After finding this place by looking at Google maps (their advertising is non-existent), we were unable to make a reservation online so left a voice mail for, presumably, the owner. The message said he'd call back and he did.
The owners are very hands-off. We pulled in early Friday evening, left early Sunday morning and never saw them. If there is a camp host, they are incognito. We paid by credit card over the phone and there is a list of site and names on the bathhouse building that is out-of-date; we weren't on it. It's ripe for abuse from non-paying campers without reservations.
The place obviously had a great deal of care put into it at some point in the past. The gardens are well-established and there are beautiful flowers all around the bathhouse, with outcropping of lilies throughout the park.
The pool is small, but was well-tended when we were there - possibly by fellow campers, as we learned that one fellow camper had taken it upon himself to clean the men's room. The men's room had two commodes and one urinal - the urinal is out of service and with the assistance of another camper, we were able to get the second commode working. Someone had plugged it up with a roll of toilet paper. We were told the grass was high earlier in the week, but it had been mowed when we arrived.
The bathrooms are not cleaned unless it's "self-service." The ladies' room showers are dark as all the overhead lighting is burned out - or the switch is broken or I just in hiding...we looked for it and couldn't get the lights to come on. Okay during daylight, but you wouldn't want to take a shower after sundown.
The garbage was not empty during our short stay and we heard from someone on a month's stay that it had piled up for 9-10 days before it was moved to the edge of the park and left in the woods for several more days. It's wonder there isn't a wild animal problem. As it is, there are flies and a couple stray cats.
The park consists of a small loop with woods on either side and an open field sloping down to the river at the back. It is fairly flat. There is a beautiful view across the field - you can't see the river, as the banks are wooded and there is no good access, but the mountains are beautiful. Adding boat access would make this place much more popular, but then the bathrooms would just get dirtier..
So, for a site run-down. Most of the sites have a tree at them, and as noted above, the majority back up against woods.
#1 is at the entrance so you have road around two sides.
#2 is against woods
#3 is also against the woods and has a very mature tree with nice shade - the picnic table here is the home of the two stray cats.
#4- 17 are also against the woods, with #10-12 being across from the small pull-in parking area at the fenced pool.
#18-28 are against the field with little to no shade.
#36-41 are pull-throughs running across the park toward the field end, with little to no shade.
#41 has a platform.
#29 is at the end opposite the entrance, with the field on one side and the woods on the other.
#30-32 are against the woods
#33 is next to the bathhouse across from the picnic pavilion...which appears to be a holding place for bags of garbage
We stayed in #10 and it was fun to be so close to the pool and surrounded by young, happy, friendly families. However #29 was our top pick for it's combination of shade, view and privacy.
#16 was our second-best pick for the same reasons, closely followed by #14 and #15.
We drove up to the "resort" which consists of a main one-story building and an attached row of small rooms. The resort has a dining room (apparently no longer functioning), a couple large rooms - one named "library" - and they are beautiful, with a ghost-town feeling.
I wouldn't stay in the resort, but I would stay at the campground again. The pool was great and the overall feeling of the place was friendly - sites #4-#17 all back up to the woods and you can look up and down the row of firepits and picnic tables - you could walk along the back of the sites and go visiting if you were so inclined. The three sites down from us were occupied by families who knew one another.
Just bring cleaning supplies and possibly tissue and towels for the bathrooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eagle Cove RV Park is located in the mountains of Southeast Tennessee in the Hiwassee and Ocoee River Basins, northeast of Chattanooga TN. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Black Bear Cove Hotel Benton