Creekside Mountain Farm is a charming camping spot with everything you need on an awesome property. The owner of the property Amy is super sweet and inviting as well. When you first pull up to the property, the first thing you will probably notice are the variety of animals on the farm. There are kids, dogs, chickens, goats, sheep, geese, cats, and probably some other animals I did not notice, all living in harmony. It is quite entertaining to watch all of their interactions in the area around Amy's charming house.
When you check in at the house, Amy will direct you to park along the street, next to the opening to a rugged dirt driveway, that leads down to the campsite. This driveway is very steep and even attempting it in a 4WD would be ambitious. However, it is only a short walk down to the creek bed, where you will find a bbq grill and two small rooms, one containing a solar shower and the other containing a compostable toilet. These rooms provide the perfect amount of comfort for a camping trip. Below these amenities, you will find two fire pits, stumps for sitting on, and some relatively flat ground to pitch a tent (or two). The campsite is surrounded by really beautiful and peaceful hemlock and poplar forest.
Amy and her husband were kind enough to let us use the firewood that was already down there, so we were able to cook our food and keep warm with the fire that night. I expected the commotion of the animals in the morning to wake us up well before I wanted to, but was pleasantly surprised that was not the case. The shady grove kept it from getting too bright in the morning, allowing my friends and I to ease into the day.
From what I have already written, it is safe to assume that I enjoyed the campsite itself and would recommend it. However, the campsite is hardly the only cool thing about Creekside Mountain Farm. Creekside Mountain Farm's location is simply awesome, being only 30 minutes away from the tallest free-falling waterfall east of the Rockies in Fall Creek Falls State Park. You can find endless fun in Fall Creek Falls State Park, with hiking, boating, paddling, zip-lining, picnicking, and golfing right at your fingertips. Additionally, there is a Mennonite community only about 10 miles from Creekside Mountain Farm, where you can buy the best produce and baked goods for extremely reasonable prices. I highly recommend the cinnamon rolls and the cheddar-jalapeno bread, but really everything from the cookies to the apples were incredible. If location was the only metric to rate this campsite, I would easily give it a 10 due to its proximity to so many fun things. You could easily spend 2-3 days in this area and not even scratch the surface of things to do.
Camp Mountain Lakes is an intriguing campsite. What used to be a massive property for an old kids summer camp is now a relic of what once was. Charles and Cindy are the new owners of the property, and they are in the process of restoring much of the property for camping use by April 2018. They have already restored an old building into a beautiful cabin, so they are well on their way. I am writing this review in September 2017, and although I had a great time in my stay, it is clear that the finished product will have some added benefits to the current condition of the property. One thing that this property already has going strong is its prime location.
The old stables are the best camping spot right now, with a good amount of cleared and flat land. The ground here is very good for pitching a tent, and there are trees to hang hammocks on too. There is no formal fire-pit yet, but Charles was still kind enough to give us wood to build a fire on the damp grass. This allowed us to cook a great dinner, so long as we were careful to maintain a wet border of grass around the fire. Although there was a full moon on the night we stayed here, you could tell there is almost no light pollution in the area, and star-gazing here would be excellent.
After a good nights sleep, I drove three blocks to the nearby Grundy Lakes of South Cumberland State Park to watch the sunrise. There seemed to be a lot of fish feeding, and I wished I had brought a rod. The fog rose up off the lake on that cool morning, which was very scenic.
In addition to being close to several picturesque lakes, Camp Mountain Lake Retreats is also a stone's throw away from Foster Falls and the Fiery Gizzard trail, one of the top 25 backpacking trails in the country. Along with Stone Door and the Savage Gulf areas, there are over 55 miles of hiking trails within half an hour of Camp Mountain Lake Retreats. If hiking and/or waterfalls are your thing, you can have a great time staying in this part of Tennessee.
Overall, in just a short amount of time, this camp site should not only meet, but also exceed your camping needs. Right now it is essentially a drive-in campsite with backcountry amenities.
Alana and Peter are the super sweet hosts at Creekside Meadow @AncientFuture. They are very friendly and hospitable and have two kids, an awesome dog, and chickens that are always running around and playing on the property. One thing that Alana seemed very knowledgeable of was all of the edible and medicinal plants and herbs that grow in and around their several gardens.
The property itself is quite large and very beautiful. The main camp area is adjacent to a small creek and has a garden, fire pit, pool, and two picnic tables. There are a couple nice flat spots that you can pitch a tent in, and there is also a neat 3-D hexagon shaped platform structure that they will let you set up camp in. I am not sure if the shape of the structure would allow for a very large tent, but it might be worth a try to get off of the wet morning grass.
Alana and Peter's land is nestled in a valley and expands for 26 acres up the mountainside. There is a road that goes further up the valley which leads to some overgrown trails that lead to the top of the mountain. Furthermore, they are located only 30-35 minutes away from downtown Asheville so this makes for a fun and convenient location that is close in proximity to both great restaurants and breweries and some awesome hikes.
If the Asheville area is on your list of future destinations and you are willing to car/tent camp, Creekside Meadow is the place to be.