Camp Name: Mountain Stream RV Park
- Website: Mountain Stream RV Park
- Site Number: 6 and 11
- Location: Marion, NC
- Latitude: 34.916608
- Longitude: -83.683828
- Rating: N/A
- Date Visited: October 22, 2018
- Nights Stayed: 5
- Reservations: Yes
- Fee: $ 45
- Fellow Campers: Scott, Sydney
For our 2 year and 3 year wedding anniversary, we decided to do a week-long vacation in North Carolina. If you remember on 2nd anniversary, we stayed in a super glamorous Yurt right near the Nantahala National Forest. I think that was the trip that got us hooked on the area. North Carolina is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in October. Seriously, during peak leaf season it is spectacular with its rolling mountains, waterfalls, babbling brooks, and twisting roads. For these anniversaries, we camped in Marion, NC at Mountain Stream RV Park which is nestled in Mt Pisgah National Forest and just a few miles from the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
We got to the campground around 2 pm. Check-in is located right at the front of the campground in their Camp Store, so we just pulled up and parked out front. Gena and Kevin own and run the campground and greeted us first thing when we arrived. We were given a site that had stream access. Almost every site at this campground has access to the stream and some of the sites have decks that you can sit out on and soak in sights and sounds of the water. On our first visit to this part, we drove to site #6 only to see that another guest was already in it….uh…ok. Gena came out and discovered the guests from the night before hadn’t left and she hadn’t realized it until now. Talk about awkward. One of the guests told us that the website was confusing when booking and they thought they had that night reserved (which we also found confusing). We had to wait while Gena basically kicked them out of the site. After about an hour of waiting, we were able to park and get settled. Our second visit was much smoother and we pulled right into site #11.
The Campground is RV and campers only, so no tent sites. They also have 3 Yurts and 2 RVs that you can rent. Each site has 30/50 AMP hookups, sewer, water, cable, fire ring, and a picnic table. The lots are level and pretty small. You’ll definitely get to know your neighbors! Also, it is good to note that Mountain Stream is only open March – Thanksgiving. Their website is quite good so check out their FAQ page for any questions you might have.
In the center of the campground are bathrooms which are very clean and well maintained. It smelled of bleach every time I went in there which I don’t mind in a public shower. The pressure of the showers is good! The showers are located right next to each other with a curtain in between which was a little weird. If you got the shower in the back and pulled the curtain and someone else took the front shower, you’d have to walk past them to get out. I guess it’s just another way to get to know your neighbors!
Also in the center of the campground is a large pavilion with tables, grills, a giant TV and a stone fireplace. Each Friday evening Kevin and Gena put on a BBQ dinner. We, unfortunately, missed this one because we left Friday morning but what’s not to love about free BBQ? Such a great way to get to know your fellow campers and the owners.
In North Carolina, you must buy and use local wood, so the office sold bundles for $6-7 at the Camp Store. You can also buy various sundries, snacks, and ice cream. Yes, ice cream by the tub. That was a first. Extremely slow wifi is included with your stay but you can upgrade to a higher speed for $4.95 or $14.95 a week. Cable is included and has quite a few channels.
Last but not least, don’t forget to say hi to Ralphie! He’s the adorable Shar-Pei barking at you from the host’s home (which is right next to the Camp Store). He seems scary but he’s all bark and super cute.
Things to do
This is the creek that the RV campground is on. You can fish for trout but you are required to throw it back in. We were there during the colder months so I’m not sure if you can “swim” in it. It’s not very deep so kayak and canoeing are out of the question. The sound was beautiful though and felt like you were sleeping in a spa.
One of the big draws to this campground is that it is secluded in the mountains but still about an hour from Asheville. We did a day trip to Asheville and enjoyed the shops, artistic vibe, and restaurants. We recommend Salsas, which has a Mexican/Caribbean/South American vibe to it. The day we went they had a fantastic arepa dish that was out of this world. Karen Donatelli’s coffee shop and bakery was also very quaint and our croissant was very decadent. Biscuit Head is a little hole in the all breakfast joint located a few blocks from historic downtown Asheville. There was a huge line out the door! You can get a gravy flight. Whaaaa!? Yep, 3 gravies at once. Scott and I both got the Fried Chicken Gravy on a biscuit. It was quite good but next time I think I would try the pork sausage gravy. This is a “must-do” breakfast if you are in the Asheville area. Finally, Scott wouldn’t approve the publishing of this post if I didn’t mention Kilwins which in his opinion has the best ice cream in the world.
Our favorite place to shop is the Kress Emporium. Local artists rent out space to sell their art, pottery, jewelry and all kinds of other doodads. The Kress Building itself is cool too so check out it’s architecture on the outside. The other great must do shop is the The Mast General Store. This is like an REI and old time general store with toys, candies, and housewares. Asheville also has more yarn stores than it seems normal (I think it has 3). It was fascinating to check out the locally made and dyed yarns.
The Biltmore is also located in Asheville and is worth a visit to see the beautiful home of the Vanderbilts, drink some wine, and walk around the gardens.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The campground is a couple miles from the famous Blue Ridge Parkway which runs all the way from Virginia to Cherokee, NC. It has overlooks ever few miles with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a photographers dream. We were in awe every time we drove on it and spent hours just driving back and forth. Our recommendation? Take it all the way to Asheville. Stop at every overlook. It will be a memorable drive.
Very easy hike and very crowded but the views of the canyon were pretty spectacular. If you are hungry, stop by Famous Louise’s Rock House Restaurant off US221. It’s a home cookin’ style restaurant with good food and a friendly staff.
This was not an easy hike! We saw some older folks hiking and Scott and I kept thinking there was NO way they were going to make it. It was worth the hike though. Beautiful. It was located right near a campground that seemed to be pretty primitive and almost no one was camping there.
Roaring Fork was easy to get to with a very large defined trail. Parking was located just on the street and then you walked up a dirt road almost the entire way. It was not busy at all and was very pretty.
Derrick Falls/Set Rock Creek
Located down the street from Roaring Fork Falls and near Black Mountain Campground. Easy hike to the falls but if you want pictures right next to the falls you need to be prepared to climb over fallen trees and jump from rock to rock.
We stopped at Mount Mitchell on a whim and boy are we glad we did. Mt Mitchell is the tallest mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the views are spectacular. Parking is ample at the ranger station and it is a short (yet tough) hike to the top. It was COLD! Like a lot cooler than I expected!
A total tourist trap, Linvile Caverns has tours of a cavern and since I had never been to one, I was in for it! It’s great for kids and fun to see all the stalagmites. They turn off the lights for a second and it was crazy dark.
Other Odds and Ends
Marion is the closest town to the campground and has a sizable Camping World. We also ate at a couple of restaurants in Marion but nothing to write home about.
Grandfather Mountain “attraction” is a total rip off. Do not go here and fund this atrocity. It cost $22 per adult to enter! It is a privately owned attraction and not a state park so you aren’t supporting anything other than their pockets.. There is a Grandfather State Park that is free but we didn’t know this until we got back home and researched it.
In conclusion, we loved this trip! It was so relaxing and we were so surprised by the Blue Ridge Parkway! Mountain Stream RV Park might just be the most picturesque and well maintained of any RV park that we have been to yet.