The good: We have camped with Townsend KOA for many years now, dating back to when it was Little River Campground. Though the prices have steadily increased, we still love camping there, knowing the only germs we are sharing belong to our family! lol
Though we liked Tremont, if you want to stay on the river to hear splashing water and not Harley Davidson Motorcycles, go with KOA. A natural sharp bend in Little River blessed them with river sites that are quiet and peaceful, and as far from the highway as you can get without getting wet.
The employees and staff go out of their way to give you a smile and a good experience during your stay. If we ever have an emergency or any kind of need, they are quick to respond. Bathhouses are clean, campground is spotless, and most spots don't have you elbow to elbow with other campers. The last spot we stayed in was 121, on the river. It is HUGE!
They offer lots of fun activities for kids and adults on Saturdays, like Bingo, Tie-Dye, Hay rides, and movies. Our two Bostons loved the fenced-in dog park: LOTS of room to run off-leash and chase a ball or frisbee.
The BAD: One disappointment was the restaurant/store. It seems... cheapened somehow? Can't put my finger on it, unless it is the tacky merchandise. There are lots of 'not cheap' souvenirs they could offer: local arts and crafts on consignment, better quality commercial items... Minnetonka moccasins used to be sold there years ago, and I remember longing for a pair as a little girl. I loved looking at all the colors and styles. Also, plain food would be more appreciated, I think. We started to have a meal there one afternoon last week, and nothing on the menu appealed to any of us (two adults and 3 kids aged 6-11). We opted to drive to Pizza Hut.
The UGLY: While I appreciate people's right to enjoy a beer, groups of people drinking and watching football, etc, in a campground doesn't sit well with me. The more they drink, the louder they get, usually coinciding with loudest after 9 or 10 o'clock at night. The employees have all gone home, and other campers have no recourse but to lie awake and listen to the ***holes and their rudeness. Unfortunately, if you have kids, they are exposed to more and more cussing and lewd behavior as the night wears on. It would be nice if KOA would leave a couple of older men patrolling the campground at night, or even a security guard.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in what's known as "the peaceful side of the Smokies," the Townsend/Great Smokies KOA neighbors Cades Cove and the countless black bears, deer, plants and flowers that make their homes there. With the tranquil Little River hugging the property line, endless hiking trails weaving through the wooded tapestry surrounding the kampground and swinging bridges suspended nearby, each day at this KOA promises a new adventure. Nearby attractions like Dollywood, Tuckaleechee Caverns (a 25-million-year old cavern system) and miles of tubing and biking guarantee great fun for your vacation. On-site, visit the Little River Village restaurant for a batch of fudge, grab your tackle and cast your line and enjoy free wireless Internet during your stay. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Townsend / Great Smokies Koa Hotel Townsend