Gorgeous trails around the campground
These pics are of Big Laurel and Mooney Falls, both a few miles from Standing Indian. I can't remember which was which, but this area is a beautiful example of the Eastern woods I love. So green you almost can't believe it.
We headed back to camp early and started mixing libations, having a great night of conversation around the campfire. As luck would have it, my daughter woke up sick at 1 a.m. Big fun in an SMB in the woods. We took a detour home the next day and never actually even made it to Transylvania County where the concentration of waterfalls is. Anyway, no regrets. It was still a great weekend and the girl was fine within a day or two.