My next stop was at Parksville Lake; part of the Ocoee River gorge whitewater rafting area. Two days at another National Forest campground with paved roads, nice sites, electric and reasonable prices. My site had the rapids of Rock Creek running just behind my rig which provided soothing sounds for sleep.
It was about 10 miles to my next camp, most of it up a winding paved mountain road. I stopped at an overlook on the way up and took a photo of Parksville Lake far below. The weather was light rain with overcast skies.
I arrived at Chilhowee CG NFS early enough on a weekday to have my choice of sites. My selection was a good one as none of the adjacent sites were used during my four day stay. And, I was at the end of the loop with only forest behind me.
There were three reasons for choosing this camp. Elevation meant cooler temperatures, relatively short trails to the sites I wanted to visit, and lower rates than my next stops at two Tennessee State Parks.
The trailhead to McKamy Lake and Benton Falls was just a short walk from my campsite. Half way to the falls was the lake, which wasn’t as grand as I had imagined. It did have a beach for the kids to frolic in the water, and a nice trail around it.
The hike to the lake and falls was an easy three miles roundtrip. I was surprised to do it without any aches afterward. My daily morning and evening walks must have helped my conditioning. I suspect a more arduous trail would have been a different story.
Camp: Cherokee NF-Parksville Lake CG, Chilhowee CG
Scene: Forest, mountains, creeks, lake, waterfall