Primitive camping on 6 mountainous, wooded acres with a spring fed creek. Elevation ranges from 3000' to 3100'. Borders the South Fork of the New River, a popular river for kayaking and fishing, as well as the Railroad Grade Road, a narrow 10 mile road constructed on the rail bed of the abandoned East Tennessee & Western North Carolina railroad which follows the scenic and winding river, and is a magnet for cyclers, joggers and hikers.
The small community of Todd is approximately 7 miles to the west; take Mill Creek Road east and turn right where it dead ends with the Railroad Grade Road, which in a mile or two intersects with Cranberry Springs Road and the Todd Railroad Grade Road; bear right on the Todd Railroad Grade Road. Limited dining and some weekend entertainment (music and occasional dancing) will be found at the Todd Mercantile. Kayaks, tubes, rafts, and canoes can be rented at River Girl in the old rail road depot; they also offer fishing outings. Other kayak, tube, raft, and canoe rentals will be found at a couple of locations along the Railroad Grade Road and the Todd Railroad Grade Road. The closest of these is Wahoo Adventures, located less than a half mile to the west of the property (east on Mill Creek Road and right on the Railroad Grade Road). The town of Boone is about 15 miles away; Boone is a good-sized town and home to Appalachian State University. It offers a hospital, a small private airport, golf, Tweetsie Railroad, Publix, Lowes, all manner of dining, movies, etc. For the quickest route to Boone, go east on Mill Creek Road, left on the Railroad Grade Road, straight ahead on Brownwood road at the intersection of the Railroad Grade Road, Cranberry Springs Road, and Brownwood, then right on US 421 when Brownwood intersects it.
- Check in: After 1PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Moderate
- On arrival: Go straight to camp
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 12 months out Weeknight discount: 50% off
The vibe at South Fork Overlook
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
This spot was great! It's located near a really, really beautiful river that if you have the time should definitely float (we saw several people doing just that on our way to the site). The South Fork Overlook has parking off the road which was big enough (and flat enough) for our 16 foot RV. There was also plenty of room for another car which is cool because this site also has primitive camping just a short hike away.
It's super quiet, trash-free and well-marked. Make sure you take a screenshot of the directions ahead of time though because as you approach you may lose a cell signal. In other words, don't rely solely on a GPS to get you to the site. Follow the directions and then look for the orange markers that designate the parking area. The trail head to the campsite is easy to find after that as well.
Once you find the site, decide whether you will camp up top near the parking area, at the campsite or somewhere else on Guy, the host's, property. He's added a little rock fire pit to the the actual campsite but still, take precautions when making fires so as to prevent forest fires!
If you're looking for a site that is quite, peaceful and beautiful, tucked in a wood and with access to the river, this very well may be the site for you!
Great little site unlike any other. We had a great night camping there. The campsite was down by the creek with a fire pit and wood to burn. We chose to pick some dead limbs and trees from around the campsite and burn those instead. Went tubing in Todd on that Saturday and enjoyed the free concert in the park. We had a blast!
Cute, quiet little spot. There was occasional gunfire in the early evening, but otherwise it was peaceful. There was a campchair hanging from a tree that turned out to be quite convenient, don't know if it was accidentally left behind by previous campers, but glad it was there! This is a great spot if you like camping somewhat near your car but don't want to go to a multi-campsite place. Very private.
We didn't actually get to use because it was not as described. Based on the description, I asked ahead of time if this site required backpacking in or not - because it could be either based on how the description was written - and we would have packed different gear. We got there and discovered that while the description in MOSTLY accurate, the owner failed to mention that the trail ("300 feet") is directly down a steep pine covered hill with no real cleared trail. This group of friends are seasoned campers with cars full of gear that we are used to packing in and out of remote locations... There was no way for us to have gotten our gear down that incredibly steep and rough path - much less back up without a major struggle - so we left. Having almost no signal, and it getting closer to dark, we drove an hour and a half away to a national forest to camp without reservations. We brought an all terrain wagon that wouldn't have even helped, as no one could stop it from rolling down the hill without slipping themselves - again, a major struggle. There isn't any way to carry a normal cooler without going sideways with two people, or risk slipping down.
We were incredibly disappointed with the location, and feel that the steep uncleared terrain should have been made much more clear. Distance isn't the issue- we hiked several miles through Pisgah the remainder of the weekend, to and from places like GP Falls- 1 mile up and back down. Regardless, the path to this site is not a path we'd want anyone to have to carry more than a backpack up and down during the trip. If that's your jam - and you want some solitude, by all means, backpack in - it's a pretty piece of property.
We had a great time. I wasn’t sure how suitable the ground would be for a tent (if it would be too hard), but it was fine. The area that is maintained was big enough for our 8-man tent. There was firewood already there. It was far enough from the road for privacy but close enough to be easily accessible. The trail was clearly marked and the campsite easy to get to even if there had been no written instructions. The GPS coordinates took us right to the parking spot. The kids enjoyed playing in the creek. We’d definitely go back.