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“Beautiful area...such a shame!”

Ranked #73 of 195 things to do in Asheville
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Owner description: Located within the Pisgah National Forest, this 6,300-acre area is home to the North Carolina Arboretum.
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We were looking for a place to hike near where we were staying in Asheville. This looked like the perfect choice. There was a brochure in our room and some nice little trails were indicated. From the moment we arrived at the gate, we have never felt so unwelcome in any park of any kind. But we were not camping and it seemed to throw the folks off. We were willing to pay the $4 for parking, no problem, but we asked for a brochure since ours belonged our rental property. They refused saying they were just for campers. We asked to purchase one but we were rudely refused. While in the park, we found a restroom but it was locked. 45 minutes later we went back to the restroom and I was rudely told they were closed. After I asked what a person was supposed to do the person who cleans said that I was LUCKY (her words) that she would let me in as she was planning to clean them (there were 4 individual restrooms and she was working on the first one). She did end up apologizing as I'm fairly certain she realized that we knew she was supposed to have the restrooms open by at least 10am and it’s now 10:45. Although the trails were nice enough...the damage was done. When leaving we had to stop to give them our parking pass (we paid $4 for) and the gate person rudely said that she saw us drive thru the camping area (like we were criminals). We told her we were looking for the Pisgah national forest and showed her our map and how confusing it was, but her condescending look was just the icing on the cake. We love this area but this is one place we will never visit again and we will make sure our friends and acquaintances pass it by as well. What a shame!

12  Thank Carpers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 - 24 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2014

A server in downtown Asheville recommended this hike and we set off on a misty morning to enjoy some time outdoors. The staff member who "greeted" us was unusually rude when we asked for advice on where we should hike. There were two carloads of us and he seemed annoyed that we were trying to pay to enter the park- famous greeting "what do you want?!". When we asked about a specific loop- Deerfield- he said he's never heard of it and said we might want to go somewhere else. We ended up staying despite the rude greeting and laughed when we stumbled across Deerfield Loop! The hike is nice if you can get past the staff.

5  Thank bmttrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I agree with prior reviewers that the gate attendants are a bit set in their ways. They assigned us a campsite (we needed just a tent site) and we found one we liked better, so they let us switch, but it was early May and they were not busy. They did make us come back to the gate and redo our car tag . . . I can imagine they have their reasons for being persnickety, but there are a lot of rules and signs everywhere, so if you are not a considerate and respectful camper, you might get called out by them! The walking paths are nice - we walked over to the Arboretum and entered via the back gate. The lake was a serious disappointment. It is actually a very small pond, with a sizable population of ducks and geese and the consequent droppings everywhere. The 'beach' is sandy and probably OK for very little children who will wade but not swim. You can swim - you just may not want to!! The bottom is sandy for a few feet, but becomes mucky pretty quickly. It was early May and not too busy, but I can imagine the bacteria count is probably quite high in the busy/hot season. The campground is fine for a weekend or overnight if you're passing through, but don't go there for the lake. They have nice firepits. The bath and shower facilities were very clean - only two showers for our 'circle' of sites so it might be different when they're busy. A lot of the State Campgrounds along the scenic mountain drive were not opening until May 9th, which is why we ended up here. :-(

4  Thank ExeterNina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

We're from NC and have been to Asheville numerous times. This time we needed a campground to land at and Lake Powhatan looked like it would be a great campground at an even greater location. We made a call to verify that there were spaces and that we could still get in.
When we came in we were verbally assaulted by the "manager" of the campground. He was just completely rude and so out of line. We've camped all over, mainly at state and national parks, but also at state and national forest campgrounds as well as private campgrounds. Never have we experienced an attitude like this, and this is at a government facility open to the public. I think the Pisgah Forest administration needs to take a look at this guy and make a change. He's definitely not who they need as the face of their campground. If this were a private place I would've gone after a refund for having to encounter attitude like that!
The charges for camping were also higher than we've paid at any state park or national park campground. Given that this was off-season and not in the peak summer months, I'd expect lower. This was more than we've paid at private campgrounds that have a resort atmosphere with all the amenities.
The facilities at the campground appeared to be good, and if it weren't for the manager we'd most likely return. The lake looked wonderful and there were lots of hiking trails that we could explore. We'd pack the bikes too as the kids could handle the roads, but maybe not the trails yet. It's also convenient to so many things we like to do in Asheville.
Bottom line, get rid of the "manager" and I'd give it 5 stars!

6  Thank OurNCFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Very popular with hikers and bikers. Close to Asheville. There are so many trails you'll need to bring a map.

1  Thank Bob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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