Sunday, July 31, 2016

KOA in Cherokee, NC

After leaving Pigeon Forge, TN, we headed to Cherokee, NC to spend a few days at the KOA.  KOA's are more expensive than I'd prefer, but they offer a lot of amenities.  Unfortunately, we like amenities that we don't use - we just like to see everyone else use them.  Case in point:  it's fun to have playgrounds and mini-golf, mainly because they attract a lot of kids and families and we like to people-watch.   I suppose that we're going to have to abandon that line of thinking in the long run because we aren't going to be able to afford to pay so much money for things we don't take advantage of.

Getting to the Campground

Before you can enjoy this KOA, you have to get there.  And following your big rig's GPS may not be the best way to do it.  Here's the best route (from the Pigeon Forge area):  40E to 74W.  74W to 441N.  441N through downtown Cherokee. Once you get to the light (right turn only) at Acquoni Road, keep going until the next right that goes through the woods to your right (this is called BIA Highway 441).  You'll cross a bridge and then turn left on Big Cove Road.  The KOA is about 5 minutes down Big Cove Road on the right.  When leaving Cherokee, follow the same route in reverse.  The only thing to be careful of are the small trees downtown that have some "light" branches extending over the curb on your way out; heights are fine.

The important thing to note, based on our research, is that you SHOULD NOT take Highway 19 into Cherokee.  Follow the above directions and you'll do just fine.

Overview of the Cherokee KOA

Like a lot of KOA's, this one is loaded with features that RVers like.  We took the time while we were in town to drive through Jellystone and some other nearby campgrounds and the KOA beats them all.  More room, better sites, easier access, and lots to do.

KOA Cherokee has two pools; one of them is indoors.  The outdoor pool has a poolside grill that serves cheeseburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, fries, and more.  There is a large campground store, with a gift shop up front where you can find souvenirs.  As you drive in, check-in and the store are to your right, with little huts on your left where you can purchase firewood and ice.  There are small play areas, a place to run your pets, a large bounce pad for the kids, and a very small 9-hole mini-golf area.

Pulling in can be tight.  They ask you to pull over into some RV spaces to your right.  If you pull up all the way, you'll have virtually no room in front of the spaces to turn left towards the campground when you've completed check-in.  It'll be easier if there's no one to your left.

The staff was nice, with the friendliest people being the folks who go to your site and handle any problems. When we were there, our breaker needed to be replaced and they were very prompt to fix it.  The office staff is too busy, and they really didn't seem to want to spend much time making small talk.  They just handled the transactions.  The poolside grill was very understaffed, with only two teenagers manning the cash register and the grill.  An order for a simple hamburger, no cheese, took more than twenty minutes - and there were only two people with small orders ahead of me and no one behind me.  And when I got it, it had cheese on it.  Oh well.

Above the pool on the second floor of a storage structure is an arcade, and lots of people took the KOA van to go tubing.  Another option is to take some paths behind the indoor pool and you can put in to some pretty nice tubing that's close by.


KOA Cherokee's sites range from ones for tents all the way up to the largest rigs.  Most of the sites in the center of the park are pull-thru's, while ones on the edges are back-ins.  There are quite a few small "tiny house" cabins that are available for rent.  Many of these also have creekside patios, as do some of the larger RV sites.

50A, full-hookup is available at most sites, as is cable TV with almost 50 channels.

This is a busy campground with lots of children.  Many of their parents coughed up the $7 per hour it cost to rent those recumbent bike-type 3-wheelers that sit low to the ground.  You really have to be careful moving your RV and toad around on the roads.

Our site was one of the back-ins along the creek.  It was also one of the really shaded ones.  All of them have sizeable "yards" with lots of grass.

Sites are medium difficulty as far as pulling in/out.  Just watch out for people and kids, which are plentiful.

Tips / Comments / Pros & Cons

  • Reserve in advance.  This is a busy park.
  • Follow the above directions for getting there
  • Drive slow in the park
  • Cons: It seems longer than it actually is to get into town; non-maintenance workers are slow and weren't too friendly overall; wifi is unusable because there are so many people on it
  • Pros:  There's lots to do, especially for kids.  Nice store.  Nice cable.  Basically everything you need. Maintenance staff is great.

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