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“Excellent Campground”

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Townsend / Great Smokies KOA
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2013

I first went to this campground/RV/cabin KOA site when I was 15 and loved it. I went back the first time last year (12 years later) and wasn't sure how I'd feel about it this time. However, I think overall it is still a great place stay. We camped in a tent right on the river which was absolutely beautiful. One downside to wanting to camping on the river is that they only have 3 or 4 available, so book early! The staff is super friendly and it has a small store, gas station (helpful to stop at before going into park) and pool. It has a fabulous location, literally right next to the entrance of the park - you can't stay any closer! The one thing I have to complain about is that the bathhouse is kind of far away from the tent campgrounds (you'd think they'd be closer to tents and further away from RVs that have their own bathroom??) and it is kind of old and dingy. Other than that, it's a fantastic place to camp with kids or without such as myself.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Wanderer3247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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164 - 168 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 25 October 2012

Stayed at a Townsend KOA cabin during the week after Labor Day. The cabin was right on the creek which was beautiful. We were pretty close to the road, but weren't bothered by most of the traffic. We could hear the motorcycles though...and there were quite a few. Most of the cabins were empty during our stay, so it was very peaceful. The walk to the bathhouse was a bit of a trek, but they did have outhouses located closer. There weren't any activities going on during the week, but that was ok with us. The cabin was clean and had a full bed in the front room and two bunk beds in the back room. The staff leaves around 8 PM in the evening. This was a problem for us as our son got really sick in the middle of the night. There was no one to tell us where the nearest all night store was located. AND there wasn't any cell service/GPS if it had been a bigger emergency. Overall, we had a wonderful trip. We would stay here again.

Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
1  Thank innkeeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012

The Good:
Nice and helpful staff
Clean bathrooms
Clean campground
Clean cabins
Pet run
Plenty of activities for children

The Bad:
In trying to keep the campground natural, parking can be difficult with all the trees. However, if you are careful you won't hit the trees. Just take your time and don't be in a hurry.

Some people tend to get louder the later it gets. The problem is the staff goes home at 8pm and there is no one to complain to if there are unruly neighbors. The first night we were there, we had very loud cabin neighbors.

Campsites were VERY close together.

If you are a tenter, don't camp here because there they have gravel spread in all campsites.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
    • Location
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Thank PuppyGirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2012

The good: We have camped with Townsend KOA for many years now, dating back to when it was Little River Campground. Though the prices have steadily increased, we still love camping there, knowing the only germs we are sharing belong to our family! lol

Though we liked Tremont, if you want to stay on the river to hear splashing water and not Harley Davidson Motorcycles, go with KOA. A natural sharp bend in Little River blessed them with river sites that are quiet and peaceful, and as far from the highway as you can get without getting wet.

The employees and staff go out of their way to give you a smile and a good experience during your stay. If we ever have an emergency or any kind of need, they are quick to respond. Bathhouses are clean, campground is spotless, and most spots don't have you elbow to elbow with other campers. The last spot we stayed in was 121, on the river. It is HUGE!

They offer lots of fun activities for kids and adults on Saturdays, like Bingo, Tie-Dye, Hay rides, and movies. Our two Bostons loved the fenced-in dog park: LOTS of room to run off-leash and chase a ball or frisbee.

The BAD: One disappointment was the restaurant/store. It seems... cheapened somehow? Can't put my finger on it, unless it is the tacky merchandise. There are lots of 'not cheap' souvenirs they could offer: local arts and crafts on consignment, better quality commercial items... Minnetonka moccasins used to be sold there years ago, and I remember longing for a pair as a little girl. I loved looking at all the colors and styles. Also, plain food would be more appreciated, I think. We started to have a meal there one afternoon last week, and nothing on the menu appealed to any of us (two adults and 3 kids aged 6-11). We opted to drive to Pizza Hut.

The UGLY: While I appreciate people's right to enjoy a beer, groups of people drinking and watching football, etc, in a campground doesn't sit well with me. The more they drink, the louder they get, usually coinciding with loudest after 9 or 10 o'clock at night. The employees have all gone home, and other campers have no recourse but to lie awake and listen to the ***holes and their rudeness. Unfortunately, if you have kids, they are exposed to more and more cussing and lewd behavior as the night wears on. It would be nice if KOA would leave a couple of older men patrolling the campground at night, or even a security guard.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2012 via mobile

If you like a non-commercialized Smokey Mountains experience this is the place! Very quiet area, woodsy, right on the river for kids to play in the rocks. Nice playground, clean bath house, friendly staff.

  • Stayed: October 2012
    • Value
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2  Thank QueenaKentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Townsend / Great Smokies KOA

Address: 8533 State Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Tennessee > Townsend
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Townsend
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in what's known as "the peaceful side of the Smokies," the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA neighbors Cades Cove and the countless black bears, deer, plants and flowers that make their homes there. With the tranquil Little River hugging the property line, endless hiking trails weaving through the wooded tapestry surrounding the kampground and swinging bridges suspended nearby, each day at this KOA promises a new adventure. Nearby attractions like Dollywood, Tuckaleechee Caverns (a 25-million-year old cavern system) and miles of tubing and biking guarantee great fun for your vacation. On-site, visit the Little River Village restaurant for a batch of fudge, grab your tackle and cast your line and enjoy free wireless Internet during your stay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Townsend / Great Smokies Koa Hotel Townsend

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