We traveled from our spot in Cades Cove in Great Smokey Mountains National Park to Cumberland Mountain State Park where we'll be for a couple of days before traveling on to our son's home in Nashville for some pre-Christmas Holiday cheer.
The past few days have been cold here. The low this morning was 24 according to our thermometer we keep resting on top of one of the dually tires. The high today was 42.
The campground area is large with 5 distinct areas for camping. The only one open now is area 1 where we are in Site 19. Many of the sites are not level and may present a challenge. Jus' sayin'.
Much of the infrastructure here was built by the Civil Conservation Corp and there's a CCC museum near the park restaurant. From the website:
Cumberland Mountain State Park is situated on the Cumberland Plateau, a segment of the great upland, which extends from western New York to central Alabama. It is said to be the largest timbered plateau in America. Cumberland Mountain State Park began as part of the greater Cumberland Homesteads Project, a New Deal-era initiative by the Resettlement Administration that helped relocate poverty-stricken families on the Cumberland Plateau to small farms centered on what is now the Cumberland Homestead community. This 1,720-acre park was acquired in 1938 to provide a recreational area for some 250 families selected to homestead on the Cumberland Plateau.
We are on our way to Nashville, TN for the Christmas holiday and Cades Cove Campground in Great Smokey Mountains National Park was a somewhat convenient place to spend a night on the way. Especially since neither of us had been to this part of the park.
When we arrived we mistakenly drove past the entrance to the campground and found ourselves on the 11 mile Cades Cove Scenic Loop. It was one of those happy accidents and afforded us an opportunity to see deer, turkeys and restored cabins of settlers past. The loop is a beautiful drive, but would make for great bicycling in warmer weather (June 17-September 30 each Wednesday the loop is a vehicle-free zone).
Anyway, we took a nice walk around the campground (only the C Loop is open during the off season and there were very few campers) and spent a nice quiet evening reading as there's no cell service. We'll be back at some point. Recommended.
We recently spent a nice three days (for December) at Huntington Beach State Park. The Live Oaks and listening to the waves make the shore as we fell asleep makes Huntington one of our top picks for campgrounds recently. And this after spending a few great days with friends on Hatteras Island where the temperatures were not as moderate as we found at Huntington.
We were able to ride our bikes into Murrells Inlet for groceries and lunch one day and I rode over to Pawleys Island both via the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway. The beach is nice and relatively uncrowded in the off season. And the marshes are a birders' paradise. Recommended. Highly.
Steven and Melanie